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Canetti's Corner - July 26, 2010

Welcome to edition No. 13 of my weekly blog. It appears on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

Frustration is the word to describe Saturday’s loss. Just when we thought things were headed in the right direction, after six games in MLS and SuperLiga without a loss (2-0-4), we suffer a difficult one. It is frustrating, because we seemed primed for a good win. Although we faced some unfortunate things, such as the fluke goal and the soft card that led to Boswell’s ejection, we have to get results. Every game is big from here on out as we need to start collecting points.

All-Star Week is finally here. The soccer world is descending on our great city, and all eyes are on us as we get ready to host the big match on Wednesday night. The buzz around Houston has been amazing over the last several weeks, and it is going to get even bigger over the next few days.

The events got underway on Friday with the beginning of the SUM U-17 Cup (where our Dynamo are 2-0 heading into a big match tonight) and carried through the weekend with the Dynamo Charities 5K Run and the Kicking & Screening Film Festival. There are more to come with the Dynamo Kickoff Party, the MLS Soccer Jam, and Brian Ching’s Post-Game Party.

Community events are slated such as the VW Youth Soccer Clinic and the Home Depot Playground Build.

Players, league officials, club owners, club executives, sponsors, VIPs, and others have all started to arrive and will continue to do so through Wednesday. Manchester United comes to town tonight. Local, national, and international media are all over the story with coverage reaching new heights. Evidence of the event can be seen with highways signs, airport signs, downtown street signs, METRO depot signs, etc.

It is all going down, and it feels big.

Our crowd will be the biggest on the Manchester United North American tour, which is further evidence of this city’s love for soccer and ability to support major events. I hope the World Cup bid committee is taking note.

It is a great feeling when plans come to fruition and goals are met, and that will be the case upon the conclusion of this event. We wanted to put on a spectacle, and that is what will take place over the next few days. A projected sellout will deliver an event that will showcase our sport and help lead to the development of the Dynamo and Major League Soccer. This is important as we look ahead to our new stadium.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and should provide long lasting memories. My staff and I will be glad when it is over (we have worked our butts off), but we will savor the moment while it lasts. I hope you will too. Take advantage of all the events and enjoy the game.

The end of the All-Star Game does not mean the end of the buzz or excitement. Just three days later, Thierry Henry will be here when he makes his MLS debut for the NY Red Bulls (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Robertson Stadium). It is another amazing opportunity for Houston soccer fans to see something special and catch a part of history. We are expecting a big crowd and hope you will join us in the week’s culminating soccer event. Tickets are still available for that match but they won't be for long.

The busy schedule got even busier with our advancement to the SuperLiga semifinals. We host Morelia on Thursday, August 5 at 7 p.m. A win would put us in the final vs. the New England/Puebla winner. This is our third SuperLiga appearance, and we have advanced to the semis each time. Special ticket pricing is in effect for this match. Season ticket holders can get their seats for $12 (lower) or $8 (upper). General public can purchase a lower bowl 4-pack for $49.99.

I would like to thank Craig Waibel for all he has done for this organization during his time in a Dynamo uniform. He was not only a player, but a leader, and a standout contributor to the community. Craig’s release is a symbol of the transition we are going through as a team. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

Enjoy the week. I look forward to your feedback once it’s all over. As always you can reach me at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com with any questions or comments.