Hector Herrera's arrival in Houston providing 'more motivation' to FC Dallas in Texas derby

Chris Smith
Estevez is looking forward to his side going up against Herrera.
Estevez is looking forward to his side going up against Herrera. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While much of this weekend's focus will be on the likes of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini, Hector Herrera is another big star who is set to make his MLS debut.

The Mexico international midfielder is ready to get started after completing a move to the Houston Dynamo from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

Across a club career approaching 400 games so far, the 32-year-old has lifted league titles in both Spain and Portugal. At international level, Herrera has 100 caps for El Tri, scoring 10 times and lifting the Concacaf Gold Cup title in 2015.

Herrera is likely to make his debut this weekend in the unique setting of a Texas derby against FC Dallas. But rather than intimidating or distracting his opponents, the presence of Herrera will only serve to further motivate Dallas to get a result, according to head coach Nico Estevez.

"This league is growing and you can see not only Houston, other teams are bringing good players to the league, and this is great," Estevez told reporters on Thursday. "This is another motivation, to play against a team that has acquired a player that has been good in Europe and with the [Mexico] national team.

"And for us, it's another excitement, more motivation to do a great game against teams that have good players, because we also believe we have good players. We just want to match ourselves against the best and it just gives us motivation to do the best we can."

Dallas scored two goals in the final few minutes to beat the Dynamo 2-1 the last time these rivals met back in April, with the two teams going at it in a typical frantic derby encounter. They head into this latest edition fifth in the Western Conference, six points clear of Houston.

Despite the weather forecast predicting some blazing Texas heat, Estevez is expecting more of the same as he takes Dallas down to Houston, with both sides working hard to assert their dominance over the other.

"For sure it's going to be hectic at the beginning, both teams trying to impose their style, trying to impose to their fans and trying to force the mistake of the opponent," he said. "But as the game settles I think because of the heat everything will calm down and it's something we're learning also here, how difficult it is to play with the heat.

"But I don't have any doubt that it's going to be emotional for moments, it's going to be hectic and there's going to be chaos. This is how we have to deal with those types of games."