The Houston Dynamo are continuing their expansion into non-MLS markets, and this time they are using a former Dynamo player to aid in the player development process.
Paul Dalglish, instrumental in the Dynamo's 2006 MLS Cup championship, was recently named the Director of Soccer at the Lake Travis Youth Association in Austin, Texas. Lake Travis is the latest club to become a member of the Dynamo Juniors program, forming a mutually beneficial partnership with the potential to further the Dynamo brand in central Texas.
“With my connection to Houston from being a player and working alongside [Director of Youth Development] James Clarkson, I believe in the Houston Dynamo and the opportunities they provide,” Dalglish said. "This partnership is critical to us as we attempt to gain our players, both male and female, exposure from colleges. Our ultimate goal is to find players that can help [Dynamo head coach] Dominic Kinnear and the first team."
Dalglish’s playing career lasted 12 years and included stops in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues. His stint with the Dynamo included the 2006 Western Conference championship in which he scored two goals and was named Man of the Match. The following week he played 80 minutes in the Dynamo’s shootout victory against the New England Revolution, helping the team secure the MLS Cup in its first season in Houston.
In 2008, Dalglish retired from soccer and began his coaching career with the Dynamo Academy and Space City Futbol Club. The following year, he accepted a position as head coach of USSF Division 2 expansion club FC Tampa Bay. After a season in Florida, Dalglish returned to Texas and accepted the position with Lake Travis. Dalglish is thrilled to work with the Dynamo for the second time.
“It’s brilliant,” he said of coming relationship with the club. “I was involved with the Dynamo at one of the happiest times in my career and one of the most successful parts of the team’s existence. I am proud to have played for the Dynamo and still consider myself a fan of the club.”
Dynamo Juniors was a program instituted in 2010 to extend the reach of the Dynamo outside of the Houston market. To date, the club has programs in El Paso, TX; McAllen, TX; Lafayette, LA; Gulfport, MS; Mobile, AL; Gulf Breeze, FL; and Cocula, Mexico. Select players from these markets have the potential to earn an invitation to train with the Dynamo Academy in Houston and participate in tournaments with the club. This new partnership extends the Dynamo’s reach into central Texas.
“The club will be renamed Central Texas Dynamo Juniors,” Clarkson said. “We are also thrilled to have Paul and his expertise as part of our program. He knows the standards of the Dynamo organization through his experience as both a player and a coach, and we are confident he will make great contributions to the Dynamo Academy and the organization as a whole.”