Canetti's Corner - May 24, 2010

Dynamo negotiating extension with Davis; scouting additional players

Welcome to edition No. 4 of my weekly blog. It will appear on the
new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

There is nothing more satisfying
than a Dynamo win in front of a nice home crowd. When they come together, it is
just great, and that is what we got on Saturday night. It was a good bounce-back game
and a critical home victory in front of 24,471 fans.

Congratulations to Danny Cruz
for getting his first MLS start and goal. Also, congrats to Tally Hall
for getting his first MLS start, win, and shutout. It was good to see
contributions from some of the younger players. It was also good to see Cam
Weaver
play, and I thought he looked good in his 30 minutes of action.

I watched the game with two
guests from England – Tony
Scholes
, a chief executive from Stoke
City
, and Gary
Mellor
, a UK-based players’ agent. It was their first MLS experience, and
it was fun to get their perspective. They were both very impressed with what
they saw (and surprised by the heat).

The upcoming home game vs. the Philadelphia
Union
(Saturday, 7:30 pm) is important. We want to collect three points
before a challenging road trip that takes us to New York
and Los Angeles
in four days. Having two road games on opposite coasts is one of the quirky and
most difficult parts of our schedule. This Saturday is also our last MLS
home game until June 26. I encourage fans to turn out once again and support the
team in this important home match.

One of the big things on Saturday
is Craig Waibel’s “Bald Is Beautiful” day. Craig’s program helps raise
money to fight childhood cancer. As you may recall from last year, fans shaved
their heads at a pre-game party to support the campaign. It raised $40,000 in
2009, and the goal is to exceed it this year. Fans cans support the cause with
a $100 donation, which includes a ticket to the match, a commemorative
T-shirt, and a head shave if you desire.

A few pieces of team information:

The Joseph Ngwenya issue
was finally resolved last week and he is now eligible.

We are negotiating with Brad
Davis
on a contract extension through 2013. Brad’s current deal runs out in
December, and I am optimistic that we will get it done soon.

We are continuing to look for
players that may help us in the summer transfer window. Assistant coach Wade
Barrett
spent the weekend scouting matches in two different cities. Having
Wade for this purpose is a benefit that we did not have prior to him being
hired.

Saturday was our first-ever
Dynamo Academy Day. It was a gathering of 200+
Academy and Junior Academy
players and their families. The day included lunch, watching the Champions
League final,
attending the Dynamo game, and watching the Dynamo Academy
vs. the U-17 U.S.
national team
. It was an incredible array of soccer with an opportunity for
the kids to get many different perspectives on the game.

Our Academy played well against
the national team and earned a 0-0 draw. Two Dynamo
Academy players (Fernando Piña,
Bryan Celis) are current members of this U.S. national team and proudly
returned home to play against their Dynamo teammates. It was nice seeing them
in the red, white, and blue.

Coincidently, we had two Dynamo Academy
products on the active 18-man roster vs. D.C. United. Goalkeeper Tyler
Deric
and midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo were on the bench
together for the first time. This – more than anything - symbolizes the whole
purpose of the Academy program and illustrates the dreams of all current
Academy and Junior
Academy players. After the professional game, I even saw Francisco sit with his former Academy teammates for part of their game against the U.S.

At the end of the night, I could not
stop thinking about how our Academy is providing the best opportunities for
young players to develop on and off the field.

AT&T MLS All-Star Game
tickets continue to move at a fast clip. Lower bowl seats are limited, and fans
should get tickets now if they want to be downstairs. The best way to get lower
bowl seats is by being a Dynamo full season or mini-plan holder. This is still
possible, as good package deals are available. Four-packs are currently
available to the general public in the upper bowl via TicketMaster.
Groups of 10 or more throughout the stadium are available by calling (713) 276-7500.

This week, we will announce the
inaugural Dynamo Charities 5K run. It will be a part of the all-star
festivities this summer. There will be competitive and non-competitive
divisions. Look for this announcement and registration information in a few
days. I hope a lot of Dynamo fans participate and help support Dynamo
Charities.

The Dynamo Charities Cup
is right around the corner (June 19, 8 p.m.). Our opponent, Aguila of El Salvador,
lost in its league final on Sunday. I am really focused on making this a huge
tradition. I hope fans will share this vision and support the match. We have a
special opportunity for season ticket holders to get involved. Season ticket
holders can get lower bowl seats for $25, with $5 going towards the charity,
and upper bowl seats for $12 with $2 going to charity. An email communicating
this offer will be sent soon.

Final Thought: Congratulations to
Dynamo Sr. VP Rocky Harris for taking the lead in raising more than
$30,000 to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The campaign
included an event at Lucky’s Pub last week where Dynamo players served
as guest bartenders.

I hope to see everyone at the
game on Saturday, and here’s to three points.