Dynamo acquire Willifried Zahibo


HOUSTON (Monday, Aug. 17, 2020) – The Houston Dynamo acquired midfielder Wilfried Zahibo and an international roster spot for the remainder of the 2020 season from the New England Revolution in exchange for midfielder Tommy McNamara and $150,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2020 and $25,000 of GAM in 2021, the clubs announced today.

The French midfielder played in 58 games for the Revolution and finished with five goals and five assists. Zahibo tallied an assist in New England’s 2-0 victory over New York City FC on Sept. 29 to clinch a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. The 26-year-old was also named to the 2018 MLS-All Star Game roster to face Juventus and shared the field with new Dynamo teammates Alberth Elis and Darwin Quintero. The midfielder will occupy the international spot acquired from the trade with New England.

“As we prepare for the restart of the season we are pleased to add Wilfried to our roster to strengthen our midfield,” said Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We are confident that his physical presence, ability to cover ground, and quality on the ball will create a healthy competition within our group."

Zahibo joined the Revolution after five seasons in Spain with Valencia, Gimnàstic de Tarragona and CF Fuenlabrada. The Marseille native made his La Liga debut with Valencia on Jan. 24, 2016 in a 1-1 draw with Deportivo la Coruña. The midfielder played a key role in Valencia’s run to the semifinals of the 2015/2016 Copa del Rey tournament after scoring in the Round of 16 and navigating the quarterfinals prior to facing FC Barcelona. Zahibo made 24 appearances for Tarragona during the 2016-2017 Copa Catalunya and helped lead the club to a first-place finish in the competition.

The midfielder began his professional career with AC Ajaccio from France in Ligue 1. He made his professional debut on Jan. 5, 2013 as a 20-year-old in a Coupe de France match against FC Rouen 1899, which was decided by penalty kicks.

Internationally, Zahibo trained with the U-19 French National Team in 2011 prior to departing for Spain and made his senior debut with the Central African Republic on Nov. 13, 2019 in a 2-0 victory over Burundi.

McNamara finished with two goals and three assists in 37 appearances for the Dynamo. The midfielder was selected by Houston in Stage 2 of the 2018 MLS Re-Entry Draft and signed on Jan. 11, 2019.

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