A pair of Dynamo Academy kids are headed down to the Rio Grande Valley to take part in a week of training with the Dynamo’s USL affiliate, the RGV FC Toros.
U-18 Robbie Hernandez and U-16 Jesse Ortiz join the Toros on Tuesday through Friday for training after spending the summer with the Dynamo’s U-23 PDL team, the Brazos Valley FC Cavalry.
“This is the next logical opportunity to continue their development,” said Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson. “They need to experience the environment and level of play at higher levels; the more we can expose the players to that standard the better chance we have of progressing more to RGV.”
Ortiz was named Dynamo Academy Player of the Year for 2016-17 and played 273 minutes over five games in PDL action. He also joined RGV for a game in June, becoming the first current Academy player to feature in USL. Hernandez scored three goals in nine games for the Cavalry in PDL play this summer.
“[Toros head coach] Junior [Gonzalez] has been extremely supportive and open and without his support and vision this wouldn't be possible,” Clarkson said. “[GM/VP] Matt Jordan and [Assistant GM] Nick Kowba have wanted this vertical integration since the beginning, and hopefully this is the first step in seeing more Academy players in the USL. This is really important for the players to experience the fantastic environment down there because they all need to know this is their pathway to the Dynamo first team and MLS.”
Two Academy goalkeepers, Osmar Chavero and Alex Fletterly, were with RGV last week, and the Dynamo Academy U-19s and U-15s will travel to the Valley in August for part of their preseason training.