The Houston Dynamo Unified Team, presented by 76® had a busy summer! Catch up on all the team has been up to since June with this Team Blog, presented by Subway as Partner and Coach Jaime Otero recounts the team's activity.
June 20, Media Day:
Wow, what a day. We arrived at the stadium for a day that will be remembered by all that were involved. The president of the Houston Dynamo, Christ Canetti, had some words to welcome the team and congratulate them on the opportunity to represent the Dynamo on and off the field. After Mr. Canetti spoke, each athlete and partner signed their contract and took pictures with Mr. Canetti, Goalie Joe Willis, and midfielder Joe Holland. Our goalie Zach Copeland and winger Onelle Copeland were also surprised/announced as our All Star representatives in Chicago! We were then escorted to the locker room where each player had a locker with a full kit! A personalized jersey, game shorts and socks, and a sweet locker name tag. Needless to say, everybody was enjoying the moment. We then went onto the field to take a team photo. It was an incredible experience that all athletes and partners will have moving forward.
June 26, Scrimmage:
Today was a good day to get a sense of where the team is at the moment. We had an opportunity to scrimmage against a local high school JV team. The athletes and partners all worked their tails off and are starting to look like a team. The JV boys technical ability was much higher than the SO Dynamo, but they never gave up and continued competing until the very end.
Interview with Jeremy Fox:
- What do you think of our Team?
- We are pretty good, they are good teammates.
- What's been your favorite part so far?
- Getting my own jersey and meeting new friends.
June 28, Scrimmage:
Another practice, another opportunity to scrimmage against a different team. This time, we got to scrimmage against the Girls varsity team from the same high school as the previous practice. Our SO Dynamo team looked a lot better positionally and are starting to defend as a unit instead of individually. It's really exciting to see the team coming together and the level of play increasing at every practice.
Interview with Tyler Sims:
- What do you think of our team?
- I have fun with them.
- What's been your favorite part so far?
- Soccer with my friends.
July 12, Practice:
After a little layoff, we got back to practice and were a little sluggish. After about 30 minutes, the players woke up and started to get to a better level. The team is really starting to bond together and it is great to see.
Wow what an experience. I was prepared for a life changing trip, but I could not have expected this. We all met at the airport in black Dynamo polos and looked like a professional team. After landing in Minnesota, we walked around the city and explored downtown. We then got to enjoy a Twins vs Yankees game with the Minnesota Unified team. The next day we went to the zoo and it was beautiful! I didn’t expect the zoo to be that cool. We knew we had an important game that night so we didn’t do too much. We were worried about rain for our game and it didn’t let us play. We were able to play 12 minutes and Matt Weiser scored the game winning goal. We left with a 1-0 win which would be a springboard for the next game. I made a lot of memories from this trip and Special Olympics has forever changed my life.
After an incredible trip to Minnesota, the team was ready to start preparing for our big game vs Colorado Rapids Unified. We knew we had to learn from the Minnesota game and fix any mistakes that may have been made. The athletes and partners were all ready to give their best to get ready.
With the game getting closer, it was important to focus on positional play. We developed a new formation for this game and needed to make sure players understood their role. Practice started off at a slow pace as we were walking through the new formation.
Little did we know, this would be the last practice in somewhat of a normal climate. After the practice, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Houston got the bad end of it. The entire city was under water. We had athlete’s families have water in their house and had to evacuate. It was a good practice that was followed by chaos.
Our first practice back after the horror that was Harvey. The team came in more upbeat than expected and it was a good opportunity to forget about what happened and return to normalcy. We knew that we had a game to play and all players were locked in and ready for last minute preparations.
September 9, Gameday vs. Colorado Rapids Unified:
After what happened to our city, we knew we needed to perform well and give something for our family and fans to cheer about. And did they have something to cheer about! SO Dynamo came out flying and was the aggressor early in the game. Ivan Soto scored the first goal followed shortly by a goal from Captain Matt Weiser. It was 2-0 SO Dynamo after 10 minutes! We kept the pressure up and scored a couple more before the final whistle. An impressive 4-0 win for SO Dynamo!!