In order to get to the top spot, DCU traded Houston its No. 9 position in the allocation order, $100,000 in general allocation money, $75,000 in targeted allocation money and a 2018 international roster spot.
Brown, 27, joins after spending time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL. The 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up, Brown scored 20 goals in 62 appearances for the Colorado Rapids between 2013 and 2015.
The Jamaica international moved to Norwegian top-tier side Valarenga in 2015 before transferring to Chinese club Shenzhen F.C. in 2016.
“Deshorn is an athletic forward with proven technical ability who has scored goals everywhere he has been,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said in a club release.
“We are excited to welcome him to D.C. and look forward to his immediate contributions.”
Brown will be a welcome addition to DCU, which has a league-worst 10 goals this season and has been shut out in 10 of 15 games in 2017.