Dynamo sign 18-year-old Houston native

Navas Cobo joins club directly from Dynamo Academy

Francisco Navas Cobo with Kinnear

Photo Credit: 
Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo have signed Dynamo Academy product Francisco Navas
Cobo to a developmental contract, making him the second Dynamo Academy
player in team history to be signed to a first-team contract, it was
announced today. Navas Cobo joins goalkeeper Tyler Deric, who signed
with the Dynamo on February 27, 2009.

Houston native Navas Cobo, a midfielder, is the 11th player in Major
League Soccer history to proceed directly from an academy program to the
first team. Houston is the second team to sign multiple players
directly from its academy, joining Chivas USA.

Navas Cobo, 18, returned to Houston in August 2009 after several years
in Colombia and immediately joined the Dynamo Academy, hoping to take
advantage of the unique opportunity available to players in the Dynamo
youth system. Head coach Dominic Kinnear saw him play several times last
fall and invited him on trial with the first team for the 2010

Navas Cobo appeared for the first team in its first four preseason
scrimmages and both games against MLS teams, playing 90 minutes against
FC Dallas on February 27. He becomes the youngest contracted player in
Dynamo history.

With the Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, Navas Cobo helped the
U-18 team into first place in the Texas Division of the USSF Development
Academy league at the break for the Texas high school season. Playing
as a wing, he scored five goals in 13 games and set up several others.
He was named USSF Player of the Week on November 26 for his performance
in games against Internationals (Cleveland) and the Columbus Crew.

"To have a successful Academy, you need talent and opportunity," Dynamo
Director of Youth Development James Clarkson said. "In Francisco Navas
Cobo, we have talent, and through Dominic Kinnear's vision and support
of the Dynamo Academy, we've been able to provide opportunity to
Francisco and the other young men in our development system. This
signing shows that the Dynamo Academy is working, and we look forward to
the day when one of our Academy players makes his MLS debut."

The Dynamo first team will kick off its MLS season on March 27, with its
home opener at Robertson Stadium scheduled for April 1 against
defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake. Tickets for Dynamo games and
the 2010 MLS All-Star Game are available via Dynamo season ticket
packages and mini plans at HoustonDynamo.com or by calling (713) 276-7500.


The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer franchise that has won two
MLS Cup championships in its first four seasons and represented the
United States in four consecutive regional championships. For more
information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.


The Houston Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, consists of the best
youth players in the Houston area. The Academy U-18 and U-16 train four
days per week in a professional environment and compete in the United
States Soccer Development Academy league, the most competitive youth
league in the country. The Academy also plays international games,
including its first ever European trip in 2009. Historically, the
Academy's top players have been invited to train with the Dynamo first
team as opportunities arise throughout the season. Successful Academy
graduates can be designated as Dynamo home-grown players and can
eventually be promoted directly to the Dynamo first team. The Dynamo
Camps are the main source of identification and recruitment for the
Dynamo Academy, with the camps held throughout the 2010 season. Visit
HoustonDynamo.com/Academy for more information.