It's almost fitting that today's announcement that the Dynamo signed Academy forward Bryan Salazar to a homegrown contract coincides with the sixth anniversary of the Dynamo Academy's first training session. Despite being only six years old, the Academy has enjoyed much success both on a domestic and international scale. Here are some of the key moments in Dynamo Academy history.
November 16, 2006 - Dynamo hire James Clarkson to be Director of Youth Development
When the Dynamo announced they would be launching an Academy program, the next step was finding someone to run it. Clarkson brought a wealth of experience to the table, previously serving as South Texas Youth Soccer Association's Director of Coaching as well as a national instructor for US Soccer and US Youth Soccer.
March 2007 - Dynamo Academy advances to finals of Dallas Cup
With less than three months of organized training sessions behind them, the Dynamo Academy advanced to the finals of the Dallas Cup, losing to IMG Academy in a penalty shootout. The squad was led by former Dynamo midfielder Josue Soto and Pana Vasquez, the first player to sign with the Dynamo Academy.
March 23, 2008 - Dynamo Academy breaks through and wins Dallas Cup
A year after losing to IMG Academy in the finals, the Dynamo Academy broke through and defeated IMG Academy 2-1 to win the 2008 Dallas Cup. Houston breezed through the group stage with a 10-0 goal differential, led by current Notre Dame goalkeeper Pat Wall.
February 27, 2009 - Dynamo sign Tyler Deric as first homegrown player
After a standout freshman campaign at the University of North Carolina, the Dynamo signed goalkeeper Tyler Deric as their first homegrown player. A graduate of Klein High School, Deric led his high school team to the UIL 5A state championship as a sophomore. Deric became the second player in MLS to sign a homegrown contract.
August 2009 - Dynamo Academy closes out Euro tour with win over Real Madrid Academy
It was a historic win for the Dynamo Academy and one that concluded a 12-day memorable trip for the young Dynamo players. The Dynamo U-16s followed up a win over Rangers (Scotland) with a 3-2 win over the Real Madrid U-16 squad. The trip included matches against the Celtic Academy and Barcelona Academy.
March 10, 2010 - Navas Cobo becomes second Dynamo homegrown player
After a successful stint with the Dynamo Academy, Francisco Navas Cobo became the second Dynamo player to sign a homegrown contract. The Houston-born midfielder played appeared in one regular season game during his two-year stint with Houston.
April 4, 2010 - Dynamo U-16s win Dallas Cup
After winning the tournament two years earlier, the Dynamo won for the second time in three years, defeating Santa Clara Sporting in the championships match. Current Duquesne forward Isaiah Noreiga scored two goals in the finals to cap off his four-goal tournament.
April 17, 2010 - Navas Cobo becomes first Dynamo Academy player to play an MLS game
Although it was a stoppage time substitution, Francisco Navas Cobo entered the game early-season game against Chivas USA, becoming the first Dynamo Academy player to earn first team minutes.
October 16, 2010 - Deric becomes first Dynamo Academy product to start an MLS game
With the goalkeeping unit depleted by injuries, Tyler Deric became the first Dynamo Academy player to start an MLS game when he took the field against the San Jose Earthqukes on October 16, 2010. Deric showed poise in net, stopping three shots on his way to his first win and shutout. He followed that performance up with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in season finale at Robertson Stadium.
January 2011 - Dynamo add a pair of homegrown signings
Alex Dixon and Josue Soto took different paths to get to the Dynamo, but both signed their homegrown contracts in January 2011. Soto was a standout collegiate performer at Campbell University and Southern Methodist University. Dixon was a regular at the U.S Residency program in Florida, before enrolling at the University of North Carolina.
August 20, 2011 - Dixon becomes first Dynamo Academy player to score MLS goal
Known as much for its "Woo-hoo!" goal call as it is for the actual goal, Alex Dixon became the first Dynamo Academy player to score an MLS goal with his stoppage-time winner against Real Salt Lake on August 20, 2011. Even if you have seen this goal already, it's worth watching again.
