Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Canetti's Corner - September 26, 2011

Welcome to edition No. 36 of my blog on HoustonDynamo.com.

Complete Canetti's Corner Archive

Greetings and welcome to the latest edition of Canetti’s Corner.

It was nice to wake up and come to work today atop the Eastern Conference. While it feels good, there is no comfort in that, as only four points separate first place and being out of a playoff position. There is still a lot of work to do to clinch a playoff berth. I have never seen such a tight MLS playoff race, with 11 teams fighting for a spot with only a few games left in the season. We need to take care of our own business, but here are some crucial games to keep an eye on this week:

Wednesday: CLB-KC, CHI-RSL; Thursday: DC-PHI; Saturday: NY-TFC, FCD-COL, KC-SJ; Sunday: DC-CLB, PHI-CHV, POR-VAN

Columbus, Kansas City, Philadelphia, DC.,. and Chicago all have two games on the schedule this week and an opportunity to pick up six points. With that in mind, it puts into perspective the importance of Saturday’s home match against the Fire (3 p.m., get tickets). Three points are critical. You can monitor the playoff race with MLSsoccer.com’s playoff standings, updated throughout the weekend at the conclusion of each game.

Thanks to all the fans that travelled to Dallas for the match on Saturday. It was another impressive showing of orange. Great work, and I know the entire organization appreciates the support.

In other news, we are targeting Saturday, May 12, 2012 as the grand opening date for the new stadium. It will be an MLS regular-season match.

Construction on the stadium continues to progress nicely. As always, you can check out the stadium webcam for a look at the site. Notice that on the west side (the right side on the webcam), the pre-cast treads and risers making up the 200 level are almost completed, thus carving out a clear look at where the VIP Club will be. Also notice that the first steel roof truss has gone into place on the west side.

Season ticket sales are going well. We have already seen a 30-percent increase in sales over the 2011 season and set a club record for total seats in doing so. About 20 sections of the stadium are sold out, including the President’s Club and VIP Club. There is a demand for season tickets unlike anything we have ever seen. Only nine of 31 suites remain available.

I hope to see everyone out at Robertson on Saturday afternoon for the big match. In reality, the playoffs have already begun, and this game is sure to have a playoff intensity.

You can follow me on twitter @chriscanetti.