Last week, U.S. Soccer announced the list of nominees for the National Soccer Hall of Fame class of 2013. The list includes a compilation of some of the most talented players to play the game including: Taylor Twellman, Roy Lassiter, Ben Olsen and Chris Henderson among others.
But for Dynamo fans, one name stands out above the rest.
Making his first appearance on the National Soccer Hall of Fame player ballot is Wade Barrett. The former Dynamo defender and current Dynamo assistant coach is one of the most decorated players to wear the orange, not to mention one of the most fit people we know.
An original member of the Dynamo, Barrett played two stints with the San Jose Earthquakes (1998-2002 and 2005), winning the 2001 MLS Cup championship, before moving with the club to Houston prior to the 2006 season. The Virginia Beach native captained the Dynamo from 2006-2009 and led the club to two MLS Cup titles (2006 and 2007) and the 2009 Western Conference championship game. Barrett finished his career with 140 appearances in all competitions including 99 in MLS play.
Prior to the 2010 season, Barrett retired from playing to join Dominic Kinnear's coaching staff. With Barrett on the staff, the Dynamo have advanced to the past two MLS Cup finals. Barrett also co-managed (along with Steve Ralston) the Dynamo Reserves to the 2012 Reserve League Central/Mountain division championship.
The hall of fame voting pool includes all past and present full men's and women's national team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach in a first division league, MLS and NWSL management representatives, MLS Commissioner, NWSL Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members, and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can list up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be dropped from the Player ballot.
2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Wade Barrett *
Raul Diaz Arce
Angela Hucles *
Ben Olsen *
Tony Sanneh *
Taylor Twellman *
* First year of eligibility ^ Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2014
Back in December, Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall proved his "hipness" by participating in the "Houston is Hip" campaign for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The marketing initiative was launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the GHCVB.
The folks at www.visithoustontexas.com caught up with the Dynamo goalkeeper to talk about life in Houston and what he enjoys doing away from the pitch. Is it any surprise that Hall, a fun-loving guy, picked the Houston Zoo as his favorite place to go in the city?
Before today's scrimmage against the Colorado Rapids, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear joined 1560 AM's John Harris to talk about the first few weeks of preseason and his hopes for 2013.
We have a big night of soccer radio, as Glenn Davis will be hosting Soccer Matters on ESPN 97.5 FM from 7-9 p.m. Following yesterday's announcement that CSN Houston will be the new home for Dynamo soccer, Davis will discuss the importance of the deal to the Dynamo organization. This is also an opportunity for fans to call into the show and voice their opinion of the deal.
Davis will speak with Dynamo president Chris Canetti and head coach Dominic Kinnear as well as discuss last Tuesday's friendly between the USMNT and Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The call-in number for the show is (713) 780-ESPN.
On Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo announced a multi-year partnership to make Comcast SportsNet Houston the new home for Dynamo soccer. We caught up with Dynamo president Chris Canetti to discuss the new partnership.
The Dynamo traveled to Tucson, Ariz. on Monday morning to begin the first of two preseason trips. The club will also visit Charleston, S.C. for the Carolina Challenge Cup Feb. 16-23.
This trip includes three scrimmages against MLS competition beginning Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m CT) against the San Jose Earthquakes. The Dynamo face the Colorado Rapids on Thursday and the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday before flying back to Houston on Sunday morning.
This week in Tucson represents an opportunity for players to make an impact and an impression with several regulars not on the trip. In addition to Will Bruin, Tally Hall and Brad Davis, who will suit up for the U.S. national team on Tuesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, Boniek Garcia is with Honduras and Corey Ashe, Calen Carr and Omar Cummings are each rehabbing injuries. With seven potential starters not on the Tucson trip, it offers quality minutes to several trialists and the squad players looking to crack the lineup on March 2 against D.C. United.
Today's practice session was a good indication of the competitive spirit in the camp. After a morning flight from Houston the club had a practice session at Kino Sports Complex with 40-degree temperatures and cold, desert winds. It wasn't an easy day in the sun after a morning flight. The group engaged in a spirited session that included a half-field scrimmage highlighted by impressive speed of play and some quality goals.
Now, with three games in five days, the players will have a chance to perform against MLS competition. It should be fun to watch. Check HoustonDynamo.com throughout the week for match reports and more.
It's not every day that Houstonians get to see the U.S. men's national team up close and personal. And it's even more rare when Houstonians get a front-row seat to see one of their own don the red, white and blue. So it was a truly special affair on Monday, when Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, goalkeeper Tally Hall and forward Will Bruin took part in the USMNT's open training session at BBVA Compass Stadium ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Canada (8 pm CT; BUY TICKETS).
The Dynamo trio has been training with the national team over the past two weeks. Davis, the veteran of the group, has been in two prior January camps, and has five total caps for the USMNT. Hall and Bruin are in a senior national team camp for the first time.
Following Monday's training session, all three players spoke to the media about the opportunity to represent their country in their home stadium in front of the Dynamo fans.
In case you need more of a reason to attend Tuesday's match, former Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario will be in the lineup for Canada. Think De Rosario is excited to play in front of the fans that supported him for all those years in Houston?
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) January 28, 2013
With six weeks until the Dynamo open their 2013 campaign, fans now have the opportunity to buy tickets to the March 2 home opener vs. D.C. United and the March 5 CONCACAF Champions League match vs. Santos Laguna. Tickets went on sale Saturday at 2 p.m. and fans flocked to BBVA Compass Stadium to secure their seats.
After defeating Houston Baptist University 3-0 Saturday morning, Brian Ching, Bobby Boswell, Giles Barnes, Ricardo Clark and Eric Brunner spent their afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium talking with ticket buyers and thanking them for their support.
Haven't purchased your seats yet? We suggest you don't wait much longer, as both matches are expected to sell out. For more information about Dynamo tickets visit HoustonDynamo.com/Tickets or call (713) 276-GOAL.
The weather forecast calls for 70 degrees and clear skies in Houston on Saturday, which is good news for soccer fans who are looking to see the Dynamo in action.
Houston will continue their preseason campaign with a scrimmage against Houston Baptist University at 11 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. The Dynamo opened preseason camp on Monday and defeated the Dynamo Academy 3-0 in a scrimmage on Thursday. Saturday's scrimmage is free and open to the public.
Speaking of the Dynamo Academy, for fans who can't get enough live soccer, the Dynamo Academy will host the Sporting Kansas City Academy on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the U-18s will kick off at 2 p.m. with the U-16s to follow at 4:30. On Sunday, the U-18s kick off at 10:30 a.m. with the U-16s to follow at 1 p.m.
The Dynamo U-18s currently sit in fourth place in their division, one spot ahead of the Sporting KC U-18s. The Dynamo U-16s are in third place in their division and are coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Dallas Texans last weekend.