HOUSTON (Wednesday, March 2, 2022) – Houston Dynamo FC have signed Mexican National Team captain Héctor Herrera to a pre-contract through the 2024 season with an option for 2025, the Club announced today. Herrera will join the Dynamo this summer as a Designated Player pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
The 31-year-old is currently under contract with the defending La Liga champions Atlético de Madrid and will finish the season with the Spanish giants as they continue their campaigns in the UEFA Champions League and La Liga.
“On behalf of the City of Houston and our loyal, passionate soccer fans, I’m honored to welcome Héctor Herrera to the Houston Dynamo Football Club,” majority owner Ted Segal said. “General Manager Pat Onstad and I have focused on identifying a difference maker for our club and Héctor’s talents make him a perfect fit. Through this signing process I was heartened to hear Héctor’s commitment to our club and the city of Houston, and I look forward to him becoming part of our community very soon.”
Herrera returns to North America as one of the most decorated Mexican players to ever play professionally in Europe. He won domestic titles in Spain and Portugal and his 55 Champions League appearances are the most for any Mexican player in history. Herrera was a key contributor in Atletico Madrid’s La Liga championship in the 2020-21 season. The midfielder also won three domestic trophies with Portuguese giants FC Porto, beginning with the league title for the 2017-18 season, and the 2013 and 2018 Portuguese Super Cup.
“This is a momentous day for our club, the city and our league to add a player of Hector’s quality and pedigree. He embodies the new ambition that Ted has brought to our club,” said Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad. “And while Hector was attracted to our sporting project, he was even more motivated to be a champion for this city. He chose Houston and we couldn’t be happier to have him.”
Internationally, the Tijuana, Baja California native has led the Mexico National Team for the past decade, earning 93 appearances with the senior Mexican National Team, representing El Tri at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, and winning the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The Olympic victory was not only Mexico’s first gold medal in soccer, it was the country’s only gold medal at the London Olympics and their second ever youth title.
Since Olympic glory, Herrera guided Mexico in continental and international competitions. He lifted his first trophy with the senior level at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 3-1 victory over Jamaica. In addition to his appearances at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, he also represented Mexico at the 2013 and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the Copa America Centenario in 2016.
Herrera recently took Mexico to the finals of the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. His accolades at the regional level include CONCACAF Best XI honors in 2017 and 2018, as well as the IFFHS CONCACAF Best XI in 2020.
“The addition of a player like Hector validates the new direction and ambitions of our club. He is the type of player who will raise our standards across the board,” said Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura. “Credit goes to our ownership group, Pat and Asher for all the work they’ve done in such a short amount of time.”
Over the last three seasons with Atlético, Herrera has earned 71 appearances for the Colchoneros in all competitions, including their recent run to the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. Herrera played the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Feb. 23, with the return leg scheduled for March 15. The midfielder made his debut for the club by scoring a goal in the 2-2 draw with Juventus in group play of the 2019/2020 edition of the UEFA Champions League.
The midfielder began his European trek in 2013 when he signed for FC Porto in Portugal. Herrera would go on to play 245 matches for Porto in all competitions and claim three domestic trophies. Herrera scored 35 goals and recorded 35 assists while in Portugal. Herrera’s impact at Porto earned him Player of the Year honors for the club after the 2014-15 season and inclusion in The Guardian’s list of the 100 best footballers in the world. He was also named to the Primeira Liga Team of the Year for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Herrera began his professional career in his native Mexico with Club de Fútbol Pachuca in 2010 as a 20-year-old graduate of the club’s academy. The midfielder made his professional debut against Chivas USA in the North American SuperLiga in 2010 and finished with 55 appearances for the club in all competitions. He led Pachuca to three quarterfinal appearances from 2011-2013.