Welcome to edition No. 14 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.
I think it is safe to say that no U.S. city has ever experienced a week of soccer like the one we just had.
Between the All-Star Game, the All-Star festivities, and the Dynamo-Red Bulls game, it was a historic and defining week for soccer, MLS, and the Dynamo.
I’d like to begin by saying thanks to all Houstonians that came out to support the week-long events. I'd like to extend a special thank-you to our season ticket holders who are faithful and loyal to their Dynamo. Your showing of orange at Reliant Stadium was impressive and did not go unnoticed.
Through this great week of soccer, eyes were opened, perceptions were changed, and the sport took a definite leap forward. If you were at the All-Star Game or the Dynamo-Red Bulls game, then you saw the future of soccer in America and contributed to its growth.
The All-Star Game was a spectacle like no other. It was the fourth largest All-Star Game in American sports history. It was by far the largest attendance on Manchester United’s North American tour. Our vision was met; our goals were accomplished; and all of our hopes and dreams were realized. The success of All-Star Week will definitely pay long-term dividends as it relates to the growth and development of the Dynamo.
I received well over 200 emails or texts from fans and colleagues saying how great it was and congratulating our organization for pulling it off in a first-class way.
The Dynamo-Red Bulls game was a window into MLS’ future with a huge crowd, entertaining soccer, and the inclusion of big-time stars like Thierry Henry. I was pleased with the attendance of 24,570, which was our largest of the year and better than New York’s two home games with Henry. That, to me, is another big statement about Houston’s soccer culture and our organization (especially just three days after the All-Star Game).
As for the match itself, it was another result that left me with mixed emotions but ultimate satisfaction. The red card was frustrating, and the missed PK was unfortunate. But at the end of the day, our guys showed great heart and found a way to get a result, despite being down a man for more than half the match in scorching heat. The late goal was dramatic and thrilling, but the team’s effort and desire was most admirable.
I think there were a lot of first-timers at the match, and how could they not go home feeling good about the experience? It was another great night at Robertson Stadium and an almost perfect culmination to an amazing week of soccer.
It seems to me that most U.S. soccer fans are born out of a special soccer experience, such as attending a World Cup, living in Europe, etc. I believe there were many that lived that special soccer experience in Houston for the first time this week. I hope we have created a lot of new fans.
I also hope that we can keep the momentum going. We return to the field this Thursday for a big SuperLiga semifinal against Morelia (7 p.m.).
Although we’ve had little time and resource to promote this, due to last week’s events, I hope fans will come together and support the Dynamo in this important match. We have made tickets available to season tickets holders for $12 and $8. Non-season ticket holders can get a lower bowl four-pack for $49.99. If we can create an audience and an environment much like the previous SuperLiga semifinals, then it will be an opportunity to keep the momentum going. I look forward to seeing you there.
FYI, there is a strong likelihood that this blog will not appear next Monday, as I will be travelling.
As always, feel free to email me with comments and questions at email@example.com.