The 2017 season is approaching, and we couldn’t be more excited. With about three weeks until opening day (Saturday, March 4 vs. Seattle), I am touching base on the season ahead.
First and foremost, I want to say thank you for your ongoing support. We truly appreciate and value your commitment to the club.
In an effort to vastly improve, we have made numerous changes this off-season.
Most notably, we hired Wilmer Cabrera as our new head coach. Wilmer has a wealth of coaching experience and produced fantastic results as the head coach of our USL affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley. He brings a tremendous vision and plan for success. One of his biggest strengths is a track record of working with talented young players, which we think will be a significant benefit to our club.
Wilmer and Matt Jordan, our GM, have re-shaped the roster by adding nine new players. We expect that the new additions will strengthen the team and produce a much-improved on-field product that will be fun to watch. You’ll want to keep an eye out for FW Alberth Elis, FW Romell Quioto, MF Juan David Cabezas, along with DF Adolfo Machado, DF Leonardo, and DF AJ DeLaGarza.
Aside from the in-bound talent, we are excited to see the continued growth of young Mauro Manotas, who emerged as our leading goal scorer after becoming a starter late last season.
Among the returning players, we have the last two team MVP’s in veterans Alex Lima and Ricardo Clark, along with last year’s team Golden Boot winner, Andrew Wenger, decorated U.S. Soccer star DaMarcus Beasley, and a pair of outstanding goalkeepers in Tyler Deric and Joe Willis.
We have also made numerous changes off the field. The improvements to BBVA Compass Stadium are one of the main things to look for.
A major renovation to the south concourse is underway. It will create a new social area called Taste of EaDo and offer upgraded food and beverage items based on local restaurant concepts with an international flare, locally-inspired bar hangouts, and beverages from breweries around the world. Taste of EaDo will become the centerpiece of the stadium and a great enhancement to your experience.
Furthermore, upgrades to the stadium’s data system will provide you full-connectivity to your mobile device while in the stadium (to be completed late spring). The days of having no cell service in the stadium should be behind us soon.
We have a new TV partner. KUBE Channel 57 is the Dynamo’s new local broadcast home, airing 24 games. The most important thing for you to know about KUBE is that it is distributed into every household in Houston.
We will have eight games broadcast on UniMas Channel 67 and a single game on Fox Sports 1.
Also, there is no TV-required MLS Live blackout, meaning you can watch games on your mobile device without restrictions.
For the first time since 2012, we do not have any games that go head-to-head with the Astros, making Lots B&C exclusively available to Dynamo fans and tailgating for every game.
If you don’t like the heat, then you’ll like the fact that this season’s schedule includes only five home games during the hot summer months of June, July and August.
You may also like to know that home games will kickoff at one of three times in 2017, 3pm, 7:30pm or 8pm. We had seven different kickoff times in 2016 (not by choice).
The home dates feature matches against Seattle, Los Angeles, Orlando, NY Red Bulls, and, of course, our two biggest rivals, Sporting KC and FC Dallas.
Lastly, we have a new ticketing system called Flash Seats. It offers a more convenient and flexible way for you to manage your tickets. Be on the lookout for more specific info to come on this soon.
Sorry for being so long-winded, but there is a lot to cover. Change has been in the air, and it’s all with the intent of making your Dynamo experience better.
I hope you share our excitement, and can’t wait to see you on March 4th.