Houston Dynamo FC has hired Asher Mendelsohn as the first technical director in team history, the Club announced today. Mendelsohn will report to Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad.
As technical director, Mendelsohn will work closely with Onstad in setting the overall strategy for the Club’s Soccer Operations. He will be responsible for assisting and managing the soccer operations budget, salary cap and roster planning strategy, and staff hiring and retention.
“This is a new role for the club and we are thrilled to have someone with Asher’s pedigree take the helm,” Onstad said. “He brings executive leadership at both the national team and club level to Houston and will play a key role in how we build out our soccer operations department and how we approach the upcoming season.”
Mendelsohn is an experienced soccer executive with a track record of success in MLS. He spent five years with Columbus Crew SC where he worked alongside then sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter and Onstad to revitalize one of the original MLS clubs. He also brings more than 10 years of experience with U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer, where he developed and launched programs such as MLS NEXT, Professional Referee Organization, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the U.S. Soccer Youth National Team scouting network, and many others.
"I want to thank Mr. Segal and Pat for the opportunity to join Houston Dynamo FC,” said Mendelsohn. "I've spent my career building soccer programs that make a significant impact in this country and I'm thrilled to help Pat restore this club's reputation as a sustainable winner in a great soccer city. We have a big project in front of us and I can't wait to get to work."
During his time with the Columbus Crew SC, Mendelsohn contributed to the establishment of a new soccer identity for the club. In his five-year tenure, the club reached the Audi MLS Cup playoffs in four seasons, advanced to the Easter Conference semifinals in three seasons and reached the MLS Cup final in 2015.
The club also established one of the league's top outgoing transfer records, highlighted by the record-setting sales of Giancarlo Gonzalez to Palermo in Serie A and Zack Steffen to Manchester City in the English Premier League. The club also underwent a complete overhaul of their academy to align with their new soccer philosophy, eventually developing future MLS players Aidan Morris, Tyler Wolff, Abubacar Keita, Sebastian Berhalter, Owen Wolff, as well as future MLS coaches Nico Estevez and Ben Cross.
The 40-year-old graduated with honors from Brown University, playing for the current NCAA National Champion Mike Noonan and winning the Ivy League title in 2000 and 2001.