The Houston Dynamo and forward Mauro Manotas have agreed to a new long-term contract, the club announced today. The new three-year agreement will keep Manotas in orange through the 2021 season.
The forward has scored 46 goals in all competitions for the club since joining on a full transfer from Uniautónoma F.C in Colombia’s First Division on May 13, 2015. The Sabanalarga, Colombia native set the club record for most goals scored in a calendar year and most goals in an MLS season after finishing with 25 and 19, respectively, last year. His performance earned him club Most Valuable Player and Player’s Player of the Year honors.
He scored six goals during Houston’s run to the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship, including two goals against the Philadelphia Union in the final on Sept. 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium to help the Dynamo win the third domestic title in club history.
“I’m very happy to have to have the opportunity to continue with the Houston Dynamo and am very appreciative and grateful to the club,” Manotas said. “I look forward to continuing with the club for years to come and will work to give my best to bring joy to my family in Orange.”
Manotas’ 46 goals in all competitions rank third in club history and his 35 goals in league play are fourth-most in Dynamo history. The 23-year-old Colombian already owns the club scoring record in the Open Cup, with 10 in his career.
“As a club we are extremely pleased to secure a new long term agreement with Mauro. He is one of the most talented young strikers in MLS, who at just 23 years old has a tremendous amount of upside and is motivated to contribute to the success of the Houston Dynamo moving forward,” said Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “This extension demonstrates our club’s commitment to identifying, developing and investing in talented young players who are eager to make an impact.”
Since he opened his MLS scoring account on Sept. 9, 2016, Manotas is tied for sixth among all MLS players. His 25 goals in all competitions were the second-most among all MLS players last season, and his 19 league goals were tied for fourth-most.
Manotas has been the most efficient and consistent goalscorer in Dynamo history to date, averaging a club-record 0.43 goals per 90 minutes in league play. Since head coach Wilmer Cabrera took charge of the Dynamo in 2017, Manotas has been even more lethal, with 29 goals in 66 league appearances, an average of 0.55 goals per 90 minutes.
“I think it’s very important news for everyone,” Cabrera said. “First, for Mauro, he can focus on his game, continuing to improve, and continuing to look to score goals which is what he wants and what he likes the most. For the team, we have a top scorer, a player that is young and scores goals. Every team loves to have a top scorer. And for the club, because they need to feel proud about their most important player being being young and a top scorer.”
In his first two full seasons with the Dynamo, Manotas earned back-to-back club Young Player of the Year honors. He tied for the club scoring lead in 2016 with six goals, all of which came in the last two months of the season. Manotas finished the 2017 season with 10 goals in league play and helped the Dynamo secure a spot in the Western Conference Championship after he scored the game-winning goal against the Portland Timbers in the conference semifinals at Providence Park.
Manotas joined the Dynamo as a 19-year-old on May 13,2015 after scoring six goals in 32 appearances across all competitions (Primera A and Copa Colombia) with Uniautónoma in Colombia's First Division. Manotas possesses a United States Permanent Resident Card, or Green Card, meaning that he does not occupy an international roster slot.
Internationally, he helped the Colombia Under-20 National Team qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a second-place finish at the 2015 South American Youth Football Championship in Uruguay.
TRANSACTION: The Houston Dynamo sign forward Mauro Manotas to a new contract.