The Dynamo has signed one of its outstanding academy graduates, midfielder Christian Lucatero, as a Homegrown Player.
Lucatero, 18, will start training with the first team immediately though he will not be eligible to be added to the roster until January. The native of Pasadena, Texas, started at the Dynamo Academy in 2010 as a U-15 player and was named Academy Player of the Year in 2013. In July he won honors as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Conference Player of the year after scoring 26 goals in 27 games for the U-18s. In two seasons with the U-18s, Lucatero scored 41 goals in 54 games.
“I think Luca is the best player to come out of our Academy,” said Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson in a team statement. “He showed his quality week in and week out, in training and in games. It is a great opportunity for him and hopefully he inspires all the other players in the Academy.”
He is the seventh player from the Dynamo Academy to sign a professional contract with the Dynamo first team and will forego a commitment to play at Oregon State to start his pro career. He has participated in U-18 camps staged by U.S. Soccer and the Mexican federation and attended a U.S. camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina last April. Both of his parents were born in Mexico and he's been scouted by several Liga MX teams. The Dynamo will start up a USL team next year that will provide him an opportunity to play his way up to the first team.
“It means everything to me to sign a contract with the Houston Dynamo,” Lucatero said in a statement. “I would like to thank James Clarkson for his part in my development and the club for this great opportunity. I look forward to working hard with the first team the rest of this season to prepare for my first preseason next year. My goal is to show my hometown that I can contribute to the Dynamo.