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Transfer Profile: Alex Lima

After missing out on the 2017 K League Promotion Playoffs, Suwon FC have hit the transfer market hard in a clear attempt at topping the table. Included in their notable signings was long time MLS midfielder Alex who makes his way to Korea from Houston Dynamo. 
(image via houstonchronicle.com)

Having spent the vast majority of his nine year professional career in MLS with Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo, 29-year-old Brazilian midfielder Alex Lima has made the rare move from the States to Asia. His breakthrough season came in 2013 when he made 30 appearances for Chicago Fire, scoring and assisting once over his 1,600 minutes. After a few up and down seasons with the Fire, Alex made the move to Houston where he fit the system much better. He averaged 2,500 minutes in his two full seasons with the club, scoring nine times and assisting 13 times in the orange and white. For a more detailed take on his game, we spoke with Dynamo Theory columnist, Alicia Tolar.


How was Alex viewed at Houston? League wide?

The central midfielder has been an important piece of the puzzle for the Dynamo over the past couple of years. He was one of the few bright spots during the abysmal 2016 season for the Dynamo and earn the team's MVP award for his efforts that year. He still had a successful 2017 with the Dynamo, but the influx of new players he didn't need to be the MVP. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera, in his first year with the Dynamo, often played him in the number 10 position, but Alex excels as an eight. With the arrival of Tomas Martinez to play in the 10 slot, Alex's role with the team shifted once again.

Strongest aspects of his game?

Alex is great when playing as a box-to-box midfielder. When he is allowed to lay deep he is great at breaking up plays and getting the ball back up top to the forwards on his team. In 2017, he spent more time further up the field and was able to facilitate a number of goals for the Dynamo forwards.

Weaknesses?

He can be a card collector and has a bit of a rep for making questionable tackles. He was issued five yellow cards this season which was a significant decrease from the 11 yellows he got in 2016. He ended up with one red card in both 2016 and 2017, which may not seem like much, but both happened at times when the team needed him on the field the most.

Reason for leaving?

His contract was up at the end of the 2017, and while the team did try to bring him back with a pay increase, the Dynamo weren't going to pay him what he could make in other leagues. Alex also seemed to loose a little bit of his passion when the team brought in Tomas Martinez, who looks to take over in the number 10 role, affecting time and positing on the field.

Where do you think he would be best utilized with Suwon FC?

The number eight role is where the central midfielder excels. He frequently found himself playing number 10 (particularly under Cabrera in the 2017 season) for the Dynamo, which he was okay at, but he's great when playing an eight.

What should K League fans expect from him?

Alex is a hard worker on and off the field and a great guy to have in the locker room. When he is given the freedom to roam, breakup plays, and create for Suwon FC's forwards fans are going to love watching him on the field.

Best moment with Houston Dynamo?

The Brazilian had several multiple assist games in 2017 and had 11 assists during the season. His biggest game was his three assist game against DC United that propelled the Dynamo to their first road win of the season.

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