The Dynamo host the Montreal Impact at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round. Here are 12 reasons to attend tonight’s MLS Cup Playoff game between the Dynamo and Montreal:
#12 Halloween trick-or-treat. Children with a game ticket can trick-or-treat in the comfort of the rain-protected BBVA Compass Stadium concourse, with candy available in the stadium suites and sponsorship area between 6:00 and 6:45 p.m. tonight.
#11 Costume contest. There will be a pregame costume contest at Orange Avenue before the game. Finalists will be voted on at halftime by the stadium crowd.
#10 The Dynamo have been in the playoffs 7 of 8 years, and three years in a row.
#9 The Dynamo are 12-7-4 all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the third-best postseason win percentage in MLS history.
#8 The Dynamo begin their quest to reach a third straight MLS Cup Final, and win a fifth conference championship in eight years.
#7 A year ago Will Bruin scored four goals in the playoffs to set a franchise record for goals in a single postseason, surpassing Brian Ching, who scored three in the 2006 postseason.
#6 Last Halloween, the Dynamo went to Chicago and beat the Fire, 2-1, in the Knockout Round behind two goals from Bruin.
#5 Brad Davis has appeared in 22 of Houston’s 23 playoff games in franchise history, starting 21. The only playoff game Davis has not played in with Houston was the 2011 MLS Cup Final, which he missed due to a quadriceps injury suffered in the Eastern Conference Final.
#4 Dominic Kinnear is 13-9-5 as a head coach in the MLS Cup playoffs. With his next win, Kinnear will tie Bob Bradley for third on the MLS playoff wins list.
#3 Late goals are more fun. Of Houston’s 31 all-time playoff goals, 18 have been scored after the 60th minute (58%), including four overtime goals. Three were scored by Brian Ching, with a tying header in the 2006 MLS Cup Final and game-winners in the second leg of Western Conference Semifinals in 2007 and 2009.
#2 The Dynamo are 8-1-0 all-time in home playoff games and have the best home win percentage (.889) in MLS history. Houston has outscored opponents 18-6 in home playoff games.
#1 Win or go home. They need to win tonight to advance to meet the New York Red Bulls, with the first leg at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Tickets are still available here, by calling 713-276-GOAL or by visiting the BBVA Compass Stadium ticket office (2200 Texas St., Houston).
The Dynamo acquired midfielder Servando Carrasco from Seattle Sounders FC on Friday. The California native made his debut for the Dynamo in Saturday's 1-0 win at Philadelphia and spoke with Glenn Davis on ESPN 97.5 FM's Soccer Matters on Monday night. Below is the interview from Monday's show, in which Carrasco discusses his days of youth soccer in Tijuana, his influences in college soccer at Cal and his excitement to join the Dynamo.
Servando Carrasco with Glenn Davis:
Tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League group stage game between the Houston Dynamo and Arabe Unido will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2.
Here is a Houston channel guide for Fox Sports 2:
AT&T Uverse – channel 651
Comcast – channel 111
DirecTV – channel 618
Dish Network – channel 398
Tonight's Dynamo game is where Paul Caligiuri's goal sent the United States to its first World Cup in 40 years
Tonight the Dynamo open their CONCACAF Champions League group stage at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It is the national stadium for Trinidad and Tobago and the sight of one of the most famous goals in American soccer history. In 1989, the United States national team was engulfed in the CONCACAF Championship, which was the final round of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup and the predecessor to today's "Hexagonal round" that the United States is currently leading ahead of next year's World Cup.
Back then, only 24 countries made the World Cup, so CONCACAF was allotted only two slots. The U.S. visited Hasely Crawford Stadium in November for what amounted to a play-in game for the 1990 World Cup. In front of 35,000 fans partial to the Soca Warriors, American midfielder/defender Paul Caligiuri scored the game's only goal for a 1-0 U.S. win. Caligiuri appeared in 110 games for the United States and scored five goals. The goal below secured the U.S.' first place in a World Cup since 1950. Since this goal, the United States has not missed a World Cup, appearing in the last six.
For more on the goal, take a look at this ESPN article from 2010, which called it, "The goal that changed U.S. soccer."
Dynamo forward Will Bruin is set for his 75th career regular season game on Saturday at Real Salt Lake. With the third-year striker set to reach the early milestone, it is worth comparing his early career to Dynamo legend Dwayne De Rosario.
