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!
Welcome to my new blog on all things Dynamo Charities. Throughout the year, I will provide updates and information on Dynamo Charities events and happenings.
Before I talk about our 2013 program, let me take a minute to wrap up 2012. We ended the year with the annual Dynamo Celebration, and what a perfect end it was to a near perfect season. Held at the Hotel Zaza, the event was simply fantastic. Glenn Davis did a marvelous job as emcee, the auction went well and everyone had a great time. It was THE event to cap the year for Dynamo Charities.
Other notable events last year included Calen Carr's bowling event at 300 Houston, Will Bruin's Bald is Beautiful head-shaving event, fighting breast cancer with Bobby Boswell, the Kroger shopping spree with Brian and the Ching's Champions and our annual salute to the military with Brad’s Brigade. I want to thank all the players for their work in 2012, as well as each of you that supported one or more of our events. 2012 was our most successful year yet, and the Dynamo Charities Board of Directors along with Executive Director Lori Ginsburg are excited for 2013.
We will have all of the fan favorite events back in 2013. Our first event for the year will again be the Fire Sale, where lots of Dynamo gear from last season will be available generally at discounted prices. The sale will be held the same day as our annual Meet the Team Day, and is open only to season ticket holders. So if the play on the field or the fantastic stadium is not reason enough to be a season ticket holder, then Meet the Team Day and the Fire Sale should be!
As we move into the season, we will announce specific information for initiatives such as Brad’s Brigade, Bald is Beautiful and Bobby Boots Cancer. We are also hoping to have a few new initiatives this year and we hope to release full details soon
In September, we will again form a team to ride in the ADA Tour de Cure (with the coolest bike jersey you'll find) and we will of course end the year with Dynamo Celebration
Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog. I hope to provide regular community updates throughout the year. You can also follow me on Twitter @dynamochrtytony for up-to-date information on Dynamo Charities initiatives.
We look forward to taking another step forward in 2013, and with your support, we can make a big impact in the Houston community.
Thanks for your help!
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