Canetti's Corner - May 10, 2010

Kinnear's lineup decisions pay off in 2-0 win; excited to see Weaver return to training

Welcome to edition No. 2 of my weekly blog. It will appear on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

Thank you for the emails I received last week. I appreciate the
feedback and enjoy the interaction with fans. Please keep them coming.

It was an excellent win at Chivas
USA
on Saturday and much needed after the disappointing home loss to FC
Dallas
. The team deserves a lot of credit for getting the early lead and
then working hard to grab three road points and a shutout.

Dominic Kinnear rarely
diverts from a 4-4-2, but his creative 4-3-3 helped establish the early tempo
and the 2-0 lead. Adrian Serioux’s
and Craig Waibel’s
insertion into the lineup was another key to victory. Serioux was so impressive
defensively that his big goal became secondary.

Our 4-3-1 record (13 points) is
good for the third most points in MLS, behind LA and NY. We rank No. 2 in the league in defense (0.88 goals per game allowed) and No. 6 in goals per
game (1.38). The main thing for us is to
find some consistency game-in and game-out. This has been the challenge early
on. I think the rash of injuries has contributed to our inability to put
together back-to-back efforts.

Seven players have lost time due to injury or suspension, totaling 26
games missed.

The good news is that we are
starting to get healthy. Brian Ching (hamstring/calf) suited up and was
available to play on Saturday if needed. Cam
Weaver
(knee) has been given full clearance to return to training and did
so for the first time on Monday. Eddie Robinson (knee) is doubtful for
Thursday’s game at Real
Salt Lake

(8pm, ESPN2), but he is targeting the Saturday, May 22 match at home versus D.C.
United
as a return date.

I have no news to report on the Joe
Ngwenya
situation. It is the same as last week. I can only hope that FIFA
takes some favorable action this week.

Our search for a midfielder isn’t
turning up a lot of good options. It has become apparent that it may be
difficult to find the right player before the summer transfer window, which
opens on July 15. We will keep looking, but this is a realistic assessment at
this time.

Nine different players have
scored one of our 11 goals. Brad Davis has three, while Sammy Appiah,
Geoff Cameron, Mike Chabala, Luis Landín, Brian Mullan,
Dominic Oduro, Lovel Palmer, and Adrian Serioux each have
one.

Have you noticed how tight the Western
Conference
is? Seven teams are separated by four points. We sit in second place
with 13 points, and only four points separate us and last-place Seattle. If Seattle were in the Eastern
Conference
, they would be in third place. The West is tough and going to be
a battle all season long.

The long-awaited announcement for
the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent was made on
Thursday. We are thrilled to bring Manchester United to Houston for this grand event. We are looking
forward to a sellout crowd at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, July 28.
This match, on the heels of the FIFA World Cup, will help elevate our
sport and our brand. We worked very hard to secure one of the world’s biggest
clubs, and it is our goal to host the most successful All-Star Game in MLS
history. The game will be an amazing spectacle, but we are also planning a
series of events around the match as part of All-Star Week. We will
announce these details in the coming weeks.

As of Monday morning, we sold
14,000 tickets through a four-day private sale of Dynamo and Texans season
ticket holders. A brief public sale exists through Thursday, May 14 for Visa
card holders only. If you are confused by the ticketing information, there’s
one simple thing to know: The best way to get access to the best seats for this
big match is by being a Dynamo full or partial season ticket holder. For more
information, call our office at (713) 276-7500, and one of our reps can
advise you of your options.

Last week, I highlighted the in-game
tribute to Geoff Cameron on May 1. Patrick Sexton sent an email
informing me that Web Tilton from Section 204 was the maestro behind it.
Web - thank you for coordinating the effort. We are lucky to have fans that can
organically contribute to the environment at our games.

In case you missed it, Montreal was
awarded an expansion franchise to begin play in 2012, making them the 19th MLS
club.

Congratulations to 14-year-old
defender Nelson Castro of Houston.
He is the winner of Sueño MLS 2010. The local product won the nationally
televised (Univision) talent search and has earned the chance to play for the Dynamo Academy.

Don’t forget to watch the game at
Salt Lake this Thursday (ESPN2, 8pm), and we’ll
see you at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, May 22 when DC comes to town.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be
back in touch next week with the latest. In the meantime, feel free to email me
at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com with
any comments or questions.