The Canadian playmaker helped the Dynamo win consecutive MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007 and was an MLS Best XI selection in both seasons. De Rosario was also the 2007 MLS Cup MVP after scoring the game-winning goal for a 2-1 win. De Rosario has had one of the best careers in league history, with 102 goals and 315 appearances in a 13-year career that includes the 2011 MLS MVP award.
De Rosario spent three seasons with the Dynamo, 2006-2008. Bruin is in his third year with Houston after Dominic Kinnear traded up to select him in the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
Here are the regular season numbers for each player in their time with the Dynamo:
Shots on goal
Dwayne De Rosario
The numbers are remarkably similar (with an understanding that De Rosario was primarily an attacking midfielder and Bruin a forward). Bruin has nearly accumulated identical goals and assist totals over a similar number of games. Here is a scenario: If Bruin starts the next four games and has two goals and an assist during that span, he will have an identical statistical line to De Rosario after 78 games with Houston: 78 games, 73 starts, 24 goals and 11 assists.
In the playoffs, the story is similar. De Rosario scored two goals and provided four assists in ten career playoff games with Houston (all starts). Bruin has four goals and one assist in nine career playoff games (six starts).
Moreover, from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft class, no player has scored more goals (22) or tallied more assists (10) than Bruin. Only four players, Perry Kitchen (84 games), Darlington Nagbe (83), Jalil Anibaba (83) and C.J. Sapong (80) have appeared in more games. Sapong is second to Bruin from the 2011 class with 15 goals.
The Austin Aztex, coached by former Dynamo forward Paul Dalglish, won their first Player Development League title on Sunday, overcoming an early deficit for a 3-1 win over the Thunder Bay Chill in the 2013 PDL Championship Game. Sito Seoane scored twice and added an assist to earn MVP honors for the title game. The Aztex finished the season with an impressive 15-1-2 record.
The championship capped a marvelous season for Dalglish, who was named PDL Coach of the Year on Saturday. Dalglish’s squad had an extraordinary 38-8 goal difference this season, with just eight goals against in 14 regular season games.
Dalglish, 36, spent two seasons with the Dynamo, winning consecutive MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. Dalglish inserted his name in early franchise lore on November 5, 2006, when he scored two goals in a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference Championship. Dalglish is one of three players in club history to score two goals in a playoff game, later joined by Brian Ching (2007 Western Conference semifinal vs. FC Dallas) and Will Bruin (2012 Knockout Round vs. Chicago).
Moreover, Austin native Kristopher Tyrpak was named PDL Most Valuable Player of the Year. Tyrpak, a forward at Houston Baptist University, had 9 goals and 19 assists for the Aztex this season.
After a season of strong attendance, a home crowd of 4,253 filled House Park on Sunday night as the largest for the PDL Championship Game since 2007. The Aztex also led the PDL in attendance this season, with an average crowd of 2,048 at House Park.
Tonight, the Dynamo Academy, presented by Statoil, U-16 team faces Real Salt Lake-Arizona at 8:30 p.m. at Houston Amateur Sports Park in a crucial U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week group match. Admission and parking are free.
Former Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson is the head coach of the U-16 club and helped guide the team to the elite Finals Week in just his second season in his new coaching role.
U.S. Soccer spoke with Eddie this week about his new role. From the article:
"The biggest part is understanding the psychology of 15- and 16-year-olds,” Robinson said. “Understanding that there’s so much outside the field that I can’t do anything with. My job is to create an environment that not only teaches them soccer and fundamentals, but also builds character. That’s what we’ve done here.”
In their weekly interview on Dynamo All-Access, Glenn Davis spoke with Dominic Kinnear about the New England game and Sunday's match at Sporting Kansas City.
Three weeks ago, it was announced the Dynamo would meet Stoke City on July 24 in the fifth edition of the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup.
While many fans know that Americans Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea play for Stoke, we highlighted three other players to watch: forwards Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch and defender Ryan Shawcross.
Another player worth highlighting is goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who won four club awards last week at the club's End of Season Awards Dinner. The 25-year-old with 20 caps for the Bosnian national team was popular among teammates, coaches andf fans, picking up silverware in four categories: Supporter Clubs' Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year, Coaching Staff's Player of the Year (co-winner with Shawcross), and Fan's Player of the Year.
