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MLS: St. Louis CITY SC at Sporting Kansas CityApr 20, 2024; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; General view of game balls before the mat between the Sporting Kansas City and the St. Louis City at Children’s Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo acquired Argentine striker Ezequiel Ponce for a club-record transfer fee on Monday.

Houston did not disclose the amount. Multiple reports said the MLS club paid $8 million to Greece’s AEK Athens.

Previously, the largest transfer fee in Dynamo history was $4.5 million for forward Sebastian Ferreira in 2022.

Ponce, 27, signed a contract through June 2027 with options through December 2027 and 2028.

— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) June 17, 2024

Ponce has accumulated 65 goals in 247 career matches across six top-flight leagues in South America and Europe.

He will occupy a designated player spot in Houston, which is currently tied for the fewest goals (20) in the Western Conference.

“We performed an exhaustive, world-wide search for a new starting striker, and Ezequiel was our number one target,” Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad said. “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.

“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.”

Ponce has competed professionally since 2014 in Argentina (Newell’s Old Boys), Italy (Roma), Spain (Granada and Elche), France (Lille), Greece (AEK Athens) and Russia (Spartak Moscow).

–Field Level Media

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