Houston Dynamo FC have signed forward Roberto “Beto” Avila from their MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, Houston Dynamo 2, the club announced Friday.

Avila has signed through the 2023 MLS season with club options for 2024-25, becoming the first player to join Houston’s first team since their second team launched in December 2021.

"Beto’s signing is a historic moment for the club as he is the first player to graduate from Houston Dynamo 2 to our first team,” general manager Pat Onstad said in a release. “We launched our MLS NEXT Pro team to provide more professional opportunities for talented young players in Houston and around the country. 

“MLS NEXT Pro is a new initiative by MLS, but we are already seeing the advantages to our player development efforts by providing a valuable bridge from our oldest academy team to our first team. We plan for Beto to be the first of many players to earn their way to MLS through this new pathway.”

The 21-year-old has scored five goals with Dynamo 2 in MLS NEXT Pro, including the first hat trick in league history. He debuted for the first team last month in the US Open Cup, assisting on Sam Junqua’s game-winning goal against Rio Grande Valley FC.

Avila played for the Houston Dynamo Academy during the 2017-18 season, and is the sixth such alumnus on their roster. He’s also played for the USL Championship’s Austin Bold and Canadian Premier League side Edmonton FC.