Canetti's Corner - August 23, 2010

Breaking the winless streak and an update on construction of stadium, training complex

HOU_20100821_Thorne_10_Obodai_Pappa

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Welcome to edition No. 16 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

It is
awfully nice to be writing to you after a win. It is sweet because we haven’t
tasted victory for so long and because of the way we earned
it.

We
played some of our best soccer of late but faced adversity in getting the win.
Overcoming that adversity was proof of this team’s character. The 3-1 second-half lead seemed safe, but we suddenly found ourselves tied at three and looking
at the possibility of another frustrating result. The guys knew that they
deserved a win and fought until the end to snatch a 4-3 victory from the Fire.
Like I said last week, this team will never quit and will always give
100 percent. This weekend’s match was a pure example of that. It was another
memorable night of soccer at Robertson Stadium.

With a
win, our hope for a playoff run remains alive. We picked up some points, but
more importantly, displayed some quality soccer. If we can get this kind of play
over the final nine games, then we will challenge the teams ahead of
us.

The
playoff picture now looks like this:

Eastern
Conference

1.
Columbus   
46
2.
New York    
34

Western
Conference

1.
Los Angeles
43
2.
Salt
Lake     
39

Remaining
Field
5.
Dallas         
36
6.
Seattle        
29
7.
San Jose     
29
8.
Colorado     
28
Toronto           
26
Chicago          
24
Houston         23
Kansas
City     23
New
England    21

Big
games to keep an eye on this weekend include:

Toronto vs.
Real
Salt Lake
New
England vs. Philadelphia
New
York vs. San Jose
Seattle vs.
Chicago
LA vs.
Kansas
City

We had
a decent crowd of 18,000-plus on Saturday. I want to thank you for sticking with
us and being vocal and supportive of the team from the get-go.

As
noted last week, here is a quick update on our two big off-the-field news items,
the stadium and training complex:

Plans
are to open the stadium in 2012 and break ground by the end of 2010. These
events are dependent on our ability and timing to finalize our lease with the
Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and our private financing with our
banking partners. Negotiations with these groups are ongoing and productive. We
have hired ICON Venue Group as the project manager and Populous as the lead
architect. They are hard at work in getting the development off the ground and
making progress on a parallel path to the previously mentioned negotiations. We
have received proposals for a general contractor and will award the bid within
the next month. Prep work is underway on the site, as private utility companies
are moving above- and below-ground pipes and wires. I will share an updated
conceptual design as it becomes available soon.

The
training complex is set to open in 2011. There will be seven fields and a 40,000-square foot building to house the Dynamo locker room, a sports performance
center, a sports rehab clinic, public rest rooms, meeting space, and a
restaurant. One field will be solely dedicated to the Dynamo, while the
remaining fields will be available for public rental. The Dynamo will manage the
complex, which includes maintenance and programming. Once the fields are ready,
we will open them for public use. Construction is underway, and they should be
ready around January. This is dependent on the contractor’s ability to lay sod
in October as planned. The building should be open for business in April. This
is dependent on a September ground-breaking, which is dependent on the
completion of various legal agreements, which are pending. The Dynamo will move
team operations and training to the complex when the building opens. Anyone
interested in renting field space should contact my assistant, Stephanie, at stgonzalez@houstondynamo.com.

That’s it for this week. Let’s
hope for a big win at Colorado this weekend (Fox Soccer Channel, SportsTalk 790, La Ranchera 850).
It’s a big game!

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