The Houston Dynamo has soccer programs that range from ages 5-18. Players who excel at a young age have the opportunity to move into the Dynamo Junior Academy. From there, players can move up to the Dynamo Pre-Academy teams and then the Dynamo Academy teams. Select players will have the opportunity to train and potentially get signed by the Houston Dynamo first team. HoustonDynamo.com sat down with a player at each level of the Dynamo pyramid to get their thoughts on the program and their goals for the future.

Academy U-18

Name: Leo Castillo

Age: 17

Favored Position: GK

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? U18 Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I participated in the Academy ID Camp in July of 2011

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? The coaches here make me a better player, we always have access to them and they want to help us max out our potential.

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? Getting to play all week, the coaches we have, and being able to travel around the globe are all awesome experiences.

What is your ambition as a soccer player? To be a professional for the Houston Dynamo and get a chance to play in Europe

 

Academy U-16

Name: Trey Richardson

Age: 16

School/Previous Club: Kingwood HS/Texas Heat Wave

Favored Position: Center Midfield

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? U16 Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? About four years ago I decided to partake in a camp and was chosen from there. I had a two month trial with the team and the rest is history

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? Training 2 hours a night really pays off. We have great coaching, staff, interns and facilities

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? Getting to come out to the great facilities and training every night with a bunch of good guys who love the game of soccer

What is your ambition as a soccer player? Playing for the first team of the Houston Dynamo

 

Pre-Academy U-15

Name: Sterling Noreiga

Age: 15

School/Previous Club: Kingwood Park HS/Houstonians

Favored Position: Center Back

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? U15 Pre-Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? My brother was involved so I followed my brother to a camp and got chosen from there

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? The coaches here helped guide me to my natural position on the field. I have learned and been coached to improve my touch, communication, and leadership

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? The coaches and the opportunity that comes from playing with the Dynamo

What is your ambition as a soccer player? To be a professional Center Back for the Dynamo

 

Pre-Academy U-14

Name: Mark Sanchez

Age: 14

School/Previous Club: Chavez HS/Cachoros

Favored Position: Forward

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? U14 Pre Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I participated in the Center of Excellence at Moody Park in 2011

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? The coaches always tell us to communicate more, stay spread out, and to play with speed and quickness. They are amazing and really care about taking us to the next level

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? The best part is being able to play at such a great facilities. Also, we are given the chance to compete against the best talent in the country and sometimes the world, not many people can say that.

What is your ambition as a soccer player? I want to play for the Houston Dynamo and eventually Barcelona

 

Pre-Academy U-13

Name: Nick Reitsma

Age: 13

School/Previous Club: McMeans Junior High/Texas United

Favored Position: Goal Keeper

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? U13 Pre-Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I heard about the program and thought I’d give it a shot at an Academy ID Camp

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? The coaches are just great, the give great tips and you get to judge how good you are based on other players and see what areas you need to improve on

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? The best thing about the Academy is the coaches and playing with such a high level of talent. Obviously, travelling is a great privilege but I still have to say the coaches make the Academy what it is today

What is your ambition as a soccer player? I aim to be professional GK for the Houston Dynamo.

 

Junior Academy

Name: Eli Donaho

Age: 9 years old

School/Current Club: Moore Elementary/Westbury Hurricanes

Favored Position: My favorite position is Right Midfield

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? Junior Academy

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? My coach told me about the Centers of Excellence and the Junior Academy. My first Center of Excellence was in the Spring of 2011

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? I think that my soccer skills continue to improve during the Dynamo Youth Programs because I have the opportunity to play against tougher opponents. I also have the chance to be coached by great coaches that have lots of experience and training

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? The best thing about being involved in a Dynamo Program is having fun and it is cool to be around a professional soccer club

What is your ambition as a soccer player? My first goal is to play soccer in college

 

Center of Excellence

Name: Stephanie Sarkar

Age: 11

School/Current Club: St John’s Academy/Houston Express

Favored Position: My favorite position is Center Midfield, but I also play Center Back

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? Center of Excellence

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I love soccer.  My dad and I watch European and MLS soccer games on TV all the time.  My family and I attend several Houston Dynamo games every year.  I took my first Dynamo Camp last year (2011) to improve my soccer skills.

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? Great trainers – Coaches Cesar and Josh helped me improve my skills.  I love the scrimmages.

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? Also, I love training at the same location as the Dynamo Academy and the Dynamo MLS teams.

What is your ambition as a soccer player? Club and Varsity Soccer

 

Center of Excellence

Name: Laine Woelfel

Age: 9

School/Current Club: River Oaks Elementary / Houston Express

Favored Position: Forward

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? Center of Excellence

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I like to watch the Dynamo play, and eventually learned the Dynamo had camps. I attended my first COE camp so I could train with the Dynamo.

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? I have improved so much. I play smarter and faster and more confident.

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? The trainers are awesome. They have worked with me on a lot of new skills to help me grow as a player.

What is your ambition as a soccer player? I want to be able to hold my own in any game I play against anyone. I want to improve my skills to the point where the Dynamo will wish they could let girls play.

 

Dynamo Camps

Name: A’Jean Luis Augustine

Age: 7 years old

School/Current Club: Kipp Explore Academy/Houstonians

Favored Position: My favorite position is Forward

What Houston Dynamo program are you involved in? Dynamo Camps/Center of Excellence

How did you first start being involved with the Dynamo? I went to my first Dynamo Camp when I was 5 years old

How does being involved with the Dynamo Youth Programs/Academy improve your game? I have improved my soccer skills with the Dynamo and I’m able to score more goals in my games

What is the best thing about being involved in a Dynamo program? Meeting and playing against other kids from different places, and having good trainers.

What is your ambition as a soccer player? To become the greatest soccer player ever to wear Orange!