The Houston Dynamo announced today they have signed Dynamo Academy forward Bryan Salazar to a homegrown contract. Salazar becomes the fifth player from the Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, to sign a professional contract with the Dynamo first team. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Salazar, a senior at Fort Bend Bush High School, has been in the Dynamo program for six years, having progressed from the Dynamo Junior Academy as a 13-year-old up to playing for the Dynamo U-18 squad over the past two seasons. The Houston native has traveled with the Academy to tournaments in El Salvador, Mexico and the Netherlands and was part of the Dynamo Academy U-16 squad that won the 2010 Dallas Cup.
"This is a dream come true," said the 18-year-old Salazar. "When I joined the Junior Academy, I was told this was my chance to be a professional and I'm excited this day has arrived. I want to thank everyone in the Dynamo Academy who helped me achieve my dream and I look forward to continuing my career under Dominic Kinnear."
This season, Salazar has scored nine goals in 14 games for a Dynamo U-18 squad that has won seven of its last nine matches and is in second place in its division. The 5-foot-9 winger scored five goals in three matches at the USSF Development Academy Winter Showcase in December, including two goals each against the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes U-18 squads.
“Brian is an exciting young player,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “When he gets the ball, he is not afraid to run at defenders. He has put up some good numbers with our Academy teams and I think he has a very promising future. We want him to succeed as a person and a professional and we will do everything we can to make sure that happens.”
As part of the agreement, Salazar will finish high school and continue to play with the Dynamo Academy before joining the Dynamo full time this summer. Salazar is scheduled to travel to Charleston with the team this weekend for their first match of the Carolina Challenge Cup.
The Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, was launched in 2007 as a way to develop local talent in the Houston area with the goal of signing players to the Dynamo. Since 2007, four players have been signed to Dynamo homegrown contracts including: goalkeeper Tyler Deric and midfielders Francisco Navas Cobo, Alex Dixon and Josue Soto. Deric recently re-signed with the Dynamo after leading the team to a first place finish in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
“We are very excited about this signing,” said Ola Morten Aanestad, Vice President of Communications, Statoil North America. “Enabling young talents to develop and reach their potential is the goal of Statoil’s ‘Heroes of Tomorrow’ sponsorship strategy. We are impressed with Bryan Salazar’s dedicated efforts and we are proud to have supported the Dynamo Academy that has helped him develop. We wish him and Dynamo good luck with the season.”