The Houston Dynamo have acquired Colombian midfielder Juan David Cabezas on loan from Deportivo Cali, the club announced today. Cabezas joins the Dynamo on a 12-month loan, pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC), and Houston has the option to execute a full transfer at the conclusion of the loan period. The Dynamo utilized Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to secure the loan of Cabezas from Deportivo Cali.
A native of Cali, Colombia, Cabezas joins the Dynamo after spending the last year with Deportivo Independiente Medellin in Colombia’s Categoria Primera A (first division), where he helped lead El Poderoso de la Montaña to the 2016 Apertura (Spring) championship. Cabezas scored the equalizing goal in the first leg of the championship series, giving DIM a crucial away goal. He appeared in 36 games with DIM last year with 24 starts and tallied three goals in total.
“We are pleased to be adding a player with the quality of Juan David Cabezas to our roster. His physical presence, winning mentality and ability to recover balls in the midfield will be a welcomed addition to our group,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “He is entering the prime of his career and has played a key role in the midfield for two of the top clubs in South America, and he is eager to contribute to the success of our team as we prepare for the 2017 season.”
The 25-year-old brings eight years of professional experience and 170 career appearances at the senior level, with 19 goals to his credit. Cabezas made his professional debut in 2009 at age 17 for Deportivo Cali and played in three games during his debut season. He has made 87 appearances with Deportivo Cali in his career with 69 starts and has scored 11 goals for the club. Cabezas also helped Deportivo Cali to the 2015 Apertura championship over DIM.
“Juan David is very hungry and excited to come to the Houston Dynamo. It is important for us to have a player with the ability to win the ball in the middle of the field, and he brings that quality to the team,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He brings experience, and he wants to be a part of our club. That’s something that was important to us, and all of the signings so far have shown that. They’re all hungry and they all want to be part of the Houston Dynamo – not only as a club, but as part of our city and part of this new project that we are building.”
Cabezas represented his country at the Under-20 level at the South American U-20 Championship in 2011, where he appeared in six of Colombia’s nine matches, and at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup which was played in Colombia. At the U-20 World Cup, Cabezas started all five of Colombia’s matches en route to a Quarterfinal appearance.
Playing in a defensive midfield role in that tournament, Cabezas provided cover for the back line and helped the host nation post a pair of clean sheets. Other stars of that team included Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez, Inter Milan defender Jeison Murillo, Sampdoria striker Luis Muriel and former FC Dallas winger Fabian Castillo.
Cabezas has also played on loan with Cúcuta Deportivo in 2010; La Equidad from 2011-12; and with Once Caldas from 2013-14.
With the addition of Cabezas, the Houston Dynamo now have 19 players on the roster for the 2017 season. The Colombian is the seventh player to occupy an international roster spot for the Dynamo, joining defender Agus, forward Alberth Elis, defender Adolfo Machado, forward Mauro Manotas, forward Romell Quioto and forward Erick Torres.