Houston Dynamo FC name Paulo Nagamura head coach

Houston Dynamo FC have hired Paulo Nagamura as their next head coach, the club announced Monday.

Nagamura joins Houston after five years as a coach with the Sporting Kansas City organization, leading now-MLS NEXT Pro side Sporting Kansas City II for four seasons (2018-21).

"Paulo is a coach with a lot of potential who embodies the qualities that we were looking for in a new head coach for our club,” general manager Pat Onstad said in a release. “Paulo's emphasis on playing proactive soccer combined with his history of winning in MLS and his experience developing young players set him apart during our global search of up-and-coming coaches.

“These qualities combined with his willingness to learn, his collaborative nature and his intense competitiveness make him a great fit for our club. We are excited to welcome Paulo and his family to Houston."

Nagamura fills the vacancy that was created when Houston parted ways with Tab Ramos after the 2021 MLS season. It also continues their new direction, with Onstad taking over GM duties as the club enters their first year under majority owner Ted Segal.

“I am proud to welcome Paulo Nagamura to the Houston Dynamo Football Club,” Segal said in a release. “Paulo was known as a fierce competitor during his playing days and that competitiveness has carried over into his coaching career. He is a talented, high-potential coach who we believe will relate well to our players and help instill the type of culture we are working to create.”

Nagamura, 38, retired in 2016 after a 12-year MLS career where he finished with 252 regular-season appearances, three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and two MLS Cups.

The Brazil native has worked extensively with youth players, coaching 15 homegrown players at SKC. Now, he’ll look to carry Houston forward after they last made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017.

“This is a magnificent opportunity. Ownership and club leadership are committed to building a team that will truly make our fans proud. I am thankful that Ted Segal, Lyle Ayes, John Walker and Pat Onstad entrusted me with this role at a turning point for the club,” Nagamura said. “As a player, I watched Pat and previous Dynamo teams lift MLS Cups, win conference championships and I understand the responsibility that comes with this role. That is the bar, and I will work tirelessly to help the Dynamo return to the top tier of MLS.”