Canetti named Dynamo president

Team COO promoted to become second president in club history

Canetti_press_conference

Photo Credit: 
Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

Houston
Dynamo executive Chris Canetti has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer
to President of Business Operations, the Dynamo’s majority owner, AEG, announced
today. Canetti becomes the second president in team history, succeeding Oliver
Luck, who left the club at the end of June.

The
new role will see Canetti expand his duties to oversee two of the Dynamo’s most
significant projects: the construction of a downtown stadium, set to open in
2012, and the completion of the Houston
Amateur Sports
Park, a facility that
will serve as the Dynamo’s training facility and provide fields available for
public use.

At a
press conference announcing his new title on Wednesday, Canetti announced he
plans to start a fan advisory board, with which he will meet periodically to
receive feedback and suggestions and provide relevant updates.

>>WATCH FULL PRESS CONFERENCE<<

Canetti
has overseen all aspects of the Dynamo business and worked with head coach
Dominic Kinnear on soccer operations since joining the organization during its
inaugural season in 2006. He was honored with the Doug Hamilton Executive of
the Year Award from Major League Soccer in 2008 and was named to Sports Business Journal’s Forty under 40
list for 2010. He played a major role in helping bring Manchester United to Houston for the 2010 MLS
All-Star Game, which was played before a sellout crowd that set a Reliant Stadium
record for a soccer match.

“Our partners in Gabriel [Brener], Richard [Schafer], and
Oscar [de la Hoya] actually were the most outspoken as to their confidence in
Chris and we agree,” said Tim Leiweke, President & CEO of AEG. “Even with
everything we have on our plate, Chris hasn’t missed a beat while filling some
pretty big shoes following Oliver Luck’s
departure. It is clear that Chris continues to keep the best interests of
the Dynamo fans first and foremost as he leads the organization into what will
be the most exciting and important years in the history of this club.”

Over
the last five years, Canetti has contributed to the Dynamo’s two MLS Cup
championships, two first-place finishes in the Western Conference, one
appearance in the SuperLiga final, two other appearances in the SuperLiga
semifinals, two trips to the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup semifinals, and two
appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League.

“I am happy for Chris, as I think this is a justified reward
for all his hard work he does for the organization on the business as well
as the team side,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He is one of the
hardest working people I know, and I know all of us at the Dynamo benefit
from working with him.”

Off the field, Canetti has helped the Dynamo lead MLS in
average playoff attendance from 2006-10 and rank consistently among the league
leaders in attendance. Canetti has also overseen the launch of Dynamo Charities
and the success of the Dynamo Youth Development System, which has seen two
players be signed to professional contracts, both of whom made their MLS debuts
in 2010.

“I congratulate Chris on his promotion to president of the
Houston Dynamo,” said Gabriel Brener, chairman of Dynamo equity partner Brener
Sports & Entertainment. “Chris is being recognized for his dedication
and leadership, as he has played a very important role in establishing the
Dynamo as one of Houston’s
prominent sports franchises. In addition to team and sponsorship matters,
Chris’s knowledge and business relationships will be integral in the process of
working with the local community in building our new stadium in downtown Houston.”

Dynamo equity partner
Oscar De La Hoya added: “I’ve been very impressed in all my dealings with
Chris. Soccer is a sport of the people, and I believe Chris has the right
vision to make the Dynamo a team of the people and the winningest team in Houston.”

The Houston Dynamo are a
Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five
seasons and represented the United States in international competition four
consecutive years from 2007-10. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com
or call (713) 276-7500.