As a society, we love our "I remember when ..." moments. People love to relive the past and remember where they were or what they felt during that particular moment. For Dynamo fans, it's hard to put into words what the last 12 months have felt like, but I'm going to try anyway. Here are my ten “I remember when …” moments from the 2012 season:
- I remember when the Dynamo opened BBVA Compass Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd on national TV. The anticipation, the atmosphere and the result all lived up the hype with the seven-year journey for a stadium to call their own finally complete.
- I remember when the Dynamo completed an undefeated home campaign, becoming only the fourth team in MLS history to complete the feat.
- I remember when Will Bruin became a legitimate goal scorer in Major League Soccer, breaking the Dynamo’s single season scoring mark in all competitions with 16.
- I remember when Brian Ching redefined the word “leader”, thriving in his new role as a substitute to the tune of five goals and five assists.
- I remember when I first saw Boniek Garcia play, a wiry Honduran who caused whiplash with the amount of times he made you do a double-take.
- I remember when Dominic Kinnear cemented his place among the coaching elite, leading Houston to its fourth MLS Cup final in seven seasons.
- I remember when the Dynamo sported one of the top goalkeeping tandems in Major League Soccer. Tally Hall broke Houston’s mark for shutouts by a goalkeeper and Tyler Deric led the Dynamo Reserves to a division title and helped Houston advance out of their group into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
- I remember when I first saw Calen Carr leap over the corner flag to celebrate a goal. It came against Sporting Kansas City and it set the tone for goal celebrations for the rest of the season.
- I remember former Everton star Tim Cahill’s first game at BBVA Compass Stadium. I remember it less for the fact that Cahill played and more for the fact that the Dynamo capped a five-game winning streak with a 2-0 win over New York to move the team into first place in the Eastern Conference.
- I remember when Sporting Kansas City supplanted FC Dallas as Houston’s new rival. Sure, Dallas and the Dynamo will battle for El Capitan every year, but due to the unbalanced scheduled, they play only once during the regular season. The Dynamo and Sporting KC have played nine times in all competitions over the past two years and Houston has knocked SKC out of the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Both teams have reloaded with new weapons in the off-season and are ready to challenge again for the Eastern Conference crown.
To be honest, I could probably continue my list for days. It was an incredible year that will be hard to duplicate. But now I want to hear from you. What are your “I remember when…” moments from 2012?
In case you missed it, the University of Houston recently unveiled plans for their new on-campus football stadium. With the building of a new stadium comes the demolition of an old one. Check out the video below to see the Robertson Stadium scoreboard being taken down.
In six years at The Rob, the Dynamo went 50-16-26 in the regular season and 12-7-4 in the postseason, making the rustic Houston stadium one of the premiere home-field advantages in MLS.
Thanks for the memories, Robertson Stadium. You will be missed.
According to MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe, the Houston Dynamo opted into the lottery for U.S. youth national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde. As a U.S. youth national team player who signed an MLS contract before the draft, the 6-foot-2 defender was part of a lottery process intead of the MLS SuperDraft. Six teams opted into the lottery: Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, LA and San Jose.
TFC had the best chances of the group and won the rights to the player. The remaining percentages were not released, but due to Houston's success last year, they probably had a very low chance of getting the player. Because TFC won the rights to Agbossoumonde and Portland won the rights last week to Mobi Fehr, neither team is eligible for another lottery in 2013.
What U.S. international playing overseas would you want to see come back to MLS?
Counting down the hours until your holiday break begins? We've got something coming to help pass the time. Dynamo president Chris Canetti will be taking fan questions on HoustonDynamo.com on Friday at 2 p.m. CT. All topics are fair game: from the business to the team to what he has planned for the holidays.
See you tomorrow!
For folks outside of Houston, it took a few months to realize what those of us inside the Bayou City already knew: Boniek Garcia is the real deal.
The Hondurdan midfielder/striker/jack-of-all-trades joined the Dynamo at the end of June and made an immediate impact on his new club. The Dynamo went unbeaten in their first eight games with Garcia and catapulted to first place in the Eastern Conference. Although Houston took a step back down the home stretch and were only able to secure the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Garcia's play-making ability was crucial to the club's run to the MLS Cup final.
The 28-year-old Designated Player played 17 games for Houston after his transfer from Olimpia and tallied four goals and six assists. Garcia added another goal and an assist during Houston's playoff run.
Although Garcia was not a finalist for Major League Soccer's Newcomer of the Year award, the Dynamo midfielder was voted FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Ano and was voted the Houston Dynamo's Newcomer of the Year and by the Dynamo players as the Dynamo Player's MVP.
