The Houston Dynamo announced today the club has agreed to new contracts with midfielders Ricardo Clark and Boniek García and defender Sheanon Williams. Per club and league policy, terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
The signings mark the return of two FIFA World Cup veterans—Clark and García—and a veteran trio that has combined for 521 career MLS appearances.
“I am delighted to have Ricardo, Boniek and Sheanon commit their future to the club following on from Giles (Barnes), Will (Bruin) and Tyler (Deric),” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “It shows the belief that the group have in us moving forward together to bring success to the Houston Dynamo.”
“We are pleased to announce that we’ve come to new agreements with Ricardo, Boniek and Sheanon,” Dynamo vice president/general manager Matt Jordan said. “All three players bring a wealth of MLS and international experience that will be important as we build towards the 2016 season.”
Clark, 32, was part of the first free agency class in MLS history, but returns for his ninth season with the Dynamo after the free agency window opened on Dec. 8. The Atlanta native won Dynamo Most Valuable Player and Players’ Player of the Year in 2015, the best statistical season of his career. Clark doubled his previous career high with eight regular-season goals in 30 appearances (all starts) and scored four goals in the final nine games of the season. Clark won his second career Players’ Player of the Year (2013) after starting 30 regular-season games for the first time since 2006 and compiling 2,573 minutes, also his most since 2006.
“Ricardo Clark is a consummate professional both on and off the field and a model teammate,” Jordan said. “He has chosen to stay in Houston despite being eligible for free agency which will be an important boost to our midfield.”
Clark, who made 34 appearances for the U.S. national team and had key roles at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, has 31 goals and 21 assists in 277 career regular-season games across 11 MLS seasons. Clark won MLS Cups with the Dynamo in 2006 and 2007 and was named MLS Best XI in 2006.
García, 31, is a two-time FIFA World Cup veteran (2010, 2014) and has 105 career appearances for the Honduras national team. The midfielder joined the Dynamo in June 2012 and won Players’ Player of the Year honors in his first season. The Tegucigalpa native has 12 goals and 18 assists in 89 career regular-season appearances with Houston. García remains a fixture for the Honduras national team, starting two CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches in November, lifting his career tally to 23 World Cup Qualifying matches.
“Boniek and Sheanon are established veterans who possess the ability to play multiple positions on the field which is important throughout the course of an MLS season,” said Jordan.
Williams leads all active MLS defenders age 25 and under with 155 regular-season appearances since his MLS debut in 2010. Acquired by the Dynamo in a trade with the Philadelphia Union on July 23, Williams appeared in all 14 remaining games (12 starts) and added two assists. The versatile defender played right back, center back and left back during his first season in Houston. The Boston native has averaged 25.83 appearances per season and has seven goals and 21 assists in six MLS seasons. Williams played at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.
The Dynamo currently have 22 players under contract for next year: Giles Barnes, DaMarcus Beasley, Will Bruin, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Tyler Deric, Boniek García, David Horst, Taylor Hunter, Rob Lovejoy, Christian Lucatero, Alex Lima, Cristian Maidana, Mauro Manotas, Rasheed Olabiyi, Memo Rodriguez, Raúl Rodríguez, Zach Steinberger, Erick Torres, Andrew Wenger, Sheanon Williams, and Joe Willis.