Hector Herrera believes he has signed for the Houston Dynamo at an ideal time in his career, with the former Atletico Madrid midfielder promising he can still give his best to his new club.
The deal to bring Herrera from Atletico to the MLS was confirmed earlier in 2022, though like Lorenzo Insigne – who has swapped Napoli for Toronto FC – his move has only just gone through now following the end of the European season.
Houston face Charlotte FC on Sunday and, while the game might come too soon for Herrera, the Mexican is relishing the chance to thrive in MLS.
“I believe that the project, the future that awaits us is very big and I am here to win titles,” said Herrera, who turned 32 in April.
“I believe that I have arrived at my best moment, where I can still give my best, where I can help the team to reach the top, to win, and I think the number-one thing that motivated me to make this decision, to come to this great club, is the ambition.
“I feel in my best shape, my greatest maturity. I think that when you reach a certain age you feel mature, you feel confident, you fully trust what you do.
“I can offer the best of me for this project, and not in a few years [when] I could no longer give the best of me on the field.”
Both teams head into Sunday’s meeting in inconsistent form, with the Dynamo having won just one of their last four matches, while Charlotte are winless in three games.
Charlotte interim coach Christian Lattanzio is staying positive, however. He said: “I don’t think we are from seeing a very exciting team, and I think that the boys are growing in confidence and growing in managing the game.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Houston Dynamo – Darwin Quintero
Darwin Quintero has scored three goals this season from outside the box, tying him with Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew) for most such goals by an MLS player this season.
Charlotte FC – Karol Swiderski
Karol Swiderski is Charlotte’s leading scorer in MLS with four goals, though in the 1-0 defeat to Austin last time out, the striker failed to hit the target with any of his three attempts.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The Dynamo have not had much luck against expansion sides recently, winning just two of their last 16 matches against MLS newcomers (D6 L8) dating back to October 2012. Six of Houston’s last eight matches against expansion sides have ended in defeat (W1 D1).
– Houston fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers on Wednesday and have now lost seven of their last 10 matches after a five-game unbeaten streak prior to that.
– The Dynamo’s seven losses since April 23 are tied for the most in MLS in that span with Toronto and the Chicago Fire.
– Charlotte have lost consecutive matches for the first time since losing their first three games of the season. Charlotte have collected just two points on the road this season (D2 L7), tied for the fewest in an expansion team’s first nine road games since Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake each had one in 2005.
– Charlotte have scored six goals on the road this season, not scoring more than one in any match. Six different players have scored those six goals, with four of them coming off set piece situations.