The Houston Dynamo Unified Team, presented by 76®, has kicked off its 2018 season. Keep up with the team right here in the official Houston Dynamo Unified Team Blog, presented by Subway!
Dynamo Unified Team travels to Kansas City
The Dynamo Unified team breaks down the trip to Kansas City.
Laura Armas - Partner
Our first day in Kansas City we had lunch in the park together as a team. Everyone was very excited to be there and couldn’t wait to play. That night we had dinner with the SO Kansas City team at a pub called NO OTHER PUB. The place had bowling, table tennis, foosball and other games. All the athletes really enjoyed playing and hanging out with the other team. The next day was game day and we had breakfast together in the hotel, Joe Willis and DaMarcus Beasley came and presented the captain badges to me and Oliver. It was a big surprise for the both of us, it was an honor to be captain of the team for our first game. Later that day we went to the aquarium, it was amazing, and everyone had a good time. All the athletes really enjoyed exploring the city and visiting the aquarium. After we got back from the aquarium we had a quick practice session in the park before our game. When we arrived at the stadium we met up with the other team and had lunch with them. The Kansas City stadium is really nice and there were a lot of people there for the game. We sat with the other team to watch the game which was a lot of fun. The athletes were so excited to see the Dynamo team play. During half time we went on the field and they told everyone to stay for our game. When the Dynamo game was over we went to locker room and got ready for our game. Everyone couldn’t wait to get on the field and play. All the athletes were nervous but excited. When we went out for warm ups there were a lot of people still there in the stadium so it was really cool being on the field and everyone watching us. After warm ups we went in the tunnel and walked out with the other team, it was an amazing feeling walking out and seeing all the people that were there. They announced our names and they were on the big screen. It was really crazy and loud in the stadium, during our game the fans were banging on drums and cheering. It was so much fun playing on the Kansas City field. We lost our game, but everyone kept their heads held high. The athletes were so happy after the game, they couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the trip. This is an awesome team and it was an incredible experience, we had so much fun on the trip and made so many good Memories!
Hayden Dyson - Partner
SO Dynamo’s trip to visit/play Sporting Kansas City was truly memorable experience. Our athletes were happily overwhelmed with all the extras that were provided for us from the use of the Jumbotron to the large crowd that attended the game. The large crowd gave our athletes the boost that was needed so they could show their true athletic and inclusive potential. The trip from start to finish was one that our athletes, partners and fans will forget. This experience has allowed us as a unified team and special Olympics ambassador program to not only strengthen but to expand the inclusion revolution.
Patrick Hernandez - Partner
The Houston Dynamo Special Olympics Trip to Kansas City.
FRIDAY- It was the day we were leaving for Kansas. But very very early but it was a unique way to see how partners and athletes could run on very little sleep some weren’t even phased by early arrival at the airport while some were. But to continue our Friday we had two flights one from Houston to Dallas then one from Dallas to Kansas. Which was really fun to go and see different places in one day. The athletes are the ones who make this trip so easy and fun for everyone they laugh and the joke. So the long flights feel like nothing. After our flights we left to the hotel and arrived to an amazing hotel. One I myself and none of the athletes had the pleasure of being in. Then we settled in and left for team dinner with the Kansas City team.
SATURDAY- was the big day for the athletes and the team. It was the day where we could represent the Dynamo patch that was on our jerseys and represent our city well. We had a team breakfast then we left to an amazing aquarium. Which my athlete partner and I enjoyed very much. After that we went and rested for the big night. We went to the Dynamo game and got to go down on the field and high five all the players which was such an awesome experience to for the athletes they were smiling so wide then we got introduced at half time on the field to everyone. Which was a very big crowd.
We continued watching the game then it was time to get ready and head to the field. You could look around and see the smiles and some nervous faces around the locker room but they were ready to play hard the athletes were so positive and it rubbed off to even some of the nervous partners and to me they are everything they represent the team more than anyone could imagine. As we left to the field our names were called out and our pictures were up on the screen which was so awesome. Then it was game time. The team played very hard and I was proud of what they learned and put in to the game, but we lost but smiles were still high on the SO Dynamo team because we knew we played hard.
SUNDAY- Flight back to Dallas the Houston.
I want to thank 76® and all our sponsors and the people who made this trip possible. This opportunity for myself and these athletes are truly one in a million and y’all make it all possible for these trips to happen and I’m thankful.
Jaime Otero - Coach and Partner
What another incredible experience with incredible teammates and coaches. Seeing how excited the athletes and partners were with the charter bus, hotel, and overall experience was the highlight of my year. The Houston Dynamo really treated us like 1st team players!
