Transfer Tracker

Houston Dynamo acquire Ezequiel Ponce in club-record deal

Ezequiel Ponce - Houston Dynamo - signing 1


Houston Dynamo FC made a transfer-market splash on Monday, acquiring striker Ezequiel Ponce from Super League Greece side AEK Athens in a club-record deal.

The 27-year-old Argentine occupies a Designated Player roster spot. He is under contract through June 2027 with an option to extend through the rest of 2027 and then 2028.

Ponce will be eligible to debut for Houston once the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 18.

"First, we want to thank Ted [Segal] for providing us with the support to continue pushing this club forward. He remains deeply committed to building a sustainable winner in the city of Houston, and our mission is to turn his vision into a reality," general manager Pat Onstad said in a release.

"We performed an exhaustive, world-wide search for a new starting striker, and Ezequiel was our number one target. He has experience scoring in the top competitions in the world, he is a great fit for our game model, and his character and professionalism are exemplary."

Ponce's career

Ponce has 92 goals and 19 assists in 308 professional appearances, highlighted by time at AEK Athens (Greece) and Spartak Moscow (Russia). A product of Argentine side Newell's Old Boys, he moved to AS Roma (Italy) in 2015 and has additional stops at Elche (Spain), Granada (Spain) and Lille (France).

A former Argentine youth international, he played at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. The latter squad included Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Pedro de la Vega, Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada and Portland Timbers left back Claudio Bravo.

While playing at AEK Athens, Ponce was coached by former San Jose Earthquakes manager Matías Almeyda.

"Most importantly, Ezequiel and his family were very motivated to come to Houston and be a big part of our project,” Onstad continued. "He impressed us at every step of our evaluation process. We are thrilled to have Ezequiel, Martina and their young family join us in Houston, and we hope to achieve great things together."

What now?

This season, Houston have scored a Western Conference-low 20 goals. Ponce should help remedy that, joining a squad that's led by midfielders Héctor Herrera and Coco Carrasquilla – hoping to build off last year's Western Conference Final trip and US Open Cup title.

With Ponce's arrival, Houston could look to offload DP striker Sebastián Ferreira. The Paraguayan international and previous club-record signing scored 13 goals in 2022, but hasn't quite settled under head coach Ben Olsen – scoring once in 16 Dynamo appearances the last two seasons while also being loaned to Brazil's Vasco de Gama.