Canetti's Corner - April 26, 2011
Welcome to edition No. 31 of my blog on HoustonDynamo.com.
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Sorry; it’s been a while since I’ve touched base. The last month has been very busy. Hopefully, thing will start to settle down now that the season is underway, the transfer deadline has passed, and stadium construction is pushing forward. After further thought … it probably won’t calm down around here, but either way, I’ll try to write more often.
Overall, things are good. Our record is respectable at 2-1-3. I think the team has played well and shown great resiliency through the first month of the season. Playing mostly without Brian Ching, Colin Clark, and Jermaine Taylor, the guys have managed to get results, including a five-game unbeaten streak and three road draws. We are looking for these three players to get fit over the next few weeks and return to the lineup while we integrate our new signings, Sergio Koke and Je-Vaughn Watson.
Koke arrives in town tonight, and he will have his first training session with the team Wednesday morning. We will introduce him at a 2 p.m. press conference that afternoon that is scheduled to be webcast live on our website. I think we have assembled a very competitive team with a lot of depth and options at all positions. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the season.
Of our 27 players, 13 (48 percent) are new to the roster in 2011. Given this monumental change, I think it is even more positive that we have gotten off to as decent start. Through six games, you can see the team starting to gel as a group and individual roles becoming defined.
The defense has been solid, allowing just five goals in six games. While the offense hasn’t produced a ton of goals, it has created chances and been entertaining. We had more than 50 shots in our last two home wins. Also, congrats to Geoff Cameron for making his 100th appearance as a Dynamo.
Friday’s game is shaping up to be very exciting. I like the Friday night time slot, and it seems like our fans do as well. Attendance should be strong. There are plenty of storylines around the game, including …
§ Big Eastern Conference showdown
§ Looking to earn third straight home win
§ Looking to go unbeaten in six straight games
§ Looking to climb the Eastern Conference standings
§ Koke’s potential debut
§ Watson potential home debut
§ Possible return of Ching and Taylor
§ Pat Onstad’s return to Houston
§ Charlie Davies comes to town
§ Post-game fireworks show
§ Statoil soccer ball giveaway
There is a lot going on and plenty of reasons, both on and off the field, to be there. Will you be among the faithful at the Rob for this nationally televised FOX Football Friday?
I applaud the Dynamo supporters’ groups for reuniting at the last home game. It was great to see everyone together in one supporters’ section, like the good old days. Their collective cheers created a home-field advantage for our team and spread an enthusiastic environment throughout the stadium. I hope to see this as a constant moving forward.
Stadium construction is progressing well. Mass excavation began last week, and the progress has been impressive. They are digging out the lower bowl and the area that will include the locker rooms and players’ tunnel. We could start seeing footings poured on the lower bowl retaining wall and the start of auger cast pile drilling this week. After two months of prep work, we are now starting to see tangible developments. The construction timeline remains on target for next spring. Sixteen more games at Robertson Stadium, including Friday, but who’s counting?
Congrats to our Academy for its recent participation in the Super Group at the prestigious Dallas Cup. Our team was invited into this elite group as a result of its past success in the tournament. The U-19 team earned some great experience playing top youth clubs from Brazil, Costa Rica, and Germany, and clubs at the other age groups had a busy week of games as well. I also want to congratulate six of our Academy players that have been called up to play in our first two reserve games.
I hope everyone will tune into the Champions League match between RSL and Monterrey Wednesday night. It will be a historic night for MLS.
That’s enough for now. See you Friday. Feel free to email me with any thoughts or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.