The Houston Dynamo have signed Argentinean midfielder Tomás Martínez as a Young Designated Player, the club announced today. Martínez will the Dynamo on a full transfer from Sporting Clube de Braga in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
Martínez, 22, joins Mexican forward Erick Torres (24) and Honduran forward Alberth Elis (21) as the third Designated Player (DP) on the Dynamo roster. The three players have an average age of 22.3 years old, giving the Dynamo one of the youngest DP triumvirates in Major League Soccer.
“Tomás Martínez is a player who we’ve tracked for quite some time, and after a lengthy process we’re pleased to welcome him to the Houston Dynamo,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “At just 22 years old, he’s a young and very talented midfielder whose profile will add quality and creativity to our team. Tomás is eager to be a part of our club and contribute to the success of our team moving forward.”
A native of Béccar, Argentina, Martínez joined the youth academy at legendary Argentinian club River Plate at age six. He made his professional debut with River Plate on April 24, 2013 at 18 years of age when he came in as substitute for current FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz against Estudiantes Buenos Aires.
“Tomás is a player that is hungry to play, that has a wonderful background playing for River Plate in Argentina and playing at the U-20 level with the national team in Argentina,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He has a lot of tools, a lot of expectations and he is hungry to consolidate himself as a player. His youth is going to be very good for the team and he is going to bring a good, fresh mentality to work in.”
Martínez has also represented his home country at the international level in multiple youth tournaments. Wearing the No. 10 shirt for Los Albicelestes, he played an integral role for Argentina’s Under-20 team as they won the 2015 South American Youth Football Championship and earned a spot in the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Sumer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Martínez played in 10 games for the Argentinian U-20s, starting all 10, and scored one goal while providing five assists. In the 2015 South American U-20 Championship, he started seven of Argentina’s nine games and provided a goal and four assists. He started all three of Los Albicelestes’ matches in the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and delivered one assist.
Martínez moved to Sporting Braga in the Portuguese Primeira Liga on a full transfer prior to the start of the 2016-17 season and made 15 appearances across all competitions for the club and scored three goals and had one assist.
During his time with River Plate, Martínez won the 2013-14 Copa Sudamericana, the club’s first international title in 17 years. Martínez made 18 appearances with four assists for River from 2013-16, while also spending time on loan spells with Spanish club Tenerife from 2015-16 and Argentina’s Defensa y Justica in 2016. He made 13 appearances with one assist for Tenerife and appeared 14 times with three goals and two assists for Defensa y Justica.
With the signing of Martínez, the Dynamo have 28 players on the active roster. Martínez is the eighth international player on the club roster, joining Elis, Torres, midfielder Juan David Cabezas (Colombia), midfielder Joe Holland (England), defender Adolfo Machado (Panama), forward Romell Quioto (Honduras) and midfielder Charlie Ward (England). The average age of the eight international players is 24.5 years old.
TRANSACTION: The Houston Dynamo sign midfielder Tomás Martínez as a Designated Player on a full transfer from Sporting Clube de Braga.