HOUSTON — Ricardo Clark always felt a connection to Houston, but on Wednesday he cemented that by signing a one-day contract with the Houston Dynamo in order to retire a Dynamo.
He spent the last two seasons with Columbus Crew SC, but was out of contract following the 2019 season.
The now-retired midfielder also played for the MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes and had a stint in Europe, but the 37-year-old’s heart was, and remains in Houston. He played 304 games, with 286 starts, scoring 28 goals with La Naranja.
“Even though I left to play in different teams and in Europe, I never felt like I left,” Clark said during a press conference at BBVA Stadium. “My son was playing for the academy and I still had my houses here. I basically was away from my family for the majority of times, so I’d be here during the offseason. I honestly feel like I never left. This has been home for me for a while and it is right now.”
A fan favorite because of his tenacity, leadership and energy, Clark helped the Dynamo win consecutive MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007 and was a three-time MLS All-Star.
The Atlanta native represented the United States at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup, and Copa America, scoring three international goals.
Now, Clark will continue his passion for the beautiful game in a different way, by sharing his knowledge as a coach in the Dynamo academy.
“I’m always the guy that is looking to do better in anything I can do,” Clark said. “I am never satisfied, which can be good and bad in some instances. Those things I learned later on, hopefully I can apply and help a younger generation to reach those things, be better off at a younger age.”
Houston Dynamo senior vice president and general manager Matt Jordan said he knows Clark will impact the younger players’ growth in a positive manner.
“Again, there is not a better individual highlighting all of those qualities that Ricardo brought as a player to now have a positive effect on all of our kids in our academy as he is making this transition,” Jordan said. “Again, Ricardo, we are very excited that you are home.”