The 49-year-old Colombian coached the Under-18 and Under-17 US Men’s National Teams before becoming an assistant with the Colorado Rapids in 2012. He led Chivas USA in 2014, the ill-fated club’s final year of existence, before resurfacing with RGVFC late last year.
In the innovative hybrid affiliate of the Dynamo, Cabrera was tasked with building a squad that was part Houston development pipeline, part veteran, and all entertainment value for local fans and club owner Alonzo Cantu. Despite the Major League Soccer side’s struggles on the field this season, Cabrera’s team shattered expectations, finishing second in a tightly-contested USL Western Conference. The “Toros” were defeated by Oklahoma City in stoppage time of their first-round playoff match.
A likely replacement for Cabrera is RGV assistant coach Michael Dellorusso. Still just 33, Dellorusso already has two years’ head coaching experience, leading Arizona United SC to a regular season record of 20-29-7 over 2013 and 2014. A source told Indomitable City Soccer this year that Dellorusso was a finalist for the head coaching role at RGV, before ultimately being tapped to assist Cabrera. Toros reporter Carson Merk, of Dynamo Theory, said today that Dellorusso would be the likely pick of players, as well.
Unfortunately for Cabrera, his success this season, and whatever other intangibles make him suitable for the position in Houston, won’t be enough to overcome the short-term frustration of several Dynamo players who are devoted to interim head coach Wade Barrett. Having posted losing records each year since making the MLS Eastern Conference Final in 2013, Houston certainly does not need this distraction, but is possibly making a long play for more sustainable positive results.
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