Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Canetti's Corner - June 22, 2010

Welcome to edition No. 8 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

I hope everyone is doing well. I usually write my blogs on Sundays and post them on Mondays. I took this Sunday off to celebrate Father’s Day, and I’m paying for that move as I’m now trying to fit it into a very busy week. Please excuse my tardiness and for this week’s version being shorter than normal.

I want to focus on the Dynamo Charities Cup, covering both on- and off-the-field issues.

On the field, it was a good opportunity for the team to get a game during the World Cup break. Dominic very much wanted to keep the team on a routine with game action, so we were able to accomplish that objective. It was also an opportunity to evaluate three players that were here on trial. Anthony Obodai (Ghana), Juan Quevedo (Argentina), and Kendall Waston (Costa Rica) all played significant minutes in the match and trained during the week. Final evaluations are being made and decisions will be made on these players this week. It was also nice to get a win and confidence booster for the team.

Off the field, we are starting a tradition in the Dynamo Charities Cup. I want to build something that becomes a major event on the annual soccer calendar and provides significant charitable contributions to the community. I envision major international clubs coming to play the Dynamo in our new stadium in front of sellout crowds. As is any tradition, it takes time to grow. This year, we saw small growth over the inaugural match with an attendance of 11,843. Last year (a 2-1 victory over Monterrey) saw a crowd of 10,456.

The beneficiary of this year’s event is the Horizon Relief Corporation, a group devoted to helping those individuals affected by the Gulf oil spill. While final calculations are still being settled, we should be able to donate more than $10,000 to the cause.

One of the driving factors in making the Dynamo Charities Cup a success is the clubs we are able to secure. This year we faced a scheduling challenge in securing an opponent. Clubs want to come to the U.S. in either May or July/August. We could not squeeze in a May date because of a crowded home schedule, and we couldn’t schedule a match in the July/August timeframe because of the All-Star Game. We are already in early discussions with some interesting European clubs for May of 2011, and I am fairly confident that we will see a bigger opponent on the schedule.

The World Cup has been great so far. The coverage and the ratings are a true sign of soccer’s growth and development in this country. Please join us on Wednesday morning at Lucky’s Pub for the viewing party for the U.S. game.

It will be nice to return to the field for an important MLS match this weekend (Colorado, 7:30 p.m.), and we're quickly back in action in Open Cup play on Tuesday night against either Miami or Tampa Bay. I hope to see you there!

Email any questions or comment to me at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com. Thanks.