Houston Dynamo vs. Laredo Heat
Thursday, June 10, 7 p.m. CT
Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi TX (5,050 fixed seats, plus general admission)
SporsTalk 790 (no pregame show - live at 7 p.m.)
Dynamo vs. Laredo Heat – Ryan-Sanders Shootout
The Dynamo begin a break from MLS play on Thursday, taking part in the inaugural Ryan-Sanders Shootout, presented by Amigo Energy, at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, home of the AA Corpus Christi Hooks baseball team. It is the first soccer game ever held at Whataburger Field.
This is the first meeting between Houston and Laredo in front of a paid crowd; the Dynamo and Heat played in a scrimmage at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex in Houston on April 25, 2009, with Houston taking a 4-0 win. Six current Dynamo players saw time in the match: Corey Ashe, Mike Chabala, Danny Cruz, Andrew Hainault, Tally Hall, and Craig Waibel. Ashe scored the opening goal and Cruz suffered a broken nose.
The other prominent connection between the teams is Laredo forward Felix Garcia, who broke in with the Heat while in high school. He was signed to a Generation adidas contract by Major League Soccer and allocated to the Dynamo in January 2009. Garcia, however, returned to Laredo without participating in an official training session and chose to remain there after finishing high school, voiding his contract. He sat out the 2009 season but has rejoined Laredo in 2010 after the United Soccer Leagues reinstated his amateur eligibility. Garcia, still just 19 years old, currently leads the Premier Development League in scoring with seven goals and four assists through six games.
Under the Premier Development League’s U-23 age limit (which does allow for several overage players), only three Dynamo players qualify as U-23: Generation adidas midfielder Danny Cruz (20), homegrown goalkeeper Tyler Deric (21), and homegrown midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo (18). Defender Andrew Hainault is 23 years old but will turn 24 next Thursday.
Thursday’s match will be Houston’s second ever against a club from the PDL, an amateur league that often includes collegiate players during the summer months. In the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Dynamo beat the Carolina Dynamo of the PDL by a 4-2 margin.
The game will also be only the second in-season friendly ever played by the Dynamo; the first was last year’s Dynamo Charities Cup against Mexican club Monterrey.
Up Next: Dynamo Charities Cup
The Dynamo will host the second annual Dynamo Charities Cup on Saturday, June 19, at Robertson Stadium when they take on Salvadoran runner-up Aguila at 8 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the clubs, which both wear orange as their primary color. In last year’s inaugural version of the Dynamo Charities Cup, Houston downed eventual Mexican champion Monterrey 2-1 on goals from Geoff Cameron and Dominic Oduro.