Although we lost our game 3-0, SO Dynamo gave their all. Nobody gave up and fought until the very end and that’s all us coaches asked for. The fans from Kansas City were great, and made it a loud atmosphere. It was awesome!
Meeting the Kansas City team was also great. We spent time at a really fun restaurant and got to meet fun athletes and partners. We are thankful for the fun time Sporting Kansas City provided us.
Amanda Cristina Barria Ojeda - Partner
This past weekend was honestly one of the best weekends of 2018. To be honest I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. When we got to Kansas City, my nerves just disappeared. On the plane and the airport everyone was so nice and welcoming. This weekend I was partnered with Jeremy and Anthony. What can I say, they were so much fun. Every time I would ask them if they were having fun, both of them were always so happy and excited at everything we did. On Friday we went to this places called No Other Pub. There we met up with the Kansas team and they were so nice and welcoming. Anthony was having the time of his life playing soccer pool. On Saturday we went to the aquarium and Jeremy sure loved all the fish. We even got to be Junior Rangers! Later on we went to the stadium to watch the game. Anthony was so into the game, every shot, foul, even the smallest things like the passes he would get super exited. Then during half-time we got to go in the field to tell the fans to stay and watch our game. Jeremy was so excited when everyone started to cheer. He put his hands up in the air and cheered right along. When it was almost time for the ahem to start, everyone started to get a bit nervous. But when we got to the locker room we all huddled together and said a few tips for when we play, and that seemed to ease everyone up. When we got on the field and the anthem was being sung and our names were on the Jumbotron, it was the best feeling in the world. I didn’t expect it to be as cool as it was. Overall this weekend was super fun, and it brought everyone on the team together. I can’t wait till our next game.
Briana Holified - Partner
My name is Brianna Holifield, I am one of the lucky students partnered with our amazing athletes on the Houston Dynamo Unified team. This weekend took a trip to Kansas City to play our first game of the season against Sporting Kansas City. We arrived in Kansas City Friday afternoon, just in time to eat lunch at the park. It was a beautiful day in KC, and many of us had our jackets on because it was only in the 60s. Later that evening we congregated in the lobby for team bonding and board games before we left for dinner. There were many board games to play, thanks to Mrs. Erica, but most of us played Guess Who and an on going game of Giant Uno. We had dinner with the Sporting Kansas City Unified Team, at the restaurant there was bowling, ping pong, foosball, and soccer- pool. I asked Oliver, one of our athletes, what activity he enjoyed the most that evening and he said, " Spending time with my teammates was the best part about today."
After a well needed nights rest Friday night, we woke up Saturday morning ready to conquer the day, and play our game against Sporting Kansas City. Proceeding our breakfast in the lobby, Joe Willis and DaMarcus Beasley came to give us a pep talk as well as announce our captains. Congratulations to Laura Armas and Oliver Barria who were announced captains. Oliver said that he was excited when they called his name, and more excited to see Joe and DaMarcus. Saturday's activity was the Sea Life Aquarium. Fox's favorite part was seeing all of the stingrays, and Oliver most enjoyed finding all of the Royal Blue Tangs ( A.K.A Dory) , as well as seeing the sharks and seahorses. For lunch we had pizza in Kansas City at Pizza 51. Mrs. Erica knew we would be hungry after our game that night, so she ordered 6 26' pizzas, the players were amazed at the size of the pizza, and they were determined to finish the pizza. We arrived at the Children's Mercy Park at around 6, where ate a light dinner with the other team prior to taking our seats to watch the Houston Dynamo team play a tough game against Sporting Kansas City. When it came time for our team to take the field the majority of our team all displayed similar feelings of nerves and excitement. When I asked one of our athletes how he felt when he saw his name on the big screen he said, " I was surprised and kind of nervous, both at the same time." At the end of the game the same player said that playing on the big field with all of the fans and supportive energy was so much better than playing on our practice fields, even if it did make him a little nervous. Oliver, our captain, said that his favorite part of the game was him being able to help his teammates play a game he loves. Although we may not have won, our team played well and fought hard. Walking back to the locker room I overheard one of our players say "Its ok, this is just another reason for us to kick their butts next time." I think she voiced what many of us were thinking. Then Hannah said "All I want is the pizza and a nap now," which is how most of the team felt also. After a short team dinner concluding our night we all took our showers and fell asleep within minutes. We woke up 4 and a half hours later for us to barely catch our flight, but at least no one forgot anything. Many of the players said that they were glad to be home Sunday, but sad that we were that much closer to the end of our season. When I asked one of our athletes, Hannah, what her favorite part was about the weekend was, she couldn't answer my question. She searched for a response capable of expressing her feelings on just on moment of the weekend and she couldn't. Hannah said that it was all so much fun she just couldn't choose a favorite part. I think all 16 of us could relate to Hannah.