TACOMA, WA. – Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo has officially signed Anthony Arena to a professional contract. Arena becomes the 2nd Sounders U-23 player from 2012 to be signed to a MLS contract.
“I’m really excited to finally make it to the MLS,” Anthony Arena said. “It’s been a dream of mine for quite a while now and I feel like a lot of hard work has paid off. I still have a lot of work left ahead of me though.”
An instrumental defender for the Sounders FC U-23, Anthony Arena helped the team secure the Western Conference Championship. Arena anchored a back line toward the Sounders U-23 run to the national semi-finals, losing to eventual national champions; FC London.
Arena said, “The Sounders U-23 team helped quite a bit. I was just coming back from injury and the U-23s allowed me to get back fit and game ready. It was a perfect situation having quality training sessions almost every night from a quality staff.”
Anthony logged over 840 minutes in ten matches for the Sounders FC U-23 before the top echelon student returned to Wake Forest to complete his degree.
Arena added, “Also the amount of competitive games we played prepared me for success in my college season.”
Arena certainly provides depth for the center back position in Houston and has impressed the Dynamo coaching staff. Anthony has logged over 270 minutes for the Dynamo in pre-season and scored one goal in their win over Houston Baptist University so far.
The Houston Dynamo took the last seed in the MLS Playoffs by placing 5th with a 14-9-11 record. Despite having a low seed, the Dynamo made it to the MLS Cup Final where they lost to defending champions LA Galaxy – a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup Final. Houston has locked in their starting eleven from the last season and has added a proven MLS Striker Omar Cummings into their team.