Houston Dynamo acquire midfielder Darwin Cerén from San Jose Earthquakes

The Houston Dynamo have acquired midfielder Darwin Cerén in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes, the club announced today. Houston traded $100,000 in General Allocation Money and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to the Earthquakes, with potential additional considerations based on player performance criteria.

Cerén has appeared in 75 games with 67 starts in MLS regular-season play since joining the league in 2015, with two goals and six assists to his account. A box-to-box midfielder, Cerén has proven to be one of the surest tacklers in the league and one of the league’s most accurate passers. His 76.64 tackle success rate is the sixth-highest in the MLS over the last four seasons among players with at least 200 attempted tackles; and his 85.78 pass completion percentage ranks in the top 10 among midfielders with at least 5,000 minutes played.

“Darwin is a competitor who will transition well into our club and the city of Houston. At 28 years old he joins us in the prime of his career and he is eager to contribute to the success of our team,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “With his addition to the team we’ve strengthened our midfield and continued to create a highly competitive environment for our group as we prepare for the 2018 season.”

The captain of the El Salvador national team, Cerén has earned 41 caps and has scored two goals. He made his international debut on May 24, 2012 in a friendly against New Zealand and scored his first international goal on May 22, 2013 against Venezuela. Cerén captained Los Cuscatlecos in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and in four matches of El Salvador’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.

“Darwin is a young, but experience and talented player. He will bring intensity, quality and support in all aspects to the team. As a defensive midfielder he wins every ball he chases and has a fantastic technical ability to control the ball,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “On the field he is a leader and has a lot of experience in MLS. We are very happy and excited that he is joining us, because he will help improve the team in all aspects ahead of a very tough season.”

Cerén began his professional career in 2009 with Juventud Independiente in the El Salvador Primera Division and played in 84 games and tallied 17 goals over five seasons with the club. Cerén moved to the United States in 2014 as a member of Orlando City while the club competed in the USL and made the move into Major League Soccer with the club in 2015, earning MLS Latino del Año by FutbolMLS.com and club Players’ Player of the Year that season.

Last season, Cerén saw action in 21 games with 19 starts for San Jose, logging 1,642 minutes and registering two assists, helping the Quakes earn a playoff spot. Each of his assists led to points for the Quakes, leading the team to a 1-0 win over Colorado on July 29 and a 1-1 draw at Vancouver on Oct. 15. The midfielder averaged 4.06 tackles per 90 minutes, which ranked fourth among all MLS midfielders with at least 1,000 minutes played.

With the addition of Cerén, the Dynamo now have 24 players currently under contract. Cerén possesses a Green Card as a naturalized United States citizen, meaning that he will not occupy an International roster slot.


No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
  Chris Seitz GK 11 30 6-3 236 USA
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
2 Alejandro Fuenmayor DF 0 21 6-0 178 Venezuela
3 Adolfo Machado DF 1 31 6-0 160 Panama
4 Philippe Senderos DF 1 32 6-2 181 Switzerland
7 DaMarcus Beasley DF 9 35 5-8 145 USA
15 Dylan Remick DF 5 26 6-0 165 USA
16 Kevin Garcia DF 1 26 6-0 185 USA
20 A.J. DeLaGarza DF 9 30 5-9 150 Guam
21 George Malki DF 1 24 5-10 160 USA
22 Leonardo DF 8 29 6-2 185 Brazil
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
5 Juan David Cabezas MF 1 25 6-0 175 Colombia
6 Eric Alexander MF 8 29 6-1 165 USA
18 Memo Rodriguez MF 1 21 5-8 145 USA
25 Tomás Martínez MF 1 22 5-9 145 Argentina
27 Boniek García MF 6 33 5-9 150 Honduras
28 Charlie Ward MF 1 22 5-8 168 England
  Arturo Álvarez MF 12 32 5-9 170 El Salvador
  Eric Bird MF 0 24 5-9 174 USA
  Darwin Cerén MF 4 28 5-10 165 El Salvador
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
9 Erick Torres FW 5 24 5-11 168 Mexico
11 Andrew Wenger MF 6 26 6-0 185 USA
12 Romell Quioto FW 1 25 5-11 170 Honduras
17 Alberth Elis FW 1 20 6-0 165 Honduras
19 Mauro Manotas FW 3 22 6-0 155 Colombia