A year after he was deemed surplus to requirements with his club shutting down, Wilmer Cabrera has a new head coaching job.
The former Chivas USA boss, who coached that club in its final season before the club was shut down at the end of the 2014 season, was announced as the first head coach of new USL team Rio Grande Valley FC, the affiliate club co-owned by the Houston Dynamo.
"I am honored and exited to join the Houston Dynamo organization," Cabrera said in a statement. "The Toros are an important project - a USL team in partnership with the RGV organization. It will be a combination of development with the top young players coming from the Dynamo Academy and drafted players from the college level who want to become professionals. It will also serve the players from the Dynamo first team who are recovering from injuries or need game-related competition. The USL is a professional league and an important piece in the system to prepare and nurture high quality players for MLS clubs."
Cabrera coached under extreme difficulty in his first job as a pro head coach, as uncertainty surrounding Chivas USA ratcheted up over the course of the year until the team shut down altogether. It has to be said as Cabrera and team president Nelson Rodriguez (recently hired by the Chicago Fire) continued to make roster moves during the season, there was considerable discontent early in the year among those fans who were still around, especially during a stretch in which they won just one game in 13. They also endured a 12-game winless streak late in the season, which was capped off with a seven-game losing run.
That said, Cabrera had by far the most difficult job in MLS, possibly in league history, given the meager resources and myriad of distractions around the club. The club finished their existence on a high note, winning three of their final four games.
Cabrera has experience coaching youth players, which should help in his new gig. And maybe if Erick Torres stays with Houston next season, he can get some better performances from his former striker?
Another Houston connection is with Dynamo assistant coach Paul Caffrey, who was one of Cabrera's assistants with Chivas.
It will be interesting to see how Cabrera does with the new challenge. It's tough to really judge his bona fides as a head coach based on his CUSA stint, so now he should get a chance to do the job like pretty much all other pro coaches.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!