Houston Dynamo midfielders Juan David Cabezas and Tomás Martínezhave been granted green cards by the United States government, the club announced today. Officially referred to as a permanent resident card, it grants an individual authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
As a result of receiving their green cards, Cabezas and Martínez will be designated as domestic players by Major League Soccer and will no longer occupy international slots on the Dynamo roster.
A native of Cali, Colombia, Cabezas joined the Dynamo on a full transfer from Deportivo Cali in the Colombian first division on Dec. 7, 2017. The midfielder was named team MVP in 2017 following a successful first year in MLS in which he led the team in passes, tackles, and interceptions. Cabezas missed the majority of the 2018 season due to injury, but anchored the midfield in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final as Houston defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sept. 26.
Martínez, 23, joined the Dynamo as a Young Designated Player on a full transfer from Sporting Clube de Braga in the Portuguese Primeira Liga on July 17, 2017. The Béccar, Argentina native has scored seven goals and tallied 13 assists in 41 league appearances for the Dynamo. His 13 assists in 2018 led the team and were the second-most in a single season in club history.
Cabezas and Martínez are the fourth and fifth players on the Dynamo roster to become permanent residents, joining forward Mauro Manotas and midfielders Darwin Cerén and Boniek García.
The Dynamo now have six international players on their roster: forward Alberth Elis (Honduras), defender Alejandro Fuenmayor (Venezuela), defender Adam Lundkvist (Sweden), forward Ronaldo Peña (Venezuela), defender Aljaž ‘Kiki’ Struna (Slovenia) and midfielder Matías Vera (Argentina).