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Héctor Herrera signs with the Houston Dynamo until 2024 and will be Designated Player

HOUSTON — Houston Dynamo FC confirmed the signing of Mexican National Team captain Héctor Herrera on a pre-contract through the 2024 season with an option for 2025, the MLS club announced today. Herrera will join the Dynamo this summer as a Designated Player.

The 31-year-old is currently under contract with defending LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid and will finish the season with the rojiblancos as they continue their UEFA Champions League and LaLiga campaigns.

“On behalf of the city of Houston and our loyal and passionate soccer fans, I am honored to welcome Hector Herrera to the Houston Dynamo Football Club,” said majority owner Ted Segal.

“General Manager Pat Onstad and I have focused on identifying someone who will make a difference for our club and Hector’s talents make him a perfect fit. Most importantly, through this signing process I was encouraged to hear Hector’s commitment to our club and the city of Houston, and I look forward to him becoming a part of our community very soon.”

Herrera returns to North America as one of the most decorated Mexican players to have played professionally in Europe.

He won domestic titles in Spain and Portugal and his 55 Champions League appearances are the most for any Mexican player in history. Herrera was a key contributor to Atlético de Madrid’s LaLiga championship in the 2020-21 season. The midfielder has also won three domestic trophies with FC Porto, starting with the 2017-18 season league title and the 2013 and 2018 Portuguese Super Cup.

“This is a momentous day for our club, the city and our league to add a player of Hector’s quality and pedigree. He embodies the new ambition that Ted has brought to our club,” Dynamo General Manager Pat Onstad said. “And although Héctor was attracted by our sports project, he felt even more motivated to be champion of this city. He chose Houston and we couldn’t be happier to have him.”

Internationally, the Tijuana, Baja California native has led the Mexican National Team for the past decade, earning 93 appearances for the senior Mexican National Team, representing El Tri at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, and winning the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. The Olympic victory was not only Mexico’s first gold medal in soccer, it was the country’s only gold medal at the London Olympics and its second junior title.

From Olympic glory, Herrera guided Mexico in continental and international competitions. He lifted his first senior trophy at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 3-1 victory over Jamaica. In addition to his appearances at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, he also represented Mexico at the 2013 and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the Copa América Centenario in 2016.

Herrera recently led Mexico to the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League final and the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he won the Ballon d’Or as the tournament’s best player. Accolades for him at the regional level include CONCACAF Best XI honors in 2017 and 2018, as well as the IFFHS CONCACAF Best XI in 2020.

“The addition of a player like Héctor validates the new direction and ambitions of our club. He is the type of player that will raise our standards across the board,” Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura said. “Credit goes to our ownership group, Pat and Asher, for all the work they’ve done in such a short amount of time.”

In the last three seasons with Atlético, Herrera has made 71 appearances for the colchoneros in all competitions, including their recent run to the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Herrera played the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 draw against Manchester United on February 23, with the second leg scheduled for March 15. The midfielder made his club debut by scoring a goal in a 2-2 draw with Juventus in the group stage of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League.

The midfielder began his European career in 2013 when he signed for FC Porto de Portugal. Herrera would go on to make 245 appearances for Porto in all competitions and claim three domestic trophies. Herrera scored 35 goals and recorded 35 assists in Portugal. Herrera’s impact at Porto earned him Player of the Year honors for the club after the 2014–15 season and inclusion in The Guardian’s list of the 100 best footballers in the world. He was also named to the Primeira Liga Team of the Year for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Herrera began his professional career in his native Mexico with Club de Fútbol Pachuca in 2010 when he graduated from the club’s academy at age 20. The midfielder made his professional debut against Chivas USA in the North American Super League in 2010 and finished with 55 appearances for the club in all competitions.

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