The Houston Dynamo announced today the signing of Dynamo Academy midfielder Jose “Memo” Rodriguez to a homegrown contract. Rodriguez is the sixth player from the Dynamo Academy to sign a professional contract with the Dynamo first team. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Rodriguez, 18, joined the Dynamo Academy in 2011 after he was identified through a Dynamo Academy ID camp. The central midfielder was named Dynamo Academy Players’ Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and helped guide the Academy U-18s to the USSDA Playoffs in 2013.
“Signing a contract with the Dynamo is like a dream come true,” Rodriguez said. “I would like to thank the club for this opportunity and James Clarkson for overseeing my development. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to improve as a player and getting myself ready to help the club. I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am devoted to becoming the best professional soccer player I can be. I am happy to stay here in Houston and that my family will be able to come see me play when I gain playing time.”
The El Campo High School graduate appeared in five MLS Reserve League games (three starts) in 2013 and was an unused substitute in two games in 2012. Rodriguez trained with the Dynamo first team in the summers of 2013 and 2014 and was a member of the initial Dynamo Academy U-23 team this summer. Rodriguez will participate in the Dynamo Academy Alumni Match on Dec. 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium, as the Academy Alumni face the Academy U-18s, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m.
“I am very proud of Memo and his development over the last four years,” Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson said. “He has sacrificed a lot to make this happen.”
The Dynamo Academy was launched in 2007 to develop local talent in the Houston area with the goal of signing players to the Dynamo first team. Since 2007, six players have signed Dynamo homegrown contracts: goalkeeper Tyler Deric, midfielders Francisco Navas Cobo, Alex Dixon and Josue Soto and forward Bryan Salazar.
“We are pleased to bring Memo into the first team following his progression through our Academy,” Dynamo VP/GM Matt Jordan said. “He spent several months training with the first team this year and was a key contributor for our U-16’s and our U-18’s the last few years. The Academy is a big priority in our club and we are looking forward to seeing Memo continue to grow as a player.”
Full Name: Jose Guillermo Rodriguez
Height: 5’8” Weight: 142 lbs.
Date of Birth: December 27, 1995
Birthplace: Wharton, Texas
Last Club: Dynamo Academy
How Acquired: Signed as a homegrown signing on Dec. 4, 2014