The Houston Dynamo announced Tuesday the signing of Dynamo Academy midfielder Christian Lucatero as a Homegrown Player. Lucatero will be eligible to join the Dynamo roster in January 2016 but will train with the first team through the remainder of the season.
Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The Pasadena, Texas native joined the Dynamo Academy in 2010 with the U-15s and was named Dynamo Academy Player of the Year in 2013 and Players' Player of the Year in 2014. The 18-year-old was named USSDA Central Conference Player of the Year in July after scoring 26 goals in 27 games with the Dynamo Academy U-18s this season, tied for fifth in the nation.
Lucatero, who was committed to play at Oregon State University this fall, is the seventh player from the Dynamo Academy to sign a professional contract with the Dynamo 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 [Dynamo director of youth development] 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.”
The Pasadena High School graduate helped lead the U-18s to the Dynamo Academy’s first Frontier Division championship in 2015 and to the quarterfinals of the USSDA Academy Championships. In two seasons with the U-18s, Lucatero scored 41 goals in 54 games.
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“I think Luca is the best player to come out of our Academy,” Clarkson said. “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.”
Lucatero has been a part of camps with both the United States and Mexico U-18 national teams in the last year, including a US U-18 camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina in April and playing for the US in the NTC Invitational in July.