Welcome to edition No. 2 of my weekly blog. It will appear on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.
Thank you for the emails I received last week. I appreciate the feedback and enjoy the interaction with fans. Please keep them coming.
It was an excellent win at Chivas USA on Saturday and much needed after the disappointing home loss to FC Dallas. The team deserves a lot of credit for getting the early lead and then working hard to grab three road points and a shutout.
Dominic Kinnear rarely diverts from a 4-4-2, but his creative 4-3-3 helped establish the early tempo and the 2-0 lead. Adrian Serioux’s and Craig Waibel’s insertion into the lineup was another key to victory. Serioux was so impressive defensively that his big goal became secondary.
Our 4-3-1 record (13 points) is good for the third most points in MLS, behind LA and NY. We rank No. 2 in the league in defense (0.88 goals per game allowed) and No. 6 in goals per game (1.38). The main thing for us is to find some consistency game-in and game-out. This has been the challenge early on. I think the rash of injuries has contributed to our inability to put together back-to-back efforts.
Seven players have lost time due to injury or suspension, totaling 26 games missed.
The good news is that we are starting to get healthy. Brian Ching (hamstring/calf) suited up and was available to play on Saturday if needed. Cam Weaver (knee) has been given full clearance to return to training and did so for the first time on Monday. Eddie Robinson (knee) is doubtful for Thursday’s game at Real Salt Lake (8pm, ESPN2), but he is targeting the Saturday, May 22 match at home versus D.C. United as a return date.
I have no news to report on the Joe Ngwenya situation. It is the same as last week. I can only hope that FIFA takes some favorable action this week.
Our search for a midfielder isn’t turning up a lot of good options. It has become apparent that it may be difficult to find the right player before the summer transfer window, which opens on July 15. We will keep looking, but this is a realistic assessment at this time.
Nine different players have scored one of our 11 goals. Brad Davis has three, while Sammy Appiah, Geoff Cameron, Mike Chabala, Luis Landín, Brian Mullan, Dominic Oduro, Lovel Palmer, and Adrian Serioux each have one.
Have you noticed how tight the Western Conference is? Seven teams are separated by four points. We sit in second place with 13 points, and only four points separate us and last-place Seattle. If Seattle were in the Eastern Conference, they would be in third place. The West is tough and going to be a battle all season long.
The long-awaited announcement for the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent was made on Thursday. We are thrilled to bring Manchester United to Houston for this grand event. We are looking forward to a sellout crowd at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, July 28. This match, on the heels of the FIFA World Cup, will help elevate our sport and our brand. We worked very hard to secure one of the world’s biggest clubs, and it is our goal to host the most successful All-Star Game in MLS history. The game will be an amazing spectacle, but we are also planning a series of events around the match as part of All-Star Week. We will announce these details in the coming weeks.
As of Monday morning, we sold 14,000 tickets through a four-day private sale of Dynamo and Texans season ticket holders. A brief public sale exists through Thursday, May 14 for Visa card holders only. If you are confused by the ticketing information, there’s one simple thing to know: The best way to get access to the best seats for this big match is by being a Dynamo full or partial season ticket holder. For more information, call our office at (713) 276-7500, and one of our reps can advise you of your options.
Last week, I highlighted the in-game tribute to Geoff Cameron on May 1. Patrick Sexton sent an email informing me that Web Tilton from Section 204 was the maestro behind it. Web - thank you for coordinating the effort. We are lucky to have fans that can organically contribute to the environment at our games.
In case you missed it, Montreal was awarded an expansion franchise to begin play in 2012, making them the 19th MLS club.
Congratulations to 14-year-old defender Nelson Castro of Houston. He is the winner of Sueño MLS 2010. The local product won the nationally televised (Univision) talent search and has earned the chance to play for the Dynamo Academy.
Don’t forget to watch the game at Salt Lake this Thursday (ESPN2, 8pm), and we’ll see you at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, May 22 when DC comes to town.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back in touch next week with the latest. In the meantime, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.