2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau and in honor of the occasion, the GHCVB is advertising a special campaign titled "Houston is Hip."
When you think of hip Houstonians, you need not look further than BBVA Compass Stadium. Our very own Tally Hall, the 6-4 MLS All-Star who enjoys duck hunting and reading Harry Potter, was invited to be a part of a special photoshoot which included Houston Texans lineback Connor Barwin and rapper Bun B, among others.
Check out footage from Tuesday's video shoot!
MLSssoccer.com's Houston Dynamo beat writer Darrell Lovell is reporting that Dynamo Academy product Sebastien Ibeagha, one of the top prospects in college soccer has turned down an offer from Major League Soccer and will return to Duke for his senior season.
Hearing Dynamo homegrown product Sebastien Ibeagha is 100% going back to school at Duke for his SR yr. Dynamo made a big run at him.
— Darrell Lovell(@DarrellLovell) December 20, 2012
The reigning ACC defender of the year has been a staple of the Duke back line over the past three seasons and has also been involved with multiple U.S. youth national team camps. Ibeagha was part of the 2010 Dynamo U-18 squad that advanced to the playoffs in its inaugural season in the USSF Development Academy League.
From today until Dec. 30, MLSsoccer.com will be counting down the 12 most important stories of the year in Major League Soccer. These stories were voted on by MLSsoccer.com's panel of 20 editors, writers, videographers and statistics specialists.
The first story on the countdown is one that will forever be in the minds of anyone associated with the Dynamo organization.
For six years, Dynamo players played and practiced on the campus of the University of Houston. Although the team was the epitome of success, the team achieved that success under less than ideal conditions.
On May 12, 2012, Dynamo players and coaches saw the fulfillment of a seven-year promise with the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium. In front of a sold-old crowd, and televised on NBC Sports Network, the Dynamo defeated D.C. United 1-0 to send the 22,000 fans home happy (a common occurance in 2012). Brad Davis scored the game's lone goal in the second half, although he admitted after that he would have liked for Brian Ching to get that first goal.
On Tuesday, Major League Soccer announced the 2013 home openers for all 19 MLS clubs. The Dynamo will open next season at home on March 2 against D.C. United. This will be the second consecutive year the Dynamo play United in a home opener.
The Dynamo are 9-4-2 all-time against United in the regular season and are 10-0-1 against D.C. in Houston in all competitions. That record includes two SuperLiga wins against United and last year's 3-1 playoff victory in their Eastern Conference Championship series.
It's important to note that just because the Dynamo are not listed again on the chart, does not mean they have the next three weekends off. It just means they are not any other club's home opener.
Following the MLS opener against D.C. United, the Dynamo will take on Santos Laguna in the quarterfinals of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions Leauge. The exact dates of the two-legged series have not been confirmed, but the first leg will be either March 5, 6 or 7 with the second leg to be played March 12, 13 or 14. One of those matches will be at BBVA Compass Stadium with the other match to be played at Estadio Corona in Torreón, Mexico.
As a result of those matches against Santos, the Dynamo will have a bye the second week of the MLS season. The Dynamo should resume MLS play the weekend of Saturday, March 16 but whether the Dynamo have a match that weekend and whether that match is home or away will not be announced until after the new year.
At this time, the only way to secure tickets to both the home opener and the match against Santos are through full or partial season ticket packages. Fans are encouraged to act quickly to secure their seats as both matches are expected to sell out.
When BBVA Compass Stadium opened on May 12, 2012, the city of Houston new that great things would be in store for the downtown gem. Eight months later, the city was treated to an undefeated Dynamo campaign, a World Cup qualifier for Mexico's El Tri and a stop by the Olympic gold-medal winning U.S. women's national team.
With today's announcement that BBVA Compass Stadium will host a U.S. men's national team match in January, Houstonians are in store for one more treat.
"I think it's great that we are going to have the U.S. men's national team make its debut at BBVA Compass Stadium" Dynamo president Chris Canetti said. "BBVA Compass Stadium is a beautiful stadium in one of the best soccer markets in the country."
The USMNT is 1-0-2 all-time in Houston. The squad was last here in 2011 when they defeated Panama 1-0 in the semifinals of the Gold Cup at Reliant Stadium. With the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal schedule announced last month, fans will wonder if BBVA Compass Stadium will be on the list of venues selected by US Soccer as a potential host city.
"Hopefully, this match is the start of a long relationship between the city of Houston, BBVA Compass Stadium and US Soccer in making it a frequent home for U.S. national team matches," added Canetti.
There is no timetable for when the squad for the January camp and friendly will be announced. Historically, the January camp has been very MLS heavy with some players mixed in who play in Scandinavia.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the BBVA Compass Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.