The Houston Dynamo have acquired midfielder Darwin Cerénin a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes, the club announced today. Houston traded $100,000 in General Allocation Money and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to the Earthquakes, with potential additional considerations based on player performance criteria.

Cerén has appeared in 75 games with 67 starts in MLS regular-season play since joining the league in 2015, with two goals and six assists to his account. A box-to-box midfielder, Cerén has proven to be one of the surest tacklers in the league and one of the league’s most accurate passers. His 76.64 tackle success rate is the sixth-highest in the MLS over the last four seasons among players with at least 200 attempted tackles; and his 85.78 pass completion percentage ranks in the top 10 among midfielders with at least 5,000 minutes played.

“Darwin is a competitor who will transition well into our club and the city of Houston. At 28 years old he joins us in the prime of his career and he is eager to contribute to the success of our team,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “With his addition to the team we’ve strengthened our midfield and continued to create a highly competitive environment for our group as we prepare for the 2018 season.”

The captain of the El Salvador national team, Cerén has earned 41 caps and has scored two goals. He made his international debut on May 24, 2012 in a friendly against New Zealand and scored his first international goal on May 22, 2013 against Venezuela. Cerén captained Los Cuscatlecos in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and in four matches of El Salvador’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.

“Darwin is a young, but experience and talented player. He will bring intensity, quality and support in all aspects to the team. As a defensive midfielder he wins every ball he chases and has a fantastic technical ability to control the ball,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “On the field he is a leader and has a lot of experience in MLS. We are very happy and excited that he is joining us, because he will help improve the team in all aspects ahead of a very tough season.”

Cerén began his professional career in 2009 with Juventud Independiente in the El Salvador Primera Division and played in 84 games and tallied 17 goals over five seasons with the club. Cerén moved to the United States in 2014 as a member of Orlando City while the club competed in the USL and made the move into Major League Soccer with the club in 2015, earning MLS Latino del Año by and club Players’ Player of the Year that season.

Last season, Cerén saw action in 21 games with 19 starts for San Jose, logging 1,642 minutes and registering two assists, helping the Quakes earn a playoff spot. Each of his assists led to points for the Quakes, leading the team to a 1-0 win over Colorado on July 29 and a 1-1 draw at Vancouver on Oct. 15. The midfielder averaged 4.06 tackles per 90 minutes, which ranked fourth among all MLS midfielders with at least 1,000 minutes played.

With the addition of Cerén, the Dynamo now have 24 players currently under contract. Cerén possesses a Green Card as a naturalized United States citizen, meaning that he will not occupy an International roster slot.


No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
Chris SeitzGK11306-3236USA
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
2Alejandro FuenmayorDF0216-0178Venezuela
3Adolfo MachadoDF1316-0160Panama
4Philippe SenderosDF1326-2181Switzerland
7DaMarcus BeasleyDF9355-8145USA
15Dylan RemickDF5266-0165USA
16Kevin GarciaDF1266-0185USA
20A.J. DeLaGarzaDF9305-9150Guam
21George MalkiDF1245-10160USA
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
5Juan David CabezasMF1256-0175Colombia
6Eric AlexanderMF8296-1165USA
18Memo RodriguezMF1215-8145USA
25Tomás MartínezMF1225-9145Argentina
27Boniek GarcíaMF6335-9150Honduras
28Charlie WardMF1225-8168England
Arturo ÁlvarezMF12325-9170El Salvador
Eric BirdMF0245-9174USA
Darwin CerénMF4285-10165El Salvador
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
9Erick TorresFW5245-11168Mexico
11Andrew WengerMF6266-0185USA
12Romell QuiotoFW1255-11170Honduras
17Alberth ElisFW1206-0165Honduras
19Mauro ManotasFW3226-0155Colombia