Welcome to edition No. 5 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.
I think it’s good for fans to have a general understanding of what’s going on within the inner workings of their club. That’s the purpose of this blog: to provide weekly insight and information so that we can build a stronger connection between you and the Dynamo. This is the fifth edition of my blog, and definitely my most challenging assignment after Saturday’s result.
I’d like to offer deeper insight into the loss, but, in all honesty, there’s little to give. I’ll spare you analytics or breakdowns, as they will only appear as an attempt to justify the result. What you saw in person or on TV was exactly what it was: a very bad loss. We can’t hide from that, and we all feel the same disappointment, from the players to the coaches to the front office.
I’m sure you have seen and read the post-game comments and quotes from our players. They sum it up best. The mood and tone after the game was one of great frustration and anger. We knew it was a critical three points that were left on the table.
The stakes are now a bit higher as we head out for this two-game road trip to New York (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., 11.2, FSH Plus, TV Informa) and Los Angeles (Saturday, 7 p.m., Galavision).
All five of our wins have been followed up by tough losses. The inconsistency has been puzzling. I believe a big part of it has been due to injuries, but now that we are healthy – other than Geoff Cameron – we need to reverse the trend.
One bright spot from Saturday was off the field with the Bald is Beautiful program, headed by Craig Waibel and Dr. Pat Thompson. This program raises money to help fight childhood cancer. More than $60,000 was raised from this year’s event. Congratulations to Craig and Pat for their successful campaign and thanks to all of their support staff for making it a nice event. And thanks to those who donated to their cause.
I am looking forward to the game against New York. It’s an opportunity to get back on a winning track, and it’s my first trip to the new $200 million Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. I was part of the franchise for seven seasons, so it will be nice to see its new home and the role it is playing in the club’s development. It will also be a rare chance to see friends and family from the area.
We are rolling out a new marketing campaign based around the Summer of Soccer. It promotes all of the wonderful soccer events taking place in Houston this summer, including Dynamo games, World Cup Viewing Parties, Dynamo Charities Cup, SuperLiga, and the AT&T MLS All-Star Game. You will start to see and hear spots around this campaign this week. It is truly a great Summer of Soccer for us in Houston.
Tickets for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game tickets go on public sale tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1. A three-week private pre-sale yielded more than 25,000 seats sold. This is very impressive. To put things in perspective, the highest MLS All-Star attendance for the last six years is 23,309 (2005, Columbus, MLS vs. Fulham). This is a hot ticket, and fans should act quickly this week if they plan to attend the match.
I was very sorry to learn that Brian Ching was left off the World Cup roster. I thought he was deserving of a spot. I know it was a tough situation for him, but he has handled it professionally. His solid play on Saturday is a testament to the kind of player and person he is. We are looking forward to having him back for the final two-thirds of the season. His contributions to the club are big and sometimes underappreciated.
In case you missed it, SuperLiga groups were announced last week. We have drawn Chivas USA, Pachuca, and Puebla. The schedule is as follows:
Thursday, July 15 – Dynamo vs. Pachuca, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 18 – Dynamo vs. Chivas USA, Pachuca vs. Puebla, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21 – Dynamo vs. Puebla, 7 p.m.
The Thursday and Wednesday stand-alone matches are part of the season ticket package. The Sunday doubleheader is not, but season ticket holders may purchase their seats. We're very excited to be back in SuperLiga for the third time in four years and looking forward to renewing our rivalry with Pachuca - it seems to be an annual thing now - and facing Chivas USA at home again while taking on Puebla for the first time.
The Dynamo Residential Elite Camp starts in two weeks. There are still just a few spots remaining. It is at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and open to boys 11-18 years old. To register, click here or call (713) 276-7524. This camp is the best opportunity for young players to get recognized for the Dynamo Academy.
Last week we announced the first annual Dynamo Charities Go for Goal 5K Run. It is for competitive or casual runners and will take place on Saturday, July 24 as the kickoff to All-Star Week. There is also a children’s race called the Dynamo Diesel Fun Run. Proceeds will benefit causes that promote fitness and fight childhood obesity. Click here for more information or to register.
That’s it for this week. I hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday weekend. Keep the emails coming at firstname.lastname@example.org.