What to watch for in the next 200 games
This article appeared in the August 21, 2010 issue of the Houston Dynamo Gameday Magazine.
With the first 200 Dynamo games in all competitions in the books (see players' most memorable Dynamo games), it is time to take a look at what Houston fans can expect and root for in the next 200 games:
Well, duh. After years of haggling, all appears on track for
the Dynamo to finally play in their own venue in 2012. Being the primary tenant
should do the club a world of good, and hopefully the snazzy orange and black
seats will be filled by rabid orange-clad fans.
On the heels
of the wildly successful MLS All-Star Game in Houston last month, managing
partner AEG hinted that Houston fans might see a designated player or two
wearing Dynamo colors once the new stadium opens. What player would be most
beneficial to Houston remains the $400,000-plus question.
The next 200 Dynamo games should take us to 2015 or so, which should
give young players in the Dynamo Youth Development System a chance to mature
into professionals. From current college players like Josue Soto, Alex Dixon,
and Sebastien Ibeagha to younger prospects like brothers Bryan and Brandon
Salazar, the future is bright for kids from the Houston area.
If the 2010 season has taught us anything, it is that young guns
of all ages can be productive in the Dynamo lineup. Tally Hall, Andrew Hainault,
Geoff Cameron, and Danny Cruz are among Houston’s players 25 years or younger
who could be around for the long haul.
With a new stadium
comes new possibilities in terms of hosting non-Dynamo events. The Dynamo’s
downtown venue should host the MLS Cup championship game, another MLS All-Star
Game, the NCAA College Cup (men’s and/or women’s), the U.S. national team (men’s
or women’s), and much more.
This may be a stretch to
happen in the next five years, but the Dynamo Academy could become residential.
The creation of Dynamo Juniors programs in markets throughout the South has
provided an expansive base of talent, and the Houston Sports Park, set to open
next year, is a step toward providing the field capabilities. Are dormitories
next on the horizon?
Championships must be won on the
field, not via promises, but the Dynamo expect to be competing for championships
– domestic and international – for the next 200 games and long after. Here’s to
a few more MLS Cup trophies coming to Houston in the near
All good things must come to an end, and
the Dynamo will lose some of their veterans over the next 200 games. From the
ageless wonder, Pat Onstad, to all-time leading scorer Brian Ching, some great
players are likely to retire in Dynamo orange and will be well-celebrated when
Houston fans will see major clubs from Europe
(a club from Spain is a safe bet) and even South America play against the Dynamo
in Houston in the next five years. The downtown stadium should open up new
revenue streams that allow games against international opponents to be far more
feasible than in the current set-up.
Not to put too much
pressure on one (16-year-old) pair of shoulders, but this emerging talent and
Dynamo Academy product is on track to be the No. 1 goalkeeper for the United
States at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. If he continues to progress, can a pro
deal with the Dynamo be far behind?
Have Your Say
What do you want to
see inscribed in Dynamo history over the next 200 games?
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