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Official: Dynamo hire Paulo Nagamura as new head coach

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The Brazilian becomes the fifth full-time head coach in club history.

Sporting Kansas City

The Houston Dynamo have made the head coaching hire official. Paulo Nagamura is the fifth head coach in club history. Nagamura, a former midfielder and MLS Cup champion with Sporting Kansas City, spent five seasons on the Sporting KC II technical staff, serving as an assistant in 2017 before taking the helm as head coach in 2018.

“I am proud to welcome Paulo Nagamura to the Houston Dynamo Football Club,” said the Club’s majority owner Ted Segal. “Paulo was known as a fierce competitor during his playing days and that competitiveness has carried over into his coaching career. He is a talented, high-potential coach who we believe will relate well to our players and help instill the type of culture we are working to create.”

Nagamura, who turns 39 in March, spent a good portion of his playing career in Major League Soccer including stints with LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Chivas USA, and Sporting Kansas City.

“This is a magnificent opportunity. Ownership and club leadership are committed to building a team that will truly make our fans proud. I am thankful that Ted Segal, Lyle Ayes, John Walker and Pat Onstad entrusted me with this role at a turning point for the Club,” Nagamura said. “As a player, I watched Pat and previous Dynamo teams lift MLS Cups, win conference championships and I understand the responsibility that comes with this role. That is the bar, and I will work tirelessly to help the Dynamo return to the top tier of MLS.”

The Brazilian spent years coaching in the SKC system under the well-respected Peter Vermes. Sporting KC have a number of players on their current MLS roster who played for the USL side under Nagamura including goalkeeper John Pulskamp, midfielder Felipe Hernandez, midfielder Cameron Duke, and defender Kaveh Rad. Nagamura was also the coach for SKC’s USL team when Gianluca Busio began his pro career.

“Paulo is a coach with a lot of potential who embodies the qualities that we were looking for in a new head coach for our club,” Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad said. “Paulo’s emphasis on playing proactive soccer combined with his history of winning in MLS and his experience developing young players set him apart during our global search of up-and-coming coaches. These qualities combined with his willingness to learn, his collaborative nature and his intense competitiveness make him a great fit for our club. We are excited to welcome Paulo and his family to Houston.”

Nagamura’s MLS experience and more importantly his experience under Vermes, surely played a key part in getting the Dynamo head coach job. The ability to coach players on the USL level that then transition to solid MLS players in the same system says a lot about a manager’s ability.

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