The Houston Dynamo have extended the contracts of Sr. Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan and Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, the club announced today. Both Jordan and Cabrera are now under contract through the 2020 Major League Soccer season.
Under their combined leadership, the Dynamo returned to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017, advancing to the Western Conference Championship. Together, they collaborated to create a playing style and to build a roster of players that fit into their system, the club culture and the Houston community. The Dynamo quickly became one of the league’s most exciting and entertaining teams last year. The Dynamo scored a club-record 57 goals and reestablished BBVA Compass Stadium as one of the league’s most inhospitable venues as they posted a 12-1-4 home record in regular-season play.
“Matt and Wilmer have proven to be an excellent team who can deliver results. They are fully aligned as to the vision and plan for our club’s success," said Dynamo President Chris Canetti. “As we look to the future, we have complete confidence in their collective ability to execute that vision and plan and lead us to our goals.”
Jordan, who now takes on the title of Senior Vice President, was appointed as Vice President and General Manager on Nov. 4, 2014 after spending four years in the front office of the Montreal Impact. Since joining the Dynamo, he has implemented a new structure to the club’s soccer operations based on a vertically-integrated program from the Dynamo first team through to the youth academy.
“I appreciate and am looking forward to the opportunity to continue moving the technical side of our club forward in positive direction working with our ownership group, Chris, Wilmer and our technical staff,” Jordan said. “We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us as the league continues to grow and evolve, and we look forward to the challenge ahead to bring sustainable success to the Houston Dynamo.”
In particular, Jordan helped create and implement the successful partnership between the Dynamo and its USL affiliate RGV FC. That innovative model has since been replicated by multiple MLS clubs. Since 2016, seven players from RGV FC have signed Major League Soccer contracts with the Dynamo.
Jordan has been instrumental in reshaping the Dynamo roster, with key international signings such as forwards Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto, midfielders Tomás Martínez and Juan David Cabezas, and defenders Adolfo Machado, Philippe Senderos and Alejandro Fuenmayor. He has orchestrated trades for integral players such as defender A.J. DeLaGarza, forward Andrew Wenger and midfielders Darwin Cerén and Eric Alexander; and he has acquired players such as midfielder Arturo Alvarez, goalkeeper Chris Seitz and defenders Dylan Remick and Leonardo from within the league.
Cabrera was introduced as the third full-time head coach in Dynamo history on Oct. 28, 2016, taking over the first team after servings as head coach of the club’s USL affiliate, RGV FC, in 2016. After guiding RGV FC to a second-place finish in the USL Western Conference in their inaugural campaign, Cabrera quickly went about remaking the Dynamo first-team roster in collaboration with Jordan. Many of the international players signed prior to the 2017 season, including Elis, Quioto and Cabezas, had been personally scouted by Cabrera while he served as a member of the Technical Study Group at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup and the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. His relationships in South America helped the club discover Martínez and Fuenmayor as well.
“I am very honored and happy to continue my work with the Houston Dynamo. I appreciate the confidence and support from the ownership group, Chris Canetti and Matt Jordan,” Cabrera said. “This is a great opportunity to make this a long-term project by continuing to work hard. It is also a big responsibility for me to continue to lead the staff and the players to make this the club that all Houstonians deserve.”
An adept teacher of the game, Cabrera is well respected for his ability to develop young talent. As a reflection of that ability and the club’s commitment to identifying and developing young players, the average ages of Houston’s Designated Players and players signed with Targeted Allocation Money are both the youngest in Major League Soccer. Cabrera has been instrumental in the development of young players such as Elis, Manotas, Martinez and Memo Rodriguez, among others.
From his introductory press conference, Cabrera spoke about the importance of the Dynamo defending their home field and his squad did just that. The 12 home victories in regular-season play were the most in club history, and since the start of the 2017 season, Houston’s .789 winning percentage at BBVA Compass Stadium is tied for the second-highest in MLS. Cabrera quickly instituted a distinctive style for the Dynamo, one based on lethal, lightning-fast counterattacks that punished opponents for mistakes before they could react. That style led to a club scoring record and propelled the Dynamo to within a game of their fifth MLS Cup appearance in his first season on the bench.
Jordan, Cabrera and the 2018 Dynamo return to action this Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium as they host the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. CDT. Tickets for that game are still available starting at $24 and may be purchased online at HoustonDynamo.com, by phone at 713-276-GOAL or at the BBVA Compass Stadium box office.