The Houston Dynamo announced on Wednesday that the Second Annual Dynamo Charities Cup will be played on June 19 at Robertson Stadium against El Salvador club CD Águila.
“Águila is one of the top clubs from El Salvador and they have a long history and tradition,” Dynamo chief operating officer Chris Canetti said.
The Dynamo Charities Cup was started last year to raise money for Dynamo Charities, the charitable arm of the Dynamo. The first match featured Mexican club Monterrey, which Houston defeated 2-1 in October.
While the team was disappointed with the amount it was able to contribute to charity from that match, the hope was to build upon the foundation set by that initial match.
“The Dynamo are the first MLS team to come up with this concept and institute it and we’re building a tradition and this is only year two of what we hope will be a longstanding tradition,” noted Canetti.
“I thought last year was a great event for us, not only for the fans, but for the fans of Monterrey as well,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. “There is a large population of Salvadoran people here who are passionate about soccer and love to watch their home teams when they come to town.”
While Houston was victorious against Monterrey, midfielder Corey Ashe suffered an injury which limited Ashe’s involvement down the stretch for Houston. As a result, Kinnear was pleased the match was being played earlier in the season and during a break in the club’s schedule.
“On the competitive side, there is a risk that someone gets an injury,” noted Kinnear. “Corey recovered in time for the playoffs, but there is that risk but it’s a sacrifice to raise some money for our charities and this year is a much better time in the middle of the season and on a short break time when we would be training anyways.”
Kinnear admitted that while he will take full use of the liberal substitution rules, several starters will see minutes.
“It’s important for us to be competitive and win this game as you saw last year,” said Kinnear. “It was not short on drama, whether that be goals or the confrontations between the players, so the team selection will be liberal in letting guys who haven’t played get some time, but you will see some normal guys start the game.”
Regardless of who plays in the match, the Dynamo are hopeful that they can raise a nice amount for charity, play a quality opponent, and continue to try to connect with fans that might not have been previously exposed to the team.
“We know we have a big following of Salvadoran fans here in Houston and there is a big population of Salvadoran fans that have not come out to see the Dynamo,” Canetti said. “We think it will be a wonderful match, well-attended, and a good opportunity for fans to see some good soccer and a chance for us to connect with [the Salvadoran] community and help build fans over the long term.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.