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Tchau, Alex: Brazilian midfielder headed to Houston

To avoid dying from boredom, and maybe even to improve the team, the Chicago Fire traded Alex to Houston Monday for a young striker

Alex will get a chance to win minutes in Houston now that he's left the very crowded central midfield mix in Chicago.
Alex will get a chance to win minutes in Houston now that he's left the very crowded central midfield mix in Chicago.
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

After being told they would once again be idle this coming weekend, Chicago Fire brass traded Alex to the Houston Dynamo, possibly just so they could do something - anything.

Chicago will be welcoming Generation Adidas forward and Jamaican international Jason Johnson to its deep battery of strikers in exchange for the polarizing Brazilian midfielder.

In his three-plus years and 76 regular-season appearances, Alex managed to divide fans in ways few other players have by both coming up aces in big situations and being frustratingly inefficient in the long stretches in between his moments of magic. Some fans saw those glimmering moments as a peek into his true potential and value while a larger section of the fan base tended to believe his liabilities far outweighed his potential.

What could not be disputed was Alex's lack of a role on the team in 2015. It has become clear Frank Yallop doesn't rate the 26-year-old and with the additions of players such as Razvan Cocis, Michael Stephens and Victor Perez in recent months, Alex was buried deep on the bench. Considering the minutes needed for the upward trajectory of young players such as Chris Ritter and Matt Polster to continue, Alex was likely thrilled to hear about the move to Houston where the Dynamo need to try any and everything to find creativity.

Sparsely-used Jason Johnson will step into the void left by Alex and work to move up the depth chart in the crowded striker position. Johnson is a former Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and was drafted 13th overall by the Dynamo in 2013. He has only notched a goal and 21 appearances for Houston from 2013-15 and an additional 12 appearances and a goal for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2014.

It seems the young 24-year-old has some raw skills, but whether it translates to any on-field success is far from a guarantee. What it will do is keep the pressure on Kennedy Igboananike and Guly do Prado to take advantage of their opportunities. Yallop could part ways with one or both men in the summer transfer window if he feels Johnson can provide sufficient depth to the Quincy Amarikwa-Mike Magee tandem.

Competition is always good and Johnson can probably provide some of that in training. If not, he could continue to grow into his game in St. Louis.

As for Alex, I would like to thank him for his time in Chicago, even if he did frustrate me to no end. I wish him luck in Houston and hope he picks his head up long enough while traveling to make sure he indeed ends up in Houston and not Dallas. He has a habit of not always looking up.