In any sport, draft day provides a wide range of emotions for players who hope to have their name called by that sports' commissioner. Some players enter full of confidence, others enter full of nerves, while others are there to just enjoy the ride. We caught up with four Dynamo players to discuss their draft-day experience and get their thoughts on the day that changed the course of their professional career.
Houston Dynamo (2nd round No. 26 overall in 2007)
Thoughts on draft day
"I had attended the draft with my dad and my agent. It was a pretty exciting experience because it determines where you are gonna go. It’s a big step for any professional soccer player. I remember being a little nervous. There was a group of us sitting together and one-by-one everyone around me was getting drafted. Then the second round rolls around and I didn’t think Houston would draft me. I was told Kansas City or Real Salt Lake would take me. Sure enough, Dom and the staff selected me and it was a sense of relief."
Had you spoken to the Dynamo ahead of the draft?
"I had no idea I was even on their radar. At the combine, I had spoken with RSL head coach John Ellinger - also my coach at Residency - and KC head coach Curt Onalfo. KC was coming up after Houston so I was sure I was going there. Getting picked by Houston was exciting, though, because they were the defending champs. I knew it was gonna be a lot of fun and I would gain a lot of experience."
Houston Dynamo (1st round No. 11 overall in 2011)
Thoughts on draft day
"I was nervous. It was a rollercoaster of a day. I was told I was going to go top-3 and then I was told I would go No. 5 and then I kept falling, more and more. Teams changed their minds last minute and were scrambling so you have no idea what to expect. My agent was also telling me things all day and eventually he said ‘This one is for sure, you are going to Houston with the trade.’ So I was excited about that.
New York Red Bulls (2nd round No. 16 overall in 2008)
Thoughts on draft day
"I wasn’t lucky enough to meet my fiancé yet, but my cousins and my parents were there and I was just soaking up the experience with them. It’s cool to experience first-hand what you previously had watched on TV. It was a little overwhelming having the fans, coaches and general managers there, but it was definitely an experience I will never forget."
Chicago Fire (1st round No. 10 overall in 2006)
Thoughts on draft day
"I remember it very well. It was in Philadelphia. My mom flew in and one of my closest childhood friends, who lived in New York at the time, took the train in. I remember the excitement of becoming a professional and the feeling of accomplishment of realizing your dreams. It was just a fun experience to be sitting in that room, not knowing where you were going, but knowing you would be a professional soccer player no matter what."
Did you have an idea of where you might get drafted?
"It was pretty wide open for me. Just looking at the draft coverage from then to now, there is so much more coverage now. The process has really evolved, which is another good indicator of how far the league has come."
A lot of times I come across stats that I find interesting that I think others will find interesting as well. Other times I come across stats that I find interesting that I fully admit no one else will find interesting. I think this stat falls in the middle.
Since 2006, 20 first-round draft choices of have played for the Houston Dynamo. By first-round draft choices I'm including players who were selected in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft (2000-present), as well as players were selected in the first round of the MLS College Draft (1996-1999).
Now the fact that 20 first-round draft choices have played for the Dynamo isn't the interesting part to me. What interests me is that the Dynamo drafted only five of those players. And if you want to include the San Jose franchise that moved to Houston, only eight players of the 20 were drafted by the San Jose / Houston conglomerate. The other 12 were acquired via trade or free agent signing. Here is the complete list.
|Year||Name||Team drafted by|
|1998||Wade Barrett||San Jose Clash|
|1999||Richard Mulrooney||San Jose Clash|
|2001||Brian Mullan||LA Galaxy|
|2002||Brad Davis||NY/NJ MetroStars|
|2002||Kelly Gray||Chicago Fire|
|2003||Ricardo Clark||NY/NY MetroStars|
|2003||Nate Jaqua||Chicago Fire|
|2004||Joseph Ngwenya||LA Galaxy|
|2004||Ryan Cochrane||San Jose Earthquakes|
|2005||Hunter Freeman||Colorado Rapids|
|2006||Jason Garey||Columbus Crew|
|2006||Patrick Ianni||Houston Dynamo|
|2006||Kei Kamara||Columbus Crew|
|2006||Calen Carr||Chicago Fire|
|2006||Nathan Sturgis||LA Galaxy|
|2007||John Michael Hayden||Houston Dynamo|
|2008||Julius James||Toronto FC|
|2011||Kofi Sarkodie||Houston Dynamo|
|2011||Will Bruin||Houston Dynamo|
|2012||Colin Rolfe||Houston Dynamo|
Tune into this year's SuperDraft at 11 a.m. CT. This year's draft will be streamed across all MLS networks including HoustonDynamo.com. For complete coverage leading up to the draft visit http://www.mlssoccer.com/superdraft/2013
In case you missed it, Dynamo players Brian Ching, Corey Ashe, Ricardo Clark and Cam Weaver joined more than 40 current and former professional players for Soccer Night in Newtown, a community event designed to help the residents of Newtown cope following the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a report that ESPN's Bob Ley did on the event.
