Following the Dynamo's preseason trip to Tucson, two of Houston's Supplemental Draft picks are no longer with the club. Old Dominion University forward Yannick Smith and University of California - Santa Barbara midfielder Nic Ryan were released from Houston's training camp.
In three preseason matches (two against MLS competition and one against HBU), Ryan and Smith played 86 minutes and 44 minutes, respectively.
With the departures of Ryan and Smith, there are now five players in camp who do not have a contract with the Dynamo. Those players include MLS SuperDraft second round pick Jimmy Nealis, former Dynamo defender Mike Chabala, Scottish international Calum Elliot, Supplemental Draft pick Anthony Arena and Franck Songo'o, who is under contract with the Portland Timbers, but was told he would not be a part of their plans in 2013.
The Dynamo returned to training Monday following their week in Tucson, which included a win over the Colorado Rapids and losses to the San Jose Earthquakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Dynamo will play two scrimmages this week, giving Dominic Kinnear another opportunity to evaluate his squad only four weeks out from opening day.
On Wednesday, the Dynamo will take on Houston Baptist University at 7 p.m. at Sorrels Field. On Saturday, the Dynamo will host Southern Methodist University at 10 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Both matches are free and open to the public.
Editorial Note: Wednesday's scrimmage, which was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. will not be played at 7 p.m. Saturday's scrimmage, which was originally set for 1 p.m., will now be played at 10 a.m.
I asked seven Dynamo players their predictions for tomorrow's Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Six of the seven players are predicting the 49ers will win their sixth Super Bowl. Below are the predictions, along with a note on what they expect from the game.
Goalkeeper Tyler Deric: 49ers, 30-13. “They have been the better team all year. Kaepernick will lead them to win. Baltimore will struggle to score against the 49ers defense.”
Forward Cam Weaver: 49ers, by two touchdowns. “Well, the Seahawks destroyed them when they played, and a 49ers win would validate them. 49ers are in the same division as Seahawks, so they need to represent well.”
Defender Eric Brunner: 49ers, 34-30. “I think Ray Lewis will either have two tackles or 15 tackles. Also, heads will be the call on the coin toss.”
Midfielder Adam Moffat: 49ers, 27-24. “Tails will be the call on the coin toss.”
Midfielder Alex Dixon: 49ers, 24-10.
Defender Kofi Sarkodie: Ravens. “I am hoping Ray Lewis wins and ends his career on a good note.”
Forward Brian Ching: 49ers. “As long as they win by four points, I’ll be happy.”
Goalkeeper Tally Hall: 49ers. "I was a big fan of Jerry Rice and my aunt sent me some sweet 49ers sweat pants when I was a kid."
To say that Major League Soccer has come a long way over the past 18 years would probably be a bit of an understatement. With games regularly scheduled on the ESPN family of networks on the NBC family of networks and with a game on the main Univision channel this year, MLS is getting more exposure than ever.
That exposure has paid off, as MLS was selected to be one of the companies featured on the new CBS reality series The Job. The show will feature five candidates participating in several rounds of elimination challenges before a panel of executives as they compete for their dream job.
Not only are we excited to see MLS get featured on a CBS primetime show, but we, in Houston, are very excited to see one of our own competing on the show.
Crystal Solomon, an Assignment Manager at CW 39 at KIAH-TV, will be one of the five contestants competing for a job as an associate producer position at MLSsoccer.com, the League’s official website. The panel of judges who will determine the fate of the contestants includes: President of Soccer United Marketing, MLS’ commercial arm, Kathy Carter; Chief Marketing Officer Howard Handler; Executive Vice President, Competition, Technical & Game Operations Nelson Rodriguez; and MLSsoccer.com Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas, among others.
We have not had the chance the speak with Crystal about the show, but according to her bio, she has been with CW-39 since March 2011. Prior to that she worked for the FOX Broadcasting Company and and KPRC-TV.
The MLS episode of "The Job" will air on Friday, March 1 from 7-8 p.m. CT on the CBS Television Network.
We'll update you again after the show, but we want to wish Crystal the best of luck as she pursues her dream job!
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.