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Canetti's Corner - July 19, 2010

Welcome to edition No. 12 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

There is a lot to cover this week. Let me jump right into things.

After a win over Pachuca and a draw with Chivas USA, we are in a decent position going into our final SuperLiga group match vs. Puebla on Wednesday. We can advance with a win or a draw. If we lose, then we will need Pachuca to beat or tie Chivas.

The team has played well in the tournament. The win over Pachuca was tremendously satisfying. Joe Ngwenya scored two goals, while Tally Hall made some great saves. I think we outplayed Chivas and could have won the match. We missed some golden opportunities and lost concentration on their lone goal.

As you know, we released Luis Angel Landin last Tuesday. Things simply didn’t work out with Luis during his tenure here. We had high hopes for him when he was signed from Cruz Azul, but our expectations were never met. He had just two goals and three assists in 20 appearances in all competitions. The timing of the move was based on our need to clear a roster spot and his limited foreseeable playing time. He has signed with Atlante, and we wish him well there.

Many have asked, “What does this say about the Dynamo’s philosophy on having a designated player?” Here’s the answer: We are open to signing other designated players, although it will be difficult to acquire one in 2010 due to salary cap limitations. We will look to sign DPs in the future under the right situation. Finding the right fit requires the balance of many factors and good timing.

John’s Spencer’s departure as assistant coach was another piece of news from last week. John is moving on to pursue other career interests. An announcement regarding John’s future will be made soon by the appropriate party. I’d like to thank John for his contributions to the Dynamo and wish him well. He has been a valuable asset to the organization.

In the meantime, we are actively seeking John’s replacement and have some leading candidates in line. It is possible that we could announce a replacement this week.

Ticket sales for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game are upwards of 50,000. Seats have been going fast over the last few weeks. We expect that the pace will get even more hectic down the final 10 days, and a sellout will be within reach.

Congratulations to Brian Ching and Brad Davis for their well-deserved selections to the All-Star Game.

I want to re-highlight a few great events around All-Star Week in Houston.

Saturday, July 24
Go for the Goal 5K Run & the Dynamo Diesel Kids Fun Run
Sponsored by Infinity Insurance, benefiting Recipe for Success
Registration required, $22 advance, $25 on site

Sunday, July 25
Kicking & Screening Soccer Filmfest
Angelika Film Center
Ticket required, $10 per movie, $25 day pass

Monday, July 26
Dynamo All-Star Kickoff Party
Season Ticket Holders Only, Free admission, ticket required, limited availability

Tuesday, July 27
MLS All-Star Soccer Jam
Discovery Green
Open to the public, free admission, no ticket required

Wednesday, July 28
Brian Ching Post-Game Party
House of Blues
Benefiting Houston Habitat for Humanity
Ticket required

For details about these events, go to //www.houstondynamo.com/allstarevents.

As you probably know by now, Thierry Henry will make his MLS debut for the Red Bulls here in Houston on Saturday, July 31. This should be an awesome moment and one of those can’t-miss events.

This is truly a great time for Houston soccer fans. There is an incredible menu of events to experience. I hope to see you at many of them.

Take care, and feel free to email me at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com with any questions or comments.