Three players from the Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, signed letters of intent yesterday and will continue their soccer career at Division I programs in the fall.
Academy players who signed their letters include: Christian Diaz (West Virginia University), Alex Ochoa (West Virginia University) and Dener Dos Santos (University of Central Florida). In addition to those three players, seven Dynamo Academy players are expected to make their college commitments in the near future.
“We are very proud to see our players graduate from our program and continue their careers at the next level,” said James Clarkson, Dynamo Director of Youth Development. “While it’s our ultimate goal to put kids into the first team, it's just as important to me that every player who has graduated our program has gone on to college.”
Diaz and Ochoa will join a Mountaineers squad that finished the 2012 season in second place in the Mid-American Conference with a 4-2-1 record in conference play and an 9-6-2 record overall. Former Dynamo president Oliver Luck is the current Athletics Director at West Virginia.
Ochoa (Pasadena Memorial) has started every game at left back for the Dynamo U-18s this season. The defender has anchored a back line that has allowed only 1.4 goals per game this year.
Diaz (Cy-Falls) has appeared in 12 games this year, with nine starts, and scored his first goal of the year in last week’s 4-1 win over Classics Elite. The holding midfielder has made 82 career appearances in league play for the Dynamo Academy.
Dos Santos (Dulles High School) has appeared in 12 games for the Dynamo U-18s this year. The Brazilian midfielder has started four matches and has one goal.
The three players will join the list of current Dynamo Academy players who are playing college soccer. That list includes: Leo Ayala (Central Florida), Bradley Bourgeois (Tulsa), Christian Camera (Tulsa), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke), Juan Lopez (Purdue Calumet), Abe Matamoros (Tulsa), Isaiah Noreiga (Duquesne), C.J. Odenigwe (North Carolina), Fernando Pina (Akron), Pat Wall (Notre Dame) and Miguel Zapata (Tulsa).
Four players from the Dynamo Academy have gone on to sign first team contracts with the Houston Dynamo. For more information about the Dynamo Academy visit HoustonDynamo.com/Academy.