Wílmer Cabrera

Wílmer Cabrera Linares (born September 15, 1967) is a retired Colombian football defender and coach who most recently served as head coach of Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer. He previously coached for Chivas USA and Houston Dynamo, as well as the United States men's national under-17 soccer team. During his playing career, Cabrera played as a right back for clubs in the Colombian league and the Colombia national team, representing the country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Wílmer Cabrera
Personal information
Full name Wílmer Cabrera Linares
Date of birth (1967-09-15) September 15, 1967
Place of birth Cartagena, Colombia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Right Back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1989 Santa Fe 61 (22)
1990–1997 América de Cali 307 (33)
1997–1998 Independiente 12 (2)
1998 Millonarios 15 (5)
1999 Santa Fe 25 (17)
1999–2000 Tolima 10 (3)
2001 Chicó ? (?)
2001–2004 Herediano 15 (6)
2004–2005 Long Island Rough Riders 25 (4)
Total 470 (92)
National team
1989–1998 Colombia 48 (3)
Teams managed
2005–2006 Suffolk College (assistant)
2006–2007 B.W. Gottschee
2007 United States U18
2007–2012 United States U17
2012–2013 Colorado Rapids (assistant)
2014 Chivas USA
2016 Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
2016–2019 Houston Dynamo
2019 Montreal Impact
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of September 2008


Cabrera, born in Cartagena, Colombia, and raised in Bogotá, made his professional debut at the age of 17 for Santa Fe.[1] His 18-year playing career[1] included stints at América de Cali (reaching the 1996 Copa Libertadores Final), Millonarios, Chicó, Independiente of Argentina, Herediano of Costa Rica and the Long Island Rough Riders of the United States.[2]

International career

Cabrera was capped 48 times and scored 3 international goals for Colombia between 1989 and 1998.[1][3] He was an unused substitute during the 1990 FIFA World Cup but played in all of the country's three matches in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[4] He also played in four Copa América competitions in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1997.

Coaching career

After retiring, Cabrera settled permanently in the United States to pursue work as a helicopter pilot in the New York area. He began working with the Major League Soccer front office as a community development manager working on Hispanic grassroots and youth programs. He also worked as an assistant coach for the Suffolk County Community College men's soccer team as well as top-ranked youth soccer club B.W. Gottschee, based in Queens, New York.[5]

Cabrera earned his United States Soccer Federation A Coaching License in 2005 and became an assistant coach with the United States men's national under-18 soccer team in 2007.[1] He was named by the USSF as head coach of the United States men's national under-17 soccer team on October 25, 2007, becoming the first Latin American head coach in the U.S. national team system.[4] On January 24, 2012, he was replaced in this role by Richie Williams.[5]

In January 2012, Cabrera was named assistant coach for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.[6]

In January 2014, Chivas USA appointed Cabrera as head coach.[7] The club was dissolved by the league at the end of the season, with Cabrera's team finishing seventh in the Western Conference, the highest finish for Chivas USA in their final five seasons.[8]

Cabrera was named head coach of the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the United Soccer League on December 2, 2015.[9]

Cabrera was named head coach of the Houston Dynamo on October 28, 2016.[10] He and the Dynamo parted ways on August 13, 2019.[11]

Cabrera became head coach of the Montreal Impact on August 21, 2019.[12] On October 24, 2019, the Impact announced that his contract would not be renewed for the 2020 season.[13]

As of August 13,2019
Team From To Record1 GF GA GD
Chivas USA January 9, 2014 October 26, 2014 34 8 18 8 023.53 29 61 –32
Houston Dynamo October 28, 2016 August 13, 2019 93 32 39 22 034.41 57 45 12
Total 127 40 57 30 031.50 86 106 –20


Season Team Title
1989 Independiente Santa FeCopa Colombia
1990 América de CaliColombian league
1992 América de CaliColombian league
1997 América de CaliColombian league
Season Team Title
2018 Houston DynamoU.S. Open Cup
2019 Montreal ImpactCanadian Championship


  1. "Wilmer Cabrera Biography". U.S. Soccer. October 25, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  2. Duque Soto, Leonardo (August 13, 2010). ""Me interesa que mi trabajo se vea en Colombia", afirmó Wilmer Cabrera". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  3. "Colombia - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  4. Dart, Tom (March 17, 2017). "Wilmer Cabrera, loyal lieutenant in Colombia's dream team, thriving in MLS". The Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  5. "Houston Dynamo appoint Wilmer Cabrera as head coach" (Press release). Houston Dynamo. October 28, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  6. "Cabrera, Caffrey join Pareja's coaching staff". Colorado Rapids. January 31, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  7. Peltz, Jim (January 9, 2014). "Chivas USA names Colorado assistant Wilmer Cabrera as head coach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  8. Roepken, Corey (October 29, 2016). "Wilmer Cabrera recovered from Chivas USA debacle". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  9. Aguirre, Mario (December 2, 2015). "Wilmer Cabrera named RGV FC Toros coach". The Monitor. McAllen, Texas. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  10. Roepken, Corey (October 28, 2016). "Dynamo introduce coach Wilmer Cabrera with hopes of bringing back club's winning ways". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  11. Hill, Glynn A. (August 13, 2019). "Dynamo part ways with coach Wilmer Cabrera". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  12. "Impact fire head coach Garde; hire Cabrera". TSN. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  13. "Wilmer Cabrera will not return with the Montreal Impact". Montreal Impact. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
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