The Houston Dynamo have re-signed goalkeeper Joe Willis, the club announced today.


Willis has played in 37 MLS regular-season games, starting in 35, since joining the Dynamo on December 8, 2014. Last season, he started in eight regular-season games and recorded two shutouts, including the first clean sheet of the year for Dynamo in a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on April 22. His performances earned him a nomination to the 2017 MLS All-Star game.


Willis helped the Dynamo return to the Conference Championship for the first time in four years when he made three saves in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals at Portland. In the Western Conference Championship against Seattle, Willis saved a penalty kick in the first leg to help the Dynamo remain in contention going into the away leg.


“We are pleased that Joe Willis will be returning to the Dynamo for the 2018 season. He brings a reliable and steady presence to our group on the field and in the locker room,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “With this signing we are confident that we’ve strengthened our team in the goalkeeping position to create a highly competitive environment.”


In 2016, the St. Louis, Missouri native was named the Dynamo Defensive Player of the Year as he recorded five clean sheets in 26 games. The goalkeeper had a career high of 89 saves that season. Willis recorded his first career assist that year, becoming the second goalkeeper in Dynamo history to dish an assist.


“It is good to have continuity. Joe Willis has been here for a couple of years, and he had a very good end of the season last year with the team,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “It is good to have him back. He’s a fighter, he works hard, and he’s always trying to push, so we’re very happy.”


The University of Denver alum was drafted by D.C. United with the 50th overall pick 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Willis made his professional debut and recorded his first career clean sheet on August 13, 2011, in a 4-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In his four years with the Black-and-Red, he played in 23 games, and started 22 of those matches. During his tenure with D.C., Willis registered four clean sheets made 71 saves. In 2012, Willis helped D.C. advance to the Eastern Conference Championship when he saved a penalty in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Red Bulls.


With the addition of Willis, the Dynamo now have 24 players under contract for the 2018 season.


HOUSTON DYNAMO PLAYERS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT

GOALKEEPERS (2)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
18Chris SeitzGK11306-3236USA
Joe WillisGK7296-5200USA
DEFENDERS (9)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
2Alejandro FuenmayorDF0216-0178Venezuela
3Adolfo MachadoDF1316-0160Panama
4Philippe SenderosDF1326-2181Switzerland
7DaMarcus BeasleyDF9355-8145USA
15Dylan RemickDF5266-0165USA
16Kevin GarciaDF1266-0185USA
20A.J. DeLaGarzaDF9305-9150Guam
21George MalkiDF1245-10160USA
22LeonardoDF8296-2185Brazil
MIDFIELDERS (9)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
5Juan David CabezasMF1256-0175Colombia
6Eric AlexanderMF8296-1165USA
8Memo RodriguezMF1215-8145USA
10Tomás MartínezMF1225-9145Argentina
12Arturo ÁlvarezMF12325-9170El Salvador
24Darwin CerénMF4285-10165El Salvador
25Eric BirdMF0245-9174USA
27Boniek GarcíaMF6335-9150Honduras
28Charlie WardMF1225-8168England
FORWARDS (4)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
9Mauro ManotasFW3226-0155Colombia
11Andrew WengerMF6266-0185USA
17Alberth ElisFW1206-0165Honduras
31Romell QuiotoFW1255-11170Honduras