Houston Dynamo signs Slovenian defender Aljaz Struna from Palermo

The Houston Dynamo have signed Slovenian defender Aljaz Struna from Italian Serie B side Palermo, the team announced on Monday.

The deal was used with targeted allocation money and Struna will occupy an international roster slot.

Struna had been with Palermo since 2012, which included stints at Varese and Capri. He won Serie B titles with Palermo in 2013-14 and with Capri with 2014-15.

Struna has earned 12 caps for the Slovenian national team, including six starts for his country during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

"We are excited to bring a player like Aljaz Struna, who has experience playing in Europe and is in the prime of his career, to our team. He is a top defender, not only in Italy, but for his Slovenian national team, and we believe he will bring leadership on and off the field," said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera in a statement. "He wants to win with the Houston Dynamo and he has accepted the challenge to play in MLS over other possibilities, and that shows his commitment to this league and to our club."

The Dynamo had an up-and-down year, winning the 2018 U.S. Open Cup, but failed to make the MLS Cup playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years.