Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

Canetti's Corner - January 23, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of my blog on HoustonDynamo.com.

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Greetings Dynamo fans! Can you believe the season started today? It seems like just yesterday we were playing in the 2011 MLS Cup Final.

It was a short off-season, but now the players are back, and the team trained for the first time this morning. We opened camp with 20 players under contract and six open roster spots; four on the first team and two on the supplemental squad.

The current roster is as follows:

Forwards (4): Will Bruin, Calen Carr, Colin Rolfe, Cam Weaver

Midfielders (8): Luiz Camargo, Colin Clark, Brad Davis, Alex Dixon, Adam Moffat, Josue Soto, Nathan Sturgis, Je-Vaughn Watson.

Defenders (6): Corey Ashe, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Andre Hainault, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor

Goalkeepers (2): Tyler Deric, Tally Hall

Missing from camp this week are Geoff Cameron and Kofi Sarkodie who are away on national team duty. All six of our unsigned 2012 draft picks will be in attendance, along with a few trialists. Be sure to check HoustonDynamo.com throughout the week for more information on the trialists and draft picks.

Check out photos from the first day of preseason

As we head into camp, we are excited about the core group that returns from last year’s MLS Cup run. We really like the players we have in place but realize we need to add a few parts for another title run. That process is on-going, and we are working hard to find players that fit what we are trying to do both on and off the field. We have had a busy off-season of scouting and evaluating talent, so hopefully that work pays off in the coming months.

At this point, I'm sure many of you have read the news about Danny Cruz's trade to D.C. United. Here’s a little insight: We did not pick up Danny’s 2012 option after he graduated from Generation adidas. We worked to structure a new contract but could not reach an agreement. Upon concluding that a deal could not be worked, we sent his rights to D.C. United for allocation money. This allocation will help set up additional moves to fill the open roster spots. We are very tight on salary cap space, so the more money we can stockpile, the more we will have to help improve the team. At the end of the day, the move was in the best interests of the club and we wish Danny the very best in DC.

Switching back to the business side of things, progress on BBVA Compass Stadium has been amazing. We are now 109 days until the grand opening on May 12th.  In the next few weeks, the outer skin will be complete, the playing field will be installed, and seat installation will begin. It is an incredible place and I can not wait for you all to see it.

As we continue to improve our product on the field, the business side of our organization continues to grow. Season tickets sales are up 70% from last year’s total, and we expect to see a growth of more than 100% by the time the stadium opens. Many sections are sold out, but the good news is that there are no bad seats in the house. We have just a handful of suites available and have signed eight companies to come on board as stadium founding partners. Many of those will be announced in the coming weeks.

Click here for more information on 2012 season tickets

Some additional things to look for:

Pre-paid parking will be offered to season ticket holders in the very near future. Be on the lookout for the communication from our office. Spaces are being sold in the Astros lots across from the stadium on Texas Avenue.

An exclusive opening day on-sale opportunity will be available to season ticket holders in the next few weeks. Season ticket holders can get early and exclusive access via a private window to fill their add-on needs for the inaugural match at BBVA Compass Stadium. Start making your plans and look out for more information.

We will unveil a third jersey in 2012. The base uniforms will not change from last year, but we will introduce our first-ever third kit. The timetable is set for mid-June.

We have already announced our very important TV deal with KPRC 2. They will carry six of our 22 local games. We are close to announcing the English and Spanish broadcast partners for the remaining 16 matches. Once the announcement is made, you will see that our TV situation has improved greatly and matches will be more widely distributed throughout the market.

That’s it for now. I’ll be in touch soon with further updates as things continue to heat up. You can also follow my updates on Twitter @chriscanetti.