Houston Dynamo appoint Wilmer Cabrera head coach

The new Houston boss was the coach of Chivas USA during its final season and replaces interim coach Wade Barrett.

The Houston Dynamo have hired former Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera, the team announced Friday.

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Cabrera replaces Wade Barrett, who held interim head coach tag after Owen Coyle’s midseason departure until being dismissed from that role Wednesday.

“I am excited to join the Houston Dynamo. It’s a great club with a great history, and I am ready for the challenge,” Cabrera said in a statement on the Dynamo's offical website. “I look forward to working with the ownership group, management, our staff and the players to return the Dynamo to the level that the club and our fans deserve and expect.”

The 49-year-old Colombian coach was an assistant for the Colorado Rapids under current FC Dallas boss Oscar Pareja, before managing Chivas USA in 2014, the team’s final season in MLS. Chivas USA went 9-19-6 that season with a league-worst -32 goal difference and missed the playoffs.

"This is a great opportunity for Wilmer. I am happy to see him get the chance," Pareja said. "He deserves it very much. I am sure he will do well because he knows the culture of the league and what it takes to win and develop players. He is a coach that I have a lot of respect for."

Cabrera was also the head coach of the United States U-17 side from 2007-2012 and had been managing USL side Rio Grande Valley FC, the Dynamo's USL affiliate.

He becomes the third full-time coach since the team moved from San Jose and will try to right the ship after the Dynamo missed the playoffs for the third straight season in 2016 and finished bottom of the Western Conference.

Cabrera may also have to win over some players on his new team, as members of the Dynamo, past and present, took offense to the way the organization handled the dismissal of Barrett .