The club announced on Wednesday, 3/2/2022, the acquisition of Mexican international Hector Herrera. The Houston Dynamo FC twitter account took it upon themselves to post a teaser. Taking a closer look at this image one can vaguely see a Hector Herrera Houston Dynamo jersey.
Posted 24 hours before the official announcement, this tweet had fans on the edge of their seat with anticipation. Not long after, credible journalists such as Tom Bogert, Fabrizio Romano, and many more broke the news. Needless to say, this signing has the Houston Dynamo community jumping with joy. This new feeling circulating around the fanbase is one that hasn't been felt since that magical playoff run in 2017. With a new owner, new GM, new coach, and now new MLS star, Houston can breathe easy and finally join MLS 4.0.
In truth, the Dynamo have been playing catch-up with the league since their back-to-back championship wins in 2006 and 2007. While we as a roster are still far behind contenders such as Seattle Sounders or Toronto FC, Houston Dynamo FC look to finally be on their way to hang with the big boys. However, that is a reality that will not be tangible for another year or two. The team should focus first on becoming a competitive team. Surely Hector Herrera will bring that grit and hard-working attitude that the squad desperately needs.
There are a few aspects which make this signing even more appealing to Dynamo fans. First-year Gm Pat Onstad told press that initially Hector was out of the Dynamo budget agreed upon by Segal and the group. However, Ted Segal didn't even blink when the question for more money arose. Ted was bought into Hector Herrera and the whole group made it a priority to bring in the Atletico Madrid maestro. Another point to digest for fans is the fact that Hector Herrera had offers on the table from other teams for more money. Alas, Herrera believes in the project being built down here in H-Town and chose the Bayou City. Perhaps the most intriguing detail of this signing comes from the mouth of Tata Martino, the Mexican national team coach. "From my perspective Hector Herrera is the best player Mexico has". I do not think this is statement controversial, either. Herrera, being the most decorated Mexican international player to play in Europe, has the most UCL appearances (55) out of any Mexican player. Coming directly from the head coach of Mexico, it appears Houston is getting the best Mexican player right now.
This move makes a ton of sense for all parties involved. For one, the Dynamo acquire, on a free transfer, a proven European player who has played in numerous countries and winning championships everywhere he has been. Whether that be with Mexico (Gold Cup 2013, 2019), Porto (3 domestic trophies), and of course winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid (2020-2021). Secondly, Herrera will be closer to Mexico, and therefore closer to his roots and family. This is possibly the greatest reason for him to come to Houston. Third, Herrera will be starting every game and be seen as a star in MLS, allowing the 31 year old midfielder to be prepared for Qatar. Playing time for Herrera was scarce at Atletico. Arriving in 2019, he has made only 69 appearances for the Spanish giants. Obviously with Atletico Madrid being a world class team, there are simply world class players ahead of Herrera such as Llorente and Koke. With recent injuries coming to the squad, head coach Diego Simeone has needed Herrera's assistance in recent games, with the Mexican even starting against Manchester United in the UCL, a game that Pat Onstad attended in-person.
It is no secret that Hector Herrera is a massive player and will be top 10 in MLS. That is not the issue. The major question mark above every big-name player coming from Europe to play in MLS is their ambition, dedication, and level of seriousness. If Herrera comes into the league thinking it will be a cake-walk with the thought that he wont need to show up with 100% commitment, then he will not succeed. Truly, however; I am getting the perception that Hector will come into this league and leave it all on the pitch for La Naranja.
Herrera will arrive in Houston upon the completion of La Liga in late May. Depending on Atletico's run in the UCL will determine how soon we can see Herrera. Reports indicate the soonest we can see him debut will be July 9th, 2022. This will be a derby played at PNC Stadium, between Houston and Dallas. Hector will wear #16 as he hopes to pick up good form and carry the Dynamo to playoffs for the first time since 2017.
This has been Colin with Keeping Tabs, making sure that all tabs are kept.