Jaqua Follows Ngwenya out of Houston

The reigning back-to-back MLS Champions may be facing a goal-scoring drought next season if this trend continues. Just days after forward Joseph Ngwenya opted to sign with Austrian club SK Austria Karnten, fellow striker Nate Jaqua has followed suit and signed a deal with SC Rheindorf Altach, also of the Austrian Bundesliga.
And just like that, a sizeable chink has been put in the armor of the defending champs. Past statements from team officials fervently denied that the club would be making use of their Designated Player slot in 2008, because 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' but an offensive spark may be necessary at this rate.

Jaqua, who bounced around from Chicago to Toronto to Los Angeles before being traded for Kelly Gray, finished 2007 with seven total goals (six with Houston) and two assists. He has notched 30 goals and 14 assists in 129 career MLS games.

Together, Ngwenya and Jaqua tallied 13 goals for the Orange in 2007, which accounted for 30% of the team's offensive production. The remaining major sparkplugs for Houston are now an aging Dwayne De Rosario, who sleep-walked through most of last season before waking up late, and an increasingly injury-plagued Brian Ching.

Houston fans, is now the time for the club to find a DP, or at least make a trade for a big MLS name? And if so, who would be on the top of the 'wanted' list?

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