Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Canetti's Corner - January 31, 2011

Welcome to edition No. 27 of my blog on HoustonDynamo.com.

Complete Canetti's Corner Archive

Greetings, Dynamo fans. I thought I'd write a quick blog to keep you up-to-date on a few things.

As you know, we targeted last Saturday as the date for our ceremonial groundbreaking for the new stadium. Unfortunately, we are not going to meet this goal and will have to set another date. This was a moving target from the day we penciled it into the calendar, and we anticipated the possibility that it would change. Another date could be identified in the next few days. We simply decided to take a conservative approach and allow ourselves more time to finalize some outstanding things on our to do list. This does not have any impact on our construction timeline and planned opening in April 2012. Once we set a firm date, we hope you will join us for the event. It will be a wonderful celebration and a moment we have all been waiting for.

As you also know, preseason camp opened last Monday. The first few days of training have been filled with excitement and optimism. The team was clearly ready to get back to work. With eight new faces, everyone seems energized about the start of a new year. Being around the team, I could sense something special. The veterans are setting the tone for the newcomers and instilling the Dynamo way. It's pretty neat to see.

I'm really impressed with the leadership Brian Ching has displayed since the end of last season. He has proactively elevated his role as team captain. It's been very apparent, and I think it will have a positive impact on the team.

We often spoke this off-season about our objective of getting more athletic with speed. When watching training, which I did last Tuesday with Greenstar Recycling CEO Matt Delnick, one can see the added pace several new players bring to the club.

A few more pieces to the team puzzle still need to be filled. Dom was in Brazil scouting a potential midfielder two weekends ago, and we are having talks with a center back. Hopefully both of these players can be signed. We want to add depth up top and have three forwards coming into camp for a trial this week.

Some people have been asking about Dominic Oduro's status. I can report that talks have seemingly broken down, as he has opted to pass on our latest offer and is apparently pursuing other options.

I'd like to encourage you to get interactive with Dynamo stories and blogs on Chron.com. When I read the readers' comments, they are routinely dominated by naysayers and soccer haters taking unfair and uneducated shots at our  team, our league, and our sport. I'm not sure why it is so fashionable to do this. Your comments will be helpful to overpowering them. They will also go a long way in showing Chron management that there is great support for this team/sport. This would lead to increased coverage and interest. Please give this some consideration in the future

Key dates over the next two months are highlighted on our Preseason Schedule page, including our first scrimmage on Feb. 5, our first friendly on Feb. 12, Meet the Team Day for season ticket holders on March 5, and of course Opening Day on March 19. Please start thinking about Opening Day and rounding up some friends to come out. We want the Rob to be rocking as we head into our final season there.

The MLS schedule should be ready and released soon. We are also a few days away from selecting the members of the Fan Advisory Board. We had more than 100 applicants, so thank you, all! We'll announce the list soon, and I look forward to working with this group.

That's it for this time ... As always, feel free to email questions or comments to ccanetti@houstondynamo.com. I welcome your input and will reply.