Canetti's Corner - August 30, 2010

Ownership support for designated player crucial to process

Leiweke

Photo Credit: 
Houston Dynamo

Welcome to edition No. 17 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

Last week, our ownership publicly
pledged its support for signing a Designated Player (or players). Having the
support of ownership on this potential investment is fantastic, especially at a
time when they are making a huge investment into the new stadium. Our ownership
is clearly behind the organization and sees the Dynamo’s on-going potential both
on and off the field.

In a dinner meeting with AEG
President & CEO Tim Leiweke, Dominic Kinnear
and I were given parameters for our pursuit of the Designated Player. The
general message is: 'Think big.' We have been given the clearance and resources to
make the signing for the 2011 season.

We are now working on a plan to
identify and recruit a player (or players). Ideally, we will find a player in
the January transfer window and have him here for the full season. This is our
goal. Realistically, it will be more opportunistic to find a player in the July
transfer window. There is an unpredictable nature to the international transfer
business, so we’ll simply have to be ready and
prepared.

As we engage in the process and
begin our pursuit, I want to caution fans that finding a Designated Player is
not easy. Yes, it’s easy to name names and create wish-lists, but making it
happen is a different story. There are many variables that go into it, and at a
minimum it requires a combination that includes the right player, the right
timing, and the right economics. With that said, we will do our best to
aggressively seek a DP that fits our team and excites our fan
base.

The good news is that foreign
players are interested in coming to Houston and the Dynamo. The organization, the
coaching staff, the fan base, and the market have a strong reputation
internationally. While 2011 will be our final season at Robertson Stadium, I do
not see it as an impediment to signing players. I see other non-controllable
factors as much bigger stumbling blocks. I think the opening of our training
complex in 2011 is a draw, as it will be one of the best in
MLS.

Also, finding a DP is only part of
our off-season plan. The big picture is most important, and we will also look to
make overall improvements through the college draft, the re-entry draft, new
signings, and trades. I’ll address this in more detail at a later
date.

Last week, our ownership was in
town to discuss the stadium developments. The key messages were our plans to
open in 2012 and break ground by the end of the year. The key issues impacting
those plans are the deals on the Sports Authority lease and the private financing.
Each week we continue to make progress. Last week we held two days of design
meetings with the architects and engineers. It is coming together nicely, and we
expect to have some updated concepts and renderings soon. We hope to select a
general contractor next week. This selection will further accelerate the
process. I’ll keep you posted on these developments as they
occur.

Thanks for reading this week’s
edition. As always, feel free to email me at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com.