Canetti's Corner - August 2, 2010

Recapping a week like no other in Houston soccer history

HOU_20100728_ASG_Brad_Davis_Reliant

Photo Credit: 
Scott Riddell / MLSSoccer.com

Welcome to edition No. 14 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

I think it is safe to say that no U.S. city has ever experienced a week of soccer like the one we just had.

Between the
All-Star Game, the All-Star festivities, and the Dynamo-Red Bulls game,
it was a historic and defining week for soccer, MLS, and the Dynamo.

I’d like to
begin by saying thanks to all Houstonians that came out to support the
week-long events. I'd like to extend a special thank-you to our season ticket holders who are faithful and loyal to their Dynamo. Your showing of orange at
Reliant Stadium was impressive and did not go unnoticed.

Through this
great week of soccer, eyes were opened, perceptions were changed, and
the sport took a definite leap forward. If you were at the All-Star Game
or the Dynamo-Red Bulls game, then you saw the future of soccer in
America and contributed to its growth.

The All-Star
Game was a spectacle like no other. It was the fourth largest All-Star
Game in American sports history. It was by far the largest attendance on
Manchester United’s North American tour. Our vision was met; our goals were
accomplished; and all of our hopes and dreams were realized. The success
of All-Star Week will definitely pay long-term dividends as it relates
to the growth and development of the Dynamo.

I received
well over 200 emails or texts from fans and colleagues saying how great
it was and congratulating our organization for pulling it off in a first-class way.

The
Dynamo-Red Bulls game was a window into MLS’ future with a huge crowd,
entertaining soccer, and the inclusion of big-time stars like Thierry
Henry. I was pleased with the attendance of 24,570, which was our
largest of the year and better than New York’s two home games with
Henry. That, to me, is another big statement about Houston’s soccer
culture and our organization (especially just three days after the
All-Star Game).

As for the
match itself, it was another result that left me with mixed emotions but
ultimate satisfaction. The red card was frustrating, and the missed PK
was unfortunate. But at the end of the day, our guys showed great heart
and found a way to get a result, despite being down a man for more than
half the match in scorching heat. The late goal was dramatic and
thrilling, but the team’s effort and desire was most admirable.

I think
there were a lot of first-timers at the match, and how could they not go
home feeling good about the experience? It was another great night at
Robertson Stadium and an almost perfect culmination to an amazing week of
soccer.

It seems to
me that most U.S. soccer fans are born out of a special soccer
experience, such as attending a World Cup, living in Europe, etc. I
believe there were many that lived that special soccer experience in
Houston for the first time this week. I hope we have created a lot of
new fans.

I also hope
that we can keep the momentum going. We return to the field this
Thursday for a big SuperLiga semifinal against Morelia (7 p.m.).

Buy SuperLiga tickets now

Although
we’ve had little time and resource to promote this, due to last week’s
events, I hope fans will come together and support the Dynamo in this
important match. We have made tickets available to season tickets
holders for $12 and $8. Non-season ticket holders can get a lower bowl
four-pack for $49.99. If we can create an audience and an environment
much like the previous SuperLiga semifinals, then it will be an
opportunity to keep the momentum going. I look forward to seeing you
there.

FYI, there is a strong likelihood that this blog will not appear next Monday, as I will be travelling.

As always, feel free to email me with comments and questions at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com.