First round of MLS, Fussball Herren, USA Cup game NYCFC versus Atlanta United MLS official ball seen on the pitch during first round game of MLS Cup between NYCFC and Atlanta United on Yankee stadium. NYCFC won 2 - 0 and progressed to semifinal of MLS Cup. They will play New England Revolution for the place in Eastern Conference final. New York New York United States Copyright: LevxRadin

Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera will join Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo next season. The Dynamo announced his signing last Wednesday. The 31-year-old is currently under contract with the defending La Liga champions Atletico de Madrid and will finish the season with the Spanish giants as they continue their campaigns in the UEFA Champions League and La Liga.

Houston Dynamo FC have signed the Mexican National Team captain to a pre-contract through the 2024 season with an option for 2025, the club announced today. This summer, Herrera will join the Dynamo as a Designated Player pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.

The Dynamo team Herrera is joining was a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist as recently as 2019 but has finished at the bottom of MLS’s Western Conference the past two years. Houston has made the MLS Cup playoffs only once since 2014.

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.

“On behalf of the City of Houston and our loyal, passionate soccer fans, I’m honored to welcome Hector 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 Hector’s talents make him a perfect fit. Through this signing process I was heartened to hear Hector’s commitment to our club and the city of Houston, and I look forward to him becoming part of our community very soon.”

General manager Pat Onstad minced praised highly when speaking about the club’s (soon-to-be) new Designated Player.

“It’s the biggest signing in our club history, and I don’t think anyone is close,” Onstad told media during a virtual press conference. “It’s a turning point in the franchise. We put a marker down. We believe this is going to transform our organization again and put us back at the top.”

A full international since 2012, Herrera won the Olympic gold medal in that year’s football tournament, and was part of Mexico’s winning team at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2013 and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the Copa America Centenario.