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Canetti's Corner - August 16, 2010

Welcome to edition No. 15 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

I hope everyone is doing well. The blog is back after a one-week hiatus. Sorry for missing last week. I was out of the office for a few days.

Let me get right into the issue everyone wants to hear about: the team. I’ll keep it simple and to the point: This 10-game winless stretch has been difficult on the entire organization. There have been so many compounding factors that have contributed to this streak, many which have been aided by bad luck (i.e., Palmer red card vs. NY, Mullan offside at TFC, injuries, etc). We have never had to deal with such a lengthy run of tough results. After all, we’ve accomplished so much success in our first four years, including:

§         Back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007

§         Four straight MLS Cup playoff appearances

§         Three trips to the MLS Western Conference final

§         Four CONCACAF tournament appearances

§         Three SuperLiga tournament appearances

§         Three trips to the SuperLigasSemifinals

§         One trip to the SuperLiga final

§         No. 1 in MLS in points from 2006-2010

We are not resting on our past, but I think accomplishments can be sometimes forgotten during bad times. It’s been a great run, but in all honesty, we didn’t expect it to end in 2010, nor are we prepared to waive the white flag on the season. As we head down the stretch, you can expect to see a team that will come out and compete to the best of its ability every night and continue its push for the playoffs.

The players have continued their great work ethic and fight, which is part of the Dynamo culture. They have never given up on a match, and they will not give up on the season. I know our team will give an effort you can be proud of. Hopefully, that effort will lead to some wins, and we can get seriously back into the playoff hunt.

Here is how the playoff picture looks:

Top Two from the Eastern Conference

1. Columbus                37
2. New York                 31

Top Two from the Western Conference

1. Los Angeles             43
2. Salt Lake                  39

The Race for the Final four Spots

5. Dallas                      33
6. Seattle                     29
7. Colorado                  28
8. San Jose                  26
Toronto                        26
Chicago                       21
New England               21
Kansas City                 20
Houston                      20

As you can see by this chart, we are only six points from playoff position. Note that we have matches remaining with Seattle, Colorado, San Jose, Toronto, Chicago, New England, and Kansas City - seven teams all within nine points of us.

I received a lot of emails from fans wanting to see change. At this point, it is important for you to clearly understand that that there is little room for change in 2010. We have zero salary cap space, so we can not sign any new players (plus the transfer window has closed). Contracts are guaranteed, so there is no room to release players and clear cap. The only change could come from a trade, but that possibility is low as there is little projected movement in MLS. Late-season trades are now difficult given the terms of the new CBA.

I know that it has been a frustrating period for fans. I can only ask that you hang on as we look to get back into the race. Our guys will fight to the end. They always have.

In next week’s post, I’ll provide an update on the stadium and training complex.

As always, emails are welcome to ccanetti@houstondynamo.com.