Nice find by the golks at Dynamo Theory.
Big congratulations to Ryan Cochrane! He's now the Assistant Coach at Santa Clara. Good luck in your new role! santaclarabroncos.com/sports/m-socce…
— Dynamo Theory (@dynamotheory) January 11, 2013
Cochrane enjoyd two stints with the Dynamo, totalling 70 appearances over the course of four seasons. An original member of the Dynamo, Cochrane anchored a back line that won back-to-back MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007.
Last season, the Portland native played 26 games for the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL.
Cochrane is not the first Dynamo original to join the coaching ranks. Here are a list of others who have gone from playing to patrolling the sidelines:
- Former Dynamo captain Wade Barrett retired prior to the 2010 season and is now part of Dominic Kinnear's coaching staff.
- Craig Waibel, a fan favorite for his work on and off the field, is an assistant coach for the University of Washington men's soccer program.
- Longtime MLS vet Eddie Robinson hung up his cleats after the 2011 season and is now head coach of the Houston Dynamo U-16 team.
- Pat Onstad retired following the 2010 season and is now the goalkeepers coach for D.C. United.
- Paul Dalglish, a Scotland native who scored two goals in the 2006 Western Conference final, is now head coach for PDL club Austin Aztex.
In part 3 of a 5 part series, Matt Doyle and Dan Haiek look ahead to the SuperDraft, breaking it down team by team, looking at the Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire & Columbus Crew.
Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia has been invited to the Honduran national team's training camp ahead of the squad's participation in the 2013 Central American Cup. Of the seven teams competing in the tourmanent, the top five will qualify for this year's Gold Cup.
Honduras is paired with El Salvador and Panama in Group B. Los Catrachos will take on El Salvador on January 18 and Panama on January 22. All matches will be played at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.
If Honduras finishes in first or second place in their group, they will automatically qualify for the Gold Cup. If they finish in third place, they will need to win a one-game playoff against the third-place finisher in Group A to qualify. Teams in Group A include Costa Rica, Guatemala, Niacragua and Belize.
Garcia has 72 career caps for Los Catrachos and one career goal. As a result of his participation in the tournament, the 2012 Dynamo Newcomer of the Year will miss the beginning of training camp. According to this report on fenafuth.org, Garcia will re-join the Dynamo after Honduras' World Cup qualification match against the United States on February 6.
On Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo announced the full schedule for the 2013 regular season. Although this will be the Dynamo's second season at BBVA Compass Stadium, it's the first season in which Houston can play home games starting in March. Last year's home schedule did not start until May 12, and as a result, there were a lot of Houston home games in a short period of time.
Here are some key takeaways from the 2013 Dynamo schedule:
As previously announced, the Dynamo will open the season at home against D.C. United on Saturday, March 2. The re-match of last year's Eastern Conference Championship will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
Similar to last year, the Dynamo and FC Dallas will square off only once in 2013. That match will take place on Sunday, March 17 as part of Major League Soccer's Rivalry Week. Since last year's match was played at BBVA Compass Stadium, this year's match will be played at FC Dallas Stadium. The winner of the match will take home El Capitan, a Civil War-era mountain howitzer.
The Dynamo and Sporting KC have played each other in each of the past two playoffs. In 2011, the Dynamo knocked off Sporting in the Eastern Conference Championship. In 2012, Houston defeated SKC in the Eastern Conference semifinals. In total, the two teams have played each other nine times in all competitions over the past two years. This year, the two squads will meet an additional three times, with the May 12 home match to be broadcast nationally on ESPN and the May 26 road match to be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
Speaking of national broadcasts, the Dynamo will play on national TV 13 times in 2013. They will play three times on ESPN2, once on ESPN, three times on NBC Sports Network, once on NBC and five times in Spanish on UniMás.
Potential Road Trips?
The fun part of the schedule announcement is the chance to figure out which games Dynamo fans will be able to travel to. You can expect a large contingent will make the trek up I-45 for the Texas Derby on March 17. Chicago (Sept. 1) and Sporting KC (May 26) are also drivable for those fans wanting to see their club on the road. If you want to see the LA Galaxy this year, you will have to make the trek to California, as the two-time defending MLS Cup champions do not come to Houston in 2013 (at least not during the regular season).
In 2012, the Dynamo had five home games on weeknights and 12 on weekends. In 2013, the Dynamo will have only one weeknight game, with the remaining 16 MLS home games to be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The lone weeknight game is Wednesday, Oct. 9 against Sporting KC.
So what do you think Dynamo fans? Do you like the schedule? Which match are you circling on your calendar?
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.
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!