Herrera, 31, will join up with Houston on a free transfer when his contract with Atletico expires in the summer. He has a signed a contract through the 2024 season with an option for 2025.
The move amounts to the second massive acquisition of general manager Pat Onstad's tenure. Earlier this year, thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Ted Segal, Onstad signed Libertad forward Sebastian Ferreira. In Herrera, Houston has now acquired a well-known El Tri player in a city with deep ties to Mexico, one that should generate a significant uptick in interest for the club.
"On behalf of the City of Houston and our loyal, passionate soccer fans, I'm honored to welcome Hector Herrera to the Houston Dynamo Football Club," Segal said in a news release. "General Manager Pat Onstad and I have focused on identifying a difference maker for our club and Hector's talents make him a perfect fit. Through this signing process I was heartened to hear Hector's commitment to our club and the city of Houston, and I look forward to him becoming part of our community very soon."
Herrera's on-field contribution should be immense as well, providing experience and composure on the ball to a young Houston side.
"The addition of a player like Hector validates the new direction and ambitions of our club. He is the type of player who will raise our standards across the board," Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura said.
Herrera broke into the professional ranks in 2010 with Liga MX side Pachuca and went on to make 55 league and cup appearances, scoring two goals. He was soon Europe-bound, signing with Portuguese giants Porto in 2013 for a fee of almost $9 million. He went on to become a mainstay for the Dragons, making 245 league and cup appearances, scoring 35 goals while helping Porto to the 2017-18 Primeira Liga title.
After six seasons with Porto, Herrera moved to LaLiga with Atletico, where he made 71 league and cup appearances, scoring one goal. His contributions helped Atleti claim the 2020-21 LaLiga crown.
At international level, Herrera has been a constant presence for Mexico, making 96 appearances and scoring 10 goals. He was part of the side that won an Olympic gold medal at the 2012 games in London, and took part in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.