Houston Dynamo re-sign goalkeeper Joe Willis

The Houston Dynamo have re-signed goalkeeper Joe Willis, the club announced today.

Willis has played in 37 MLS regular-season games, starting in 35, since joining the Dynamo on December 8, 2014. Last season, he started in eight regular-season games and recorded two shutouts, including the first clean sheet of the year for Dynamo in a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on April 22. His performances earned him a nomination to the 2017 MLS All-Star game.

Willis helped the Dynamo return to the Conference Championship for the first time in four years when he made three saves in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals at Portland. In the Western Conference Championship against Seattle, Willis saved a penalty kick in the first leg to help the Dynamo remain in contention going into the away leg.

“We are pleased that Joe Willis will be returning to the Dynamo for the 2018 season. He brings a reliable and steady presence to our group on the field and in the locker room,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “With this signing we are confident that we’ve strengthened our team in the goalkeeping position to create a highly competitive environment.”

In 2016, the St. Louis, Missouri native was named the Dynamo Defensive Player of the Year as he recorded five clean sheets in 26 games. The goalkeeper had a career high of 89 saves that season. Willis recorded his first career assist that year, becoming the second goalkeeper in Dynamo history to dish an assist.

“It is good to have continuity. Joe Willis has been here for a couple of years, and he had a very good end of the season last year with the team,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “It is good to have him back. He’s a fighter, he works hard, and he’s always trying to push, so we’re very happy.”

The University of Denver alum was drafted by D.C. United with the 50th overall pick 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Willis made his professional debut and recorded his first career clean sheet on August 13, 2011, in a 4-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In his four years with the Black-and-Red, he played in 23 games, and started 22 of those matches. During his tenure with D.C., Willis registered four clean sheets made 71 saves. In 2012, Willis helped D.C. advance to the Eastern Conference Championship when he saved a penalty in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Red Bulls.

With the addition of Willis, the Dynamo now have 24 players under contract for the 2018 season.

HOUSTON DYNAMO PLAYERS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT

GOALKEEPERS (2)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
18 Chris Seitz GK 11 30 6-3 236 USA
  Joe Willis GK 7 29 6-5 200 USA
DEFENDERS (9)
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
MIDFIELDERS (9)
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
8 Memo Rodriguez MF 1 21 5-8 145 USA
10 Tomás Martínez MF 1 22 5-9 145 Argentina
12 Arturo Álvarez MF 12 32 5-9 170 El Salvador
24 Darwin Cerén MF 4 28 5-10 165 El Salvador
25 Eric Bird MF 0 24 5-9 174 USA
27 Boniek García MF 6 33 5-9 150 Honduras
28 Charlie Ward MF 1 22 5-8 168 England
FORWARDS (4)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
9 Mauro Manotas FW 3 22 6-0 155 Colombia
11 Andrew Wenger MF 6 26 6-0 185 USA
17 Alberth Elis FW 1 20 6-0 165 Honduras
31 Romell Quioto FW 1 25 5-11 170 Honduras