If you haven't seen it already, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of today's Houston Chronicle, featuring a special section previewing the 2013 Dynamo season. If you can't get to a newstand, here' s a rundown of articles you can read.
Familiar Dynamo lineup has look of another contender
By Jesus Ortiz
Dynamo, Sounders start at top
By Jesus Ortiz
Dynamo set to start season with home as final destination
By Jesus Ortiz
Dynamo at forefront of growth movement in MLS
By Randy Harvey
This just a sample of articles you can see in today's paper. Be sure to visit pick up your copy for the complete section and then come to the stadium tonight for the season opener vs. D.C. United (7 pm, BUY TICKETS).
When the Dynamo take the field Saturday against D.C. United, it will mark the eighth season in Houston for the men in orange. Hard to believe that it's already been seven years since Brian Ching took the Bayou City by storm, scoring four goals in the first match at Robertson Stadium.
With that in mind, we take a look back at the past seven home openers in Dynamo history:
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
Date: April 2, 2006
Result: W 5-2
Recap: In the inaugural match for the Houston Dynamo, Brian Ching became an immediate Houston hero, scoring four goals in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids. Alejandro Moreno put the icing on the cake with a stoppage-time bicycle kick that earned MLS Goal of the Week honors.
Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy
Date: April 8, 2007
Result: T 0-0
Recap: After raising the 2006 MLS Cup championship banner, the Dynamo were unable to pull out a win on the field in their home opener. Pat Onstad and the defense held on for a shutout despite a late red card to defender Ryan Cochrane.
Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas
Date: April 6, 2008
Result: T 3-3
Recap: In the MLS home opener, the Dynamo fell behind 2-1 and 3-2 to their in-state rivals, but a sensational 93rd-minute goal from rookie Geoff Cameron, making his first start, lifted Houston into a tie.
Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew
Date: March 21, 2009
Result: T 1-1
Recap: Brian Ching and Guillermo Barros Schelotto traded second-half goals as the Dynamo earned a point against the defending MLS Cup champions.
Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake
Date: April 1, 2010
Result: W 2-1
Recap: Brad Davis converted two second-half penalties two minutes apart as the Dynamo pulled out a 2-1 win over defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake in the 2010 home opener.
Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union
Date: March 19, 2011
Result: L 1-0
Recap: A fifth-minute Danny Califf goal was enough for the Philadelphia Union who pulled out a 1-0 victory to spoil the Dynamo’s 2011 home opener at Robertson Stadium.
Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United
Date: May 12, 2012
Result: W 1-0
Recap: In the inaugural match at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo and D.C. United looked destined for a draw before Brad Davis’ 67th-minute goal brought the crowd to its feet and gave the Dynamo three points few will ever forget.
Prior to Saturday's season opener against D.C. United, we sat down with Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear to get his thoughts on the match.
With only four days to go before the first game of the 2013 season, the editors at MLSsoccer.com are busy with their season opening predictions. Yesterday, they looked at which players have a chance to win the Budweiser Golden Boot award. Today, they looked at which goalkeepers have a chance to take home this year's Goalkeeper of the Year award.
It's no surprise that there was Dynamo representation in each category.
First up is the Golden Boot, awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the regular season. Included on the list are some big names including Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry and Eddie Johnson. MLSsoccer.com editor-in-chief Greg Lalas, however, went outside the box with his selection and chose Dynamo forward Will Bruin.
The former Generation adidas striker is entering his third year in the league. He scored 12 goals during the regular season last year and added another four in the playoffs to help the team advance to the MLS Cup final. After an off-season training with the U.S. men's national team and his first cap for the USMNT at BBVA Compass Stadium, some pundits believe Bruin could break the 20-goal mark in 2013. Here is what Lalas had to say about Bruin:
He quietly hit 12 goals last year, good for ninth-most in the league. With the creative Boniek García alongside for a full season and the newly arrived Omar Cummings running defenders in circles, he has a shot at 20 this year.
