HOUSTON (Monday, Jan. 22, 2024) – Houston Dynamo FC announced today that Manuel Junco will join the club’s scouting department as the director of identification, working alongside General Manager Pat Onstad and Technical Director Asher Mendelsohn, to identify opportunities to improve the first and second team rosters.
“Manuel will join us in Houston with significant experience running player identification operations in MLS, South America and Europe,” said general manager, Pat Onstad. “His experience in multiple markets will improve our ability to identify new players for our club and generate more interest in our players from abroad. We look forward to welcoming Manuel and his family to their new home in Houston.”
Junco joins Houston after serving as Director of Scouting for Austin FC since 2020 before their inaugural MLS season. Junco helped build the club’s inaugural roster, and the team reached the Western Conference Final in 2022.
Prior to Austin, Junco served as Sporting and Technical Director at Wisla Krakow in Poland. Each season under his leadership (2016-18), the club qualified for the Ekstraklasa Championship playoffs, while achieving a net positive balance on incoming and outgoing transfers for one of the leading clubs in Poland.
From 2013-16, Junco served as Head of Scouting for Columbus Crew SC, overlapping with Onstad and Mendelsohn’s time with the club. In that role, Junco was responsible for player evaluation and selection, working closely with Gregg Berhalter, the current U.S. Men’s National Team head coach. The club reached the MLS Cup in 2015 and was one of the leading MLS clubs in outgoing transfers during that period.
In 2005, Junco was appointed as one of five senior scouts for Liverpool FC, working with Rafa Benitez to oversee the club’s scouting and recruitment programs in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Last year’s resurgence for the Houston Dynamo reminded many around the country of the club’s impressive history and potential for a resounding return to success,” said Junco. “I’m excited to get to work alongside Pat, Asher and the rest of the technical staff to strengthen our roster and build on last year’s foundation.”
Junco is fluent in five languages (Spanish, English, Italian, Polish and Portuguese) and has an honors degree in Economics and Business Administration for the University of Wales in the U.K. He also attained the UEFA Certificate in Soccer Management from University of Lausanne (Switzerland), the Soccer Academy Management Certificate (Double Pass and Ekstraklasa) and the level two coaching title from his home country, Spain.