January 11, 2012 - Eddie Robinson retires from soccer and joins Academy coaching staff
With four MLS Cups on his resume, Dynamo center back Eddie Robinson chose to hang up his cleats after the 2011 season and join the Dynamo Academy coaching staff. Robinson was named head coach of the Dynamo U-16 squad and currently has the team in first place in their division with a 12-3-1 record.
May 10, 2012 - Dynamo Academy christens new stadium with soft opening event
It was a night that few of the players will forget as the Dynamo Academy U-18s played the U.S. U-17 national team in the first game at BBVA Compass Stadium. Although the Dynamo were dangerous all night, they could not find the back of the net as head coach Richie Williams and the U-17 MNT took the match 3-0.
February 14, 2013 - Bryan Salazar becomes fifth homegrown signing for Houston
Bryan Salazar joined the Dynamo Junior Academy program in August 2007 with the goal of eventually playing for the first team. His dream was realized on Thursday when he was introduced as the newest member of the Houston Dynamo. The Fort Bend Bush High School senior leads the Dynamo U-18s with nine goals this season.
More than 2,000 fans made the trek to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday for the Houston Dynamo's inaugural Fan Fest.
The event, open to the general public, was an opportunity for members of the Houston community to get up close and interact with their favorite Dynamo stars. There were stations for autographs, pictures as well as a station for a Q&A where Dynamo players took questions from fans.
Aside from the autographs and photos, Dynamo season ticket holders were treated to special experiences, including the ability to play on the field in the morning as well as take tours of the Dynamo locker room.
Were you at today's Fan Fest event? If so, tweet us a photo or post it on our Facebook wall! Here's a sampling of what the fans thought about today's event. Enjoy and we hope to see everyone on March 2!
On Saturday, the Dynamo announced that the first five home games of 2013 are now sale to the general public. The first five games of the season represent some of the most important for the Dynamo, as they look to reassert themselves as a contender in the Eastern Conference.
The other important note about those games is that the Dynamo enter the 2013 season with a 30-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions. Real Salt Lake currently holds the all-time record with a 34-game unbeaten streak at home. If Houston gets through the first five games without a loss, they will pass RSL for the all-time record.
So who does Houston play in its first five games this year? Let’s take a look.
Game 1: Dynamo vs. D.C. United March 2 - 7 p.m.
The 2013 season opener is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference championship series. Houston has never lost to D.C. United at home, entering this year’s opener with a 7-0-1 home record in the regular season, with a +13 goal differential.
United is once again led by former Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario (pictured, right), who was part of the Canadian squad that tied the United States 0-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on January 29.
Game 2: Dynamo vs. Santos Laguna March 5 – 7 p.m.
The Dynamo clinched a berth in the 2012-13 CCL quarterfinal round with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Olimpia at home last October. As a reward for finishing first in the group, the Dynamo earned a date with Mexican club Santos Laguna, the 2011-12 CCL runner-up.
Santos brings a loaded squad to BBVA Compass Stadium including U.S. men’s national team forward Herculez Gomez (pictured, right), Mexican national team striker Oribe Peralta and former Mexican national team goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. Entering the weekend, Santos is 2-1-2 in league play and sits in sixth place in LigaMX.
Game 3: Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps March 23 – 7:30 p.m.
The Dynamo will welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps to BBVA Compass Stadium for the first time this year, when the two squads square off on March 23. Both squads finished as the fifth seed in their respective conferences in 2012, but took very different paths once the playoffs began. The Dynamo defeated the Chicago Fire in the Wild Card round while the Whitecaps fell 2-1 to eventual champion LA Galaxy.
The Whitecaps will come to a Houston with a slew attacking talent including top draft picks Omar Salgado (No. 1 in 2011 SuperDraft), Darren Mattocks (pictured, right) (No. 2 in 2012 SuperDraft) and Kekuta Manneh (No. 4 in 2013 SuperDraft).
Game 4: Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes March 30 – 7:30 p.m.
The Earthquakes took the league by storm in 2012, running away with the Supporters’ Shield and scoring a league-best 72 goals. San Jose is led by former Dynamo striker Chris Wondolowski, who has 65 goals in the past three seasons, including a record-tying 27 in 2012.
