Canetti's Corner - February 9, 2011

Groundbreaking was a landmark moment for club; total of newcomers could rise to 10

HOU_20110205_stadium_Thorne_06_Canetti

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Welcome to edition No. 28 of my blog on HoustonDynamo.com.

Complete Canetti's Corner Archive

The ice
melted, the skies cleared, and the sun shone down on the Dynamo Saturday.

After
years of anticipation and hard work, we broke ground on our new stadium. Our
dream is finally becoming a reality. Nearly 3,000 people joined us for the
joyous and momentous celebration. It was a great day for our organization and
its fans.

It was
a time to recognize all of the people that helped make this deal happen, led by
our great fans, our committed owners, elected officials (such as Mayor Annise Parker, Councilman James Rodriguez, Judge Ed Emmett, and County Commissioner El Franco Lee),
our partners at Texas Southern
University, our team, and many others.

Saturday
marked the culmination of a long approval process and the beginning of a short
construction window. Now the work begins, and we forge ahead on what’s expected
to be a 15-month building period and an April 2012 grand opening. You can
expect to see real work underway next week, pending any unforeseen issues.

Last
week, we unveiled some of the latest drawings. In case you missed it, click here
to see them. They provide a wonderful vision into what kind of stadium it will
be. I personally think it will be among the best soccer stadiums in MLS.

I
opened my speech on Saturday by thanking the fans. You are truly the most
valuable players in this whole deal. Without your great support over the years,
no one would have seen the value in this project or the vision for soccer. The
Dynamo appreciate you, and we are committed to making this Your Stadium.

Now,
onto a few other things … The
team is into its third week of training. The first two weeks have been a bit of
a challenge, thanks to the weather. They moved indoors last week at the Texans’
practice bubble for three days of work. Nonetheless, Dom feels positive about
the way things are going early on.

We
scrimmaged Houston Baptist
University on
Saturday, and Dom used it as a chance to evaluate the rookies and the four
players on trial. Most of the proven veterans watched from the sideline as
playing time was dominated by the newcomers. You can read the recap or watch the highlights.

This
Saturday will be our first real test, as we go up against FC Dallas in Corpus Christi. It should be an interesting
opportunity to see the team, the trialists, and the rookies go up against MLS
competition. Technology willing, we hope to provide a video stream of the match
right here at HoustonDynamo.com for those who could not make the trip. Check the site on Saturday to follow the game.

We are
on the verge of signing Jamaican national team center back Jermaine Taylor. He arrived in town today
as we look to complete the deal. Jermaine would give Dom added depth and
multiple options in the back (four of them being newcomers). The defenders
include Bobby Boswell, Mike Chabala, Hunter Freeman, Jordan
Graye
, Andrew Hainault, Eddie Robinson, and Kofi Sarkodie.

We are
also looking to sign rookie goalkeeper Evan
Newton
, who we picked in the first round of the supplemental draft. If
we complete the signings of Taylor and Newton, the roster would currently
contain 10 new players, and there are more to come with four open roster spots,
which are reserved for midfielders and forwards.

If you
read my last blog, you remember that I urged you to view Dynamo articles on Chron.com and comment. I am going to reinforce this request today after seeing
more dominating negative comments by non-soccer supporters. We need to unite
and stand strong for our sport. Please take positive action on this site. It
will make a big impact on soccer’s growth. We cannot allow the naïve, uniformed
naysayers to have the loudest voice.

I went
to the Super Bowl on Sunday and, for me, it wasn’t as great as the MLS All-Star
Game here in Houston.
Certainly I am biased, but that’s my opinion. I say this not to demean the NFL
or the Super Bowl, but to indicate how special the All-Star Game was.

Lastly, MLS plans on
announcing the schedule tomorrow. Be on the
lookout at HoustonDynamo.com.

That’s
it for now. Have a great week. I’ll be in touch soon. As always, feel free to
email me with questions or comments at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com.