Today, the MLSsoccer.com editors offered their choice for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Care to guess who Director of Video Jason Saghini chose? None other than Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Here is what Saghini had to say about the Dynamo goalkeeper:
This is a long time coming, but Hall has gotten better and better each year.
Hall was named to the MLS All-Star team in 2011 and has backstopped the Dynamo to the last two MLS Cup finals.
Individual Dynamo players are not the only ones getting love from sports pundits. Over at SI.com, soccer writers Grant Wahl and Avi Creditor both predicted the Dynamo to be lifting the trophy in December.
Creditor: The Dynamo made the MLS Cup final each of the last two seasons. They had no major defections. They added a potential impact (and MLS Cup-winning) forward in Omar Cummings and filled out other depth needs. Bruin is coming off a 12-goal campaign as he enters his third MLS season. Boniek Garcia gets an entire season in MLS instead of joining midway through the campaign. They don't have to start the season on a lengthy road trip while the construction of their home stadium is concluded. This is a battle-tested, playoff-experienced team that knows how to win when it matters.
Wahl: Lost in the focus on whether Los Angeles can become the first MLS team to three-peat is the possibility that Houston could also make its third straight MLS Cup final. Dominic Kinnear has given a postseason coaching masterclass the last two years, and Houston should be even better this season with a full year of MVP candidate Boniek García and Ricardo Clark, to say nothing of Brad Davis, rising target man Will Bruin and the addition of Omar Cummings. My sense is we'll see a third straight Houston-L.A. final, but this time it'll take place in Texas.
Elsewhere around the internet, Brian Straus of Sporting News calls Houston the "class of the Eastern Conference."
So what do you think Dynamo fans? Is this Will Bruin's year to take home the MLS Golden Boot award? Is it Tally Hall's time to break through the clutter of top MLS goalkeepers and claim his position's top prize? Let us know below!
As part of his preview for the 18th season of Major League Soccer, SI.com's Grant Wahl surveyed 19 players from around the league about various topics both on and off the field. Players were promised anonymity in response for their honest answers.
We cannot confirm if any Dynamo players were questioned for the survey, but it was nice to see some Dynamo representation in one of the answers.
When asked who is the one coach you would like to play for that is not currently your coach, Dominic Kinnear finished tied for second in the polling behind LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. It's no surprise that those two coaches finished 1-2 as they are arguably two of the most successful coaches in MLS history.
A lot has been written about Kinnear over the past few days, from his longevity with the franchise to his success on the field. But it's always good to see a player, coach, executive earn praise and respect from their peers in the game.
So how about it Dynamo fans? If you were a player in the league and you could choose any coach to play for aside from Dominic Kinnear, who would it be?
With only five days before the start of the 2013 season, the Dynamo have formally unveiled the jerseys the team will wear for their upcoming campaign. Starting Tuesday, the jerseys will be available for purchase at the adidas Dynamo Team Store at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“Introducing a new uniform is always exciting for a team and its fans,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “We are proud of the new look and how it represents the club. The base concept remains the same, but the new version provides a fresh, new look for the club.”
Although the jerseys were designed to highlight features that represent the club, it was also designed with competition advantages in mind. With no collar and lighter material, the 2013 and 2014 kits will provide an advantage for Dynamo players as they play games during the summer months in Houston.
Along with the Dynamo’s goal to be the most environmentally friendly club in Major League Soccer, the new kits are made from 100% recyclable materials. Other features that will hit home to Dynamo fans are:
- The Texas flag patch sewn on to the front of the jersey
- The Dynamo’s signature Forever Orange slogan on the upper-left hand side of the kit
- The back-neck tape design is inspired by the design of the Dynamo’s stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium
“We wanted to maintain a traditional looking uniform that met the standards of top clubs from around the world,” Canetti added. “We also wanted it to be a stark contrast to our previous uniform. It was important for us to incorporate elements that represent our club and fan base, such as the Forever Orange tag and the Texas flag. Overall, I think we have met our objectives and have a quality new uniform that players and fans will enjoy.”