On April 16, the Houston Dynamo and Dash lost one of the club’s most ardent supporters, Leopoldo Ponce.
“The Ponce,” as he was known to many within the Dynamo and Dash family, was the hardest of die-hard supporters and was a frequent visitor to Dynamo training sessions. Over time, he became a respected and trusted voice in the Houston soccer scene, using his love for the beautiful game and his passion for the Dynamo to tell the story of the team to an ever-wider audience.
At every Dynamo home match, Ponce could be found in the front row of Section 133 at BBVA Compass Stadium, right in the middle of the Supporters Section. When the supporters moved across the stadium to the north end this season, Leo kept his old seats out of habit, continuing to sing and chant with his friends across the way while making new friends at each match.
To honor Leo Ponce, the Dynamo will rename Section 133, Row 1 “Leo’s Row,” beginning with Saturday night’s game against Sporting Kansas City. And in tribute to Leo and his tireless work to introduce new fans to the Dynamo and to soccer, the club will reserve the seats in Leo’s Row for first-time fans at every game, so that his spirit and his passion will live on.
A moment of silence will be conducted before the national anthem on Saturday night, and the Supporters Section will dedicate the singing of “We Are Orange” prior to kickoff to him.
Additionally, Dynamo players—as well as former Dynamo captain and current Sporting KC midfielder Brad Davis—will wear warmups with a special "LP" patch prior to the match. Players will sign the shirts after warmups, and they will be available in a grab bag outside Section 118 for $100 apiece. All proceeds will go to the charity of The Ponce Family's choice.
Ponce, from everyone at the Dynamo and Dash – players, coaches, staff and supporters – you will be greatly missed. Forever Orange may be the slogan that identifies our club, but no one embodied that more than you. We hope that every person who watches a Dynamo game from Leo’s Row is able to feel at least a little bit of the passion and spirit that made you so special to so many.