The Houston Dynamo signed Dynamo Academy product Marcelo Palomino to a Homegrown Player contract, the club announced today.
Palomino, 18, is the 11th Dynamo Academy alumnus to sign a first-team contract with the club. He joins defender Erik McCue and midfielder Memo Rodriguez as the third Dynamo Academy alumnus on the current First Team roster.
The midfielder has been a member of the Houston Dynamo Academy since the age of 11 and was named Dynamo Academy Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons from 2016-18. His third honor came after the 2017-18 season in which he scored 17 goals and tallied eight assists in 24 games, while playing up with the U-19 squad. Palomino joined Brazos Valley Calvary FC, the Dynamo’s U-23 affiliate in the Premier Development League, that summer and finished with four goals in four appearances as the club won the PDL Mid-South Division title in 2018. That same year Palomino was named to the 2017-2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Conference Best XI team at the end of the season.
“Marcelo has grown up in our Academy program and was a standout at each age group to earn this opportunity with the First Team,” said Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We understand this is a process, and we look forward to this next step for Marcelo. We also look forward to seeing him continue to compete for opportunities within the National Team program as he continues to grow and develop. I’d also like to recognize the hard work of our Academy staff over the years to help prepare Marcelo for this next step in his career.”
Palomino was also named a 2017 United Soccer Coaches Youth All-American as he balanced the rigors of playing in the Development Academy with Houston while being a part of the U.S. Under-17 Youth National Team residency program in Bradenton, Fla. The midfielder scored three goals in seven matches for the Dynamo Academy U-19 squad that fall and trained with the First Team regularly as the Dynamo earned a spot in the playoffs and advanced to the Western Conference Championship.
The midfielder began his youth national team career in 2014 when he was named to the U.S. U-14 Boys National Team. Since then, the Houston native has been a regular in the pool selected for the U-15, U-16, U-18 and U-19 U.S. squads. Palomino was selected by now Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos to the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team in 2018 and claimed the championship in the International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek after beating Japan 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout. Palomino was a regular in the Youth National Team setup for the remainder of 2018 and was most recently named to the U-20 National Team in Sept. 2019 when he joined Ramos for two friendlies in Slovenia.
With the addition of Palomino, the Dynamo now have 24 players under contract for the 2020 season.