Major League Soccer

Houston Dynamo sign Roberto Avila from their MLS NEXT Pro affiliate

Lizzy Becherano
Avila has joined the senior roster
Avila has joined the senior roster / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo have signed forward Roberto “Beto” Avila from their MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, Houston Dynamo 2.

He joins through the 2023 Major League Soccer season, with additional club options for 2024 and 2025. Avila becomes the first player to join the senior team since their second team launched in December 2021.

"Beto’s signing is a historic moment for the club as he is the first player to graduate from Houston Dynamo 2 to our first team,” general manager Pat Onstad said in a release. “We launched our MLS NEXT Pro team to provide more professional opportunities for talented young players in Houston and around the country. 

“MLS NEXT Pro is a new initiative by MLS, but we are already seeing the advantages to our player development efforts by providing a valuable bridge from our oldest academy team to our first team. We plan for Beto to be the first of many players to earn their way to MLS through this new pathway.”

Avila had a great season with the MLS NEXT Pro side, scoring five goals and the league’s first ever hat-trick. He also featured for the Houston Dynamo Academy during the 2017-2018 season, and USL Championship’s Austin Bold and Canadian Premier League side Edmonton FC before joining the Texas side’s senior team. 

This is a revolutionary signing for MLS NEXT Pro as it worked to prove the league can generate and develop fresh new talent for Major League Soccer. Heads of the affiliate league wanted to distance themselves from their “reserves” stigma, and instead demonstrate that it can produce the next best player.