LA Galaxy declined option
The Brazilian, whose full name is José Leonardo Ribeiro da Silva, struggled to break into LA Galaxy’s first team and was not helped by multiple injuries over his tenure with the team. He spent much of the previous seasons on LA Galaxy II as a reserve. The LA Galaxy declined the option on Leonardo after the 2016 season which made him eligible for the draft. The MLS Re-Entry draft gives teams the ability to select players whose options were declined by other MLS teams.
The Dynamo selected two out of the eight total selections in the MLS Re-Entry draft this year (stages one and two combined) including Leonardo and defender Dylan Remick who was previously with Seattle Sounders.
Leonardo brings MLS Cup experience to Houston
Though it appears to be more a depth move and reaction by fans was mixed, if the Brazilian can stay healthy, he has proven to be a valuable asset. In 2014, he made 24 appearances and 20 starts for the Galaxy who won MLS Cup that year. He followed that up with 26 appearances -- all starts -- during the 2015 MLS season.
The Dynamo will hope that he can show more flashes of what Bruce Arena saw when he gave Leonardo playing time at the center back position for the 2014 champions. Leonardo has three total MLS Cups to his name, something the Dynamo are hungry to get another shot at after losses in more recent attempts to the Brazilian’s former team.
The completion of this move brings the total Houston Dynamo roster to 20 after embarking on a rebuilding campaign. Many of the acquisitions have been international players from countries such as Honduras, Colombia, and now Brazil. What is certain is that in 2017, the Dynamo will have a very different look than from the roster that delivered a disappointing campaign.