'IT'S ONLY the beginning."

Peter Nowak told that to reporters via conference call yesterday when asked about the Union and its signing of 21-year-old Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez.

But he also said that the club is "exploring every possible option to make the team better" and is in the process of signing three to four additional players this offseason.

Martinez, acquired from Costa Rican club CD Saprissa, has been a goal-scoring menace. However, Nowak said Martinez still has "a couple of holes in his game" and will need to "develop."

"Josue is one of those players that even though he is young, he still established himself on the international stage playing in the Gold Cup and in Copa America," said Nowak. "We believe he will develop in the right way . . . and will make our team better."

It's possible "develop" is just another word for "integrate" as it will take some time for Martinez to get used to the style of the American game and assimilate with teammates. But, given Martinez was not granted designated-player status, it's also plausible he isn't foreseen as an imminent aid to the club's scoring woes just yet.

"The more guys we have in [camp] being involved with the team and the team-mentality is better and will help us to have better results," Nowak said. "We want to have that competition in the locker room because we want to figure out who we can count on. And I think that's another step in the direction [that] regardless of the day we can put out a lineup that will be productive and the quality on the field will be better."

With that said, Nowak promised that his team wasn't finished acquiring "more pieces." He joked that the only position on the field he isn't looking to fuss with is goalkeeper. The Union has MLS goalkeeper of the year runner-up Faryd Mondragon and U.S. youth national teamer Zac MacMath.

But in addition to beefing up the attacking corps, Nowak is intent on acquiring size along the back line. That was evident in the two-leg aggregate playoff series against Houston, in which the Dynamo's dominant aerial game played to the detriment of the Union advancing in its first postseason campaign.

Whether these additions arrive by way of January's SuperDraft and/or the subsequent transfer window remains to be seen. Either way, the team's technical staff still believes there's a lot of work left to do.

"We need to focus on getting stronger, getting bigger, getting better," Nowak said. "It's no secret that we have to get better and bigger across the back line that's for sure. We are looking also to get the midfielder and the forward position [more intact]. And as I said before, we are exploring all our options to bring in these pieces that we need this offseason."