This will be San Jose’s first trip to BBVA Compass Stadium. The two sides met at AT&T Park last year with the Dynamo winning the match 1-0 on a Brad Davis penalty kick.
Game 5: Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire April 14 – 4 p.m.
Few teams were more active in the offseason than the Chicago Fire. Frank Klopas’ club brings back the core of a squad that finished 2012 fourth in the Eastern Conference, but added midfielders Dilly Duka (trade from Columbus) and Jeff Larentowicz (trade from Colorado) and forward Maicon Santos (Re-Entry Draft). With a full year of midfielder Chris Rolfe (pictured, right), you can expect the Fire to be a contender in the East once again.
The Dynamo are 3-2-3 all-time against the Fire in Houston, including two draws in their two home matches in 2012.
The fun part about preseason is that this is the best opportunity for Dynamo fans to see their team up-close-and-personal. Almost all scrimmages are free and open to the public and as long as you can spare the time, you can sit only 15 feet from the field and watch your favorite players in action. This weekend is no different, as the Dynamo are hosting a slew of events to bring you closer to your favorite team. Here is the run-down:
Dynamo vs. SMU 10 a.m. Houston Amateur Sports Park
Houston's preseason continues with a matchup against Southern Methodist University at 10 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. The Dynamo defeated SMU last year 4-0. Houston is currently 2-0 in this year's preseason against collegiate competition having defeated HBU 3-0 and 6-1. SMU finished their 2012 season 10-5-5. The Mustangs lost to Winthrop on penalty kicks in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament.
Saturday is another opportunity for Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear to evaluate his squad with less than four weeks until Houston's season opener against D.C. United. Four trialists remain in camp including: Jimmy Nealis (MLS SuperDraft pick), Anthony Arena (MLS Supplemental Draft pick), Mike Chabala (trialist) and Franck Songo'o (under contract with Portland, but training with Houston).
In addition to the trialists, Kinnear finally has a full squad in camp, as Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis returned today from their national team assignments. Look for Kinnear to slowly work Garcia and Davis back into the mix, as both players have been playing consistently with their respective national teams since early January.
Dynamo Fan Fest 12-4 pm BBVA Compass Stadium
On Saturday, the Dynamo will host their first Fan Fest at BBVA Compass Stadium. At Fan Fest, you'll be able to enjoy a number of exclusive Dynamo experiences as we prepare for our season opener vs. D.C. United on March 2. Saturday's event is free and open to the general public. Fans may also park for free in Lot C on the north side of the stadium.
Dynamo players Calen Carr, Corey Ashe, Omar Cummings, Brian Ching, Tally Hall, Cam Weaver, Giles Barnes, Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Tyler Deric, Luiz Camargo and Jason Johnson are all scheduled to appear! Click here for more information about the event.
Dynamo 360 5 pm KPRC Local 2
The next episode of Dynamo 360 airs at 5 p.m. Saturday on KPRC Local 2. Dynamo 360 is a studio show dedicated exclusively to the Houston Dynamo, with interviews, features and game highlights.
Dynamo 360 is hosted by KPRC Local 2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy and includes studio interviews Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, forward Will Bruin and broadcaster Glenn Davis.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of the U.S. Open Cup. I love any tournament where am amateur team (Cal FC) has the opportunity to knock off a professional club (Portland).
It's the reason that everyone loves the NCAA tournament. We live for the upsets, the cinderellas and the great story lines. And the U.S. Open Cup is soccer's opportunity to captivate that same audience.
Unfortunately, despite the Open Cup entering its 100th year of existence, it still does not have the cache of college basketball's March Madness or England's FA Cup. But that's not through lack of trying from the guys at TheCup.US. Josh Hakala, the muscle behind the site, is one of the hardest working men in the business and has made it his mission to keep the public informed about the United States' longest running national soccer competition. But he can't do it alone.
TheCup.US is currently going under a massive redesign in honor of the tournament's 100th year and they are looking for support from the soccer community. The goal is to make the site more user friendly and allow fans to more easily access stats about their favorite players in the tournament. The site will also house box scores for every game that an MLS club participated in.