The goalkeeper told StokeCityFC.com: "I never expected all of this, I came here to play my part in the evening. This gives me the motivation to go away and try even harder next season."
Begovic started all 38 Premier League games this season and recorded 12 shutouts.
2012-13 Stoke City Awards
SUPPORTERS CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR
GOAL OF THE SEASON
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR
COACHING STAFF’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross
FANS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Stoke City ended its season on Sunday with a 1-1 draw at Southampton. It was the final appearance for Michael Owen, who announced his retirement in March and entered as a substitute for the final game in his career. Owen scored 40 goals in 89 career appearances for the English national team, including goals at the 1998 World Cup, 2000 European Championships, 2002 World Cup and 2004 European Championships to become the first player to score in four major tournaments for England. Owen won the European Player of the Year award (Ballon d'Or) in 2001.
The Dynamo roster is currently comprised of 27 players. Creating the roster is an elaborate process, combining salary cap restraints while trying to create the most competitive team possible. Below is a look at how the 2013 Dynamo roster was constructed. It is clear the club has exercised all methods for acquiring players, including: the draft, signing homegrown players, trades, loans and signing players from other clubs.
The first chart details when and how each player was acquired:
|12/16/05||Brian Ching||Moved with club from San Jose (SJ acquired 03 Supplemental Draft)|
|12/16/05||Brad Davis||Moved with club from San Jose (SJ acquired 05 trade)|
|1/12/07||Corey Ashe||2007 MLS SuperDraft, Round 2 (pick 26)|
|12/12/07||Bobby Boswell||Traded from D.C. United for Zach Wells|
|1/23/09||Tally Hall||Signed as discovery player on free transfer from Esbjerg (Denmark)|
|2/27/09||Tyler Deric||Signed as home-grown player (first in club history)|
|6/9/09||Cam Weaver||Traded from San Jose Earthquakes for Chris Wondolowski|
|1/13/11||Kofi Sarkodie||2011 MLS SuperDraft, Round 1 (pick 7)|
|1/13/11||Will Bruin||2011 MLS SuperDraft, Round 1 (pick 11)|
|1/19/11||Alex Dixon||Signed as home-grown player|
|2/16/11||Jermaine Taylor||Transferred from St. George’s (Jamaica)|
|3/23/11||Calen Carr||Traded from Chicago Fire for Dominic Oduro|
|7/21/11||Adam Moffat||Traded from Portland Timbers for Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer|
|8/9/11||Luiz Camargo||Loaned from Clube Paraná (Brazil)|
|1/12/12||Warren Creavalle||2012 MLS SuperDraft Round 2 (pick 37)|
|1/17/12||Brian Ownby||2012 MLS Supplemental Draft Round 1 (pick 7)|
|2/22/12||Erich Marscheider||Signed as trialist|
|6/7/12||Boniek Garcia||Transferred from C.D. Olimpia (Honduras)|
|8/8/12||Ricardo Clark||Signed as free agent (originally moved with club from San Jose)|
|8/29/12||Giles Barnes||Signed as free agent|
|12/3/12||Eric Brunner||Traded from Portland for allocation money|
|12/22/12||Omar Cummings||Traded from Colorado for Nathan Sturgis and allocation money|
|1/17/13||Jason Johnson||2013 MLS SuperDraft Round 1 (pick 13)|
|1/22/13||Anthony Arena||2013 MLS Supplemental Draft Round 1 (pick 18)|
|2/14/13||Bryan Salazar||Signed as home-grown player|
|2/20/13||Andrew Driver||Loaned from Heart of Midlothian (Scotland)|
|3/1/13||Mike Chabala||Signed as free agent (Spent 2006-11 with Dynamo before trade to Portland)|
Next is a list of when the current Dynamo players were acquired, sorted by their first season with the club.
Acquisitions by first season* with club
*For players that re-joined the Dynamo (i.e Clark, Chabala), first season is classified by their year of return.
Finally, here is a breakdown of the current Dynamo roster by the amount of players acquired by various methods.
Acquisitions by method**
** Returning players classified by how they re-joined the Dynamo.
|MLS Supplemental Draft||2|
|San Jose original||2|