Houston Dynamo launch Under-23 team

Dynamo U-23 squad to begin play in May, feature former and current Dynamo Academy players

The Houston Dynamo have launched a new Under-23 team to begin competing this season, it was announced today.

The U-23 team is the latest addition to the Dynamo development system and will bridge the gap between the Houston Dynamo Academy and the first team. The squad will be comprised of former and current Dynamo Academy players as well as players identified through Dynamo Trials.

"This is another step forward for our player development system,” Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson said. “It will be great to work with the college players again and hopefully we find some outstanding talent at the trials. I'm very confident of putting together a very competitive group this summer."

The 2014 season will run from mid-May through mid-July. The club will be managed under the direction of the Dynamo Academy and will be coached by Clarkson, assistant director Eddie Robinson and technical coordinator Tom Harris.

The squad will compete in the U.S. Men Under-23 Cup Tournament from June 13-15 in Horsham, Penn. Additionally, the U-23 team will compete in Copa Alianza at Houston Sports Park from May 24-26. The squad will also participate in other tournaments and friendly games to be announced at a later date.

The roster will continue to be constructed through mid-May. Several former Dynamo Academy players are confirmed for the squad:

 

Name Position Age University Hometown
Bryan Celis Midfielder 20 Kentucky Katy
Christian Diaz Midfielder 19 West Virginia Houston
Juan Lopez Midfielder 20 Purdue-Calumet Houston
Alex Ochoa Defender 19 West Virginia Pasadena
Fernando Pina Goalkeeper 20 Akron Houston
Miguel Zapata Midfielder 20 Houston Baptist Katy

The date and details for Dynamo Trials will be announced soon. The full roster will also be announced at a later date.

Other Major League Soccer clubs with U-23 teams include the Chicago Fire, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.