The fundraising campaign for the site ends Feb. 19. Click here for more information.
Although it's a far cry from Víctor Estupiñán's statement that he would score 30 goals in his rookie season, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks made headlines this week when he said he thought he could score 20 goals this year. Now I don't doubt that Mattocks has the talent to bag a ton of goals in MLS (this goal is definitely one of my favorites), but 20 goals for anyone, let alone a player entering his second full season of professional soccer, is a lot.
So it got the folks at MLSsoccer.com thinking about which player in Major League Soccer could be the next 20-goal scorer. Last year, San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski became just the third player in the past ten years to score at least 20 goals in a season. Wondolowski finished with 27, falling one goal short of breaking Roy Lassiter's record for regular season goals.
MLSsoccer.com's Nicholas Rosano listed three players who he thought could follow in Wondolowski's footsteps and be the league's next 20-goal scorer and No. 2 on his list was Dynamo forward Will Bruin.
In 2012, Bruin scored 12 regular season goals, seven more than his rookie campaign. He added another four goals in the postseason to set a Dynamo franchise record for goals in a year in all competitions.
Here is what Rosano had to say about Bruin's chances:
Not only will he be linking up with Brad Davis once more, he will also enjoy his first full season of play with Boniek García and Giles Barnes, midseason arrivals in 2012. The addition of Omar Cummings may deprive him of some opportunities, but it also gives the Dynamo the pace to stretch defenses, which Bruin can certainly benefit from.
After a strong national team camp, it is not a stretch to imagine a 20-goal season from Bruin and the increased USMNT chances that would follow. Plus, it would be a boon to my colleague the Armchair Analyst’s claim that the 23-year-old will net 200 career goals.
Bruin's first opportunity to leave a mark on the 2013 season will be March 2, when the Dynamo host D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. United is a team Bruin has had prior success against, tallying six goals in five career regular season games with one additional goal in last year's postseason.
So will Bruin bag 20 in 2013 and be well on his way to Matt Doyle's prediction of 200 career goals? Let us know in the comments below!
The Houston Dynamo announced today that Mega TV will be the official Spanish-language TV partner for the Dynamo in 2013. As part of the agreement, Mega TV (KTBU) will air seven games that will include 30-minut pre and postgame shows.
We caught up with local journalist Gustavo Rangel to talk about the positives of the deal and how the Dynamo are shaping up heading into the 2013 season.
Although we are only three-and-a-half weeks away from opening day, we are also just four weeks away from the Dynamo's first CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match against Mexican club Santos Laguna (March 5, 7 pm, BBVA Compass Stadium).
Houston will host Santos in the first leg of their home-and-home series, with the winner advancing to the semifinals to face the winner of Seattle Sounders / Tigres UANL. That match will be broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer and can be heard locally on 1560 AM (English) and 850 AM (Spanish).
To get you in the mood for Champions League soccer, each week, we'll provide you an update on how Santos is performing in Liga MX.
Despite transfering Argentinian midfielder Daniel Ludueña and Ecuadoran midfielder Christian Suárez to Pachuca in the offseason, Los Guerreros have had a strong start to the 2013 Clausura campaign. Santos is currently 2-1-2 (8 points) through their first five games and sit in sixth place in Liga MX.
Mexican national team striker Oribe Peralta leads the club with four goals and former Mexican national team goakeeper Oswaldo Sanchez has three shutouts in the first five matches.
Last week, Santos played Pumas to a scoreless draw at Estadio Olimpico Universitaro in Mexico City. The match included a header off the post by U.S. men's national team forward Herculez Gomez and s penalty kick save by Sanchez.
This is the best 0-0 game I've seen in a while. Penalty saved, two goal line clearances, and several other good shots and saves. #LigaMX
— Ordinary Orange Fan (@OrangeFanBlog) February 3, 2013
Santos returns to action this weekend when they host Pumas on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT
HIGHLIGHTS: SANTOS VS. PUMAS