Last week, the Dynamo posted a message to fans, stating that we want to be YOUR club and we want to hear from you directly.
Yesterday, the club kicked off a series of fan feedback opportunities with a "lunch and learn" meeting between president John Walker and a handful of season ticket members. Walker, along with members of his executive team, sat down with a handful of Dynamo members for an informal and wide-ranging discussion about the team on and off the field. Among that group were field seat holders Jamie Araujo and J.J. Guillory.
Araujo and Guillory, along with others in attendance, had the opportunity to voice their opinions on the club and offer areas for improvement, including a desire for increased coverage in local media, more community engagement and an improved stadium atmosphere.
"I liked it a lot. It was open, it was small, private," Araujo said. "I was surprised that John Walker was here. I was thinking it was only going to be ticket reps. I didn't know I was actually going to have the chance to give my opinion and ask questions."
The discussion also offered Walker the opportunity to pose questions back to them, creating an impromptu focus group. He picked the fans' brains on subjects as wide ranging as ways to reach the Houston soccer community more effectively to their opinions on the club's television broadcasts.
Naturally, team performance was a primary focal point of the discussion, and the first question asked was about the head coaching position. Walker pointed out that while the primary focus remains on the season, the coaching search will obviously be a top priority. He indicated that dozens of coaches from around the world have proactively reached out, in addition to potential candidates that the club has identified. The first step in the process, Walker said, will be to cull the initial list down to a handful of final candidates, though he didn't specify the timeline.
Although the president wasn't able to pull the curtain all the way back, particularly when it came to naming specific coaches or players who might be in consideration for 2020 or beyond, the Dynamo Members in attendance walked away impressed with his candid and forthright answers.
Guillory, who has spent years working with players and teams throughout the Houston soccer community, likewise left feeling like his voice was heard, particularly in regard to one issue that was near and dear to his heart.
"I think we got the message out about the community," Guillory said. "You've got to get awareness in the community, get the community involved - the young kids involved, so that they can go home and pound their foot on the ground that they want to go to a Dynamo game."
After starting out small with the intimate "lunch and learn" event, the club will look to build on the momentum from this with more fan feedback events in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for information on those opportunities through the Dynamo Insider email coming soon!