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Posts by Ayla
Each year the rivalry between Houston and Dallas takes center stage at the Texas Derby. Usually the front offices exchange banter leading up to the game, but this year was a little different. While Dallas released two viral videos and started a “Crush the Orange” campaign, Houston kept suspiciously quiet. Fans quickly reacted by poking fun at Dallas’ low ticket sales and weren’t afraid to point out that every MLS game at BBVA Compass Stadium has sold out. President Chris Canetti joined in, replying to a ‘crush the orange’ package he received, he tweeted “Thank u @FCDallas for the package. Appreciated. Sorry we haven’t reciprocated. Busy here w/ business.”
The Houston Dynamo took on La Liga’s Valencia CF in their annual Charities Cup last week. The Charities Cup benefits the Dynamo Charities organization, which works to benefit the local community. In past Charities Cups the Dynamo have fielded a mostly reserve team; this year was a little bit different. The starting XI was a mix of reserve staples like goalkeeper Tyler Deric and first team veterans like Brad Davis.
When Valencia scored in the 2nd minute, it looked as though the men in orange were going to face a big loss. Ultimately, though, the Dynamo pulled themselves together. Kinnear fielded the starting forward combination of Brian Ching and Will Bruin, but neither managed to score. The lone Dynamo goal came from a long range rocket fired off by Calen Carr. Kinnear has shifted Carr to the midfield in recent games, and he seems to play a bit more naturally there. With Dominic Kinnear’s knack for shifting versatile players around successfully (Geoff Cameron was a midfielder before Kinnear stuck him in the back line,) the Carr shift looks quite promising.
The MLS Cup Finalists have struggled to make their mark in the standings and their backline is about to take a big hit.
Newlywed and resident Canadian Andre Hainault has been called up to camp for Canada. Hainault played a pivotal role in Houston’s late success last year, and helped take the team to the MLS Cup finals. Hainault is a Canadian National Team regular and will most likely see some minutes in their upcoming friendlies against the USMNT, Cuba, and Honduras. Fellow Dynamo, and another key to Houston’s backline, Geoff Cameron has been called up by Jurgen Klinsmann to join the USMNT camp. If retained, Cameron could face off against Hainault on June 3rd in Toronto. Midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson, also a regular member of the Dynamo’s starting XI, has also been called up for his country. Watson joins Jamaica for upcoming friendlies, and team mate Jermaine Taylor will most likely follow shortly. Dynamo midfielder and Jamaican Captain Taylor is on suspension due to a red card received in his last international fixture. It is expected that once his suspension is up he will join the Jamaican National Team.
With an MLS Cup re-match on Saturday, Houston’s depth will be tested. Though the backline has been shaky at times, it is one of the areas that Dominic Kinnear tends to have set in place. Fans could see a formation shift, or more likely, may see the emergence of Oscar Recio and rookie Warren Creavalle. The route in the midfield will almost certainly feature Nathan Sturgis who performed brilliantly in Houston’s May 15th match against the Portland Timbers. The Los Angeles Galaxy will also be without forwards Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane who have been called up for the USMNT and the Irish National Team, respectively.
Best of luck to the men in orange as they fight for their countries, and how cute does Cameron look in official USMNT gear?!
On May 15th under the bright lights of BBVA Compass Stadium there was a battle of epic proportions. The Houston Dynamo took on the Portland Timbers in the first night time match at the new stadium. While the other twenty men on the pitch put in amazing performances, there were two who really shone that night. Those two men were Tally Hall and Troy Perkins. I have always had a soft spot for keepers. Scoring goals is great, but to me stopping those chances is even more impressive. Ultimately that man in the net is the deciding factor. It doesn’t matter how well (or how poorly) the rest of the team is playing, in the end it all comes down to the keeper. That is his box and what he does in it can make or break a game.
That said, I do not want to downplay the impact of the other players. There was some particularly beautiful (in every sense of the word) work by Michael Chabala in the second half, and Nathan Sturgis was on fire for the Dynamo. Despite that, this game was all about the keepers. Tally Hall and Troy Perkins, in my opinion, are a couple of the most hardworking keepers in the league and their performances on Tuesday proved that.
The inaugural match at Houston’s long awaited BBVA Compass stadium is right around the corner. The stadium will officially open to Dynamo fans on May 12th when the men in orange take on D.C. United. Dynamo President Chris Canetti must have realized that fans couldn’t possibly wait that long, and the organization hosted back to back events over the past weekend that gave fans a sneak peek inside of the venue.
The events were kicked off by the grand opening of the official Adidas Team Store at the stadium on Thursday evening. Fans had the opportunity to shop around, and there was an autograph session with the entire 2012 roster. Reception was amazing and Canetti reported that there were a few fans who even camped out over night in order to be the first through the doors. The store itself is breathtaking. Like everything else in BBVA Compass Stadium, it is orange all over. The store features jerseys and scarfs and all of the obligatory merchandise that a soccer fanatic needs, but also features some amazing extras that could only be found in a team store. Dynamo fans can now purchase everything from shot glasses to tank tops to office supplies.
In support of his current bid for LLS Man of the Year Geoff Cameron has been busy at work. He is hosting a slew of events to raise money for the charity. Cameron’s $20k for #20 campaign supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which raises money for cancer research.
The charity has a personal connection for Geoff who recently had a close friend diagnosed with stage two Hodgkins Lymphoma. Dynamo fans will remember Danny Cruz’s work for the charity last season with his Cruzin’ for a Cure campaign. The first of Geoff’s events was held on the 18th at Bar Münich in Houston. The Celebrity Pour featured a silent auction and tons of free giveaways including team posters and MLS Pub pint glasses.
Local radio station Hot 95.7 provided free Bud Light which the players served up with tons of enthusiasm. I even got tricked into drinking Bud Light (the official beer of colleges the country over) because as soon as Geoff spotted us at the bar he got so excited about serving us that we couldn’t turn him down.
Cameron was joined by teammates Bobby Boswell, Colin Clark and Brian Ching. If every bartender was as cute I’d go out every night. The guys capitalized on this and all tips went to the charity. Midway through the event Dynamo staff announced that the tips already totaled approximately $1200. The event seemed to be a raging success and the bar was packed throughout the event. The next $20k for #20 event will be a FIFA Street tournament in the Houston Galleria on Thursday, April 26th.
On April 15th the men in orange take on the Chicago Fire after consecutive bye weeks. Due to unrelated suspensions, the Dynamo knew they would be without starting midfielders Adam Moffat and Colin Clark. Then, with a definite blow to morale, the team announced that Brad Davis had been injured. This announcement brought back memories of the 2011 MLS Cup. In the semi-final against Sporting Kansas City, Davis went down late in the game. The Dynamo went on to beat Sporting Kansas City, but had to face the Los Angeles Galaxy without their star midfielder. The Dynamo ultimately fell to the Galaxy, and many fans believe the deciding factor in that game was the loss of Brad Davis.
Now at the start of the 2012 season fans are reeling from the surprise loss. While Davis’ injury is minor, the loss of his presence on the pitch is immense. There is no question that there can be no replacement for Davis, but this could be a good opportunity for Dominic Kinnear to test the depth of his midfield talent. In the face of this adversity, what will the Dynamo do? It is safe to assume that left back Corey Ashe will be shifted up to the midfield, and the resulting hole in the back line will be filled with Jermaine Taylor. As far as the midfield goes, Kinnear will have to find depth with the loss of three out of four starting players. Luis Camargo is expected to be game fit and would be a good attacking midfielder to see on the pitch. Rookie Alex Dixon had an impressive start late last season and could also see some playing time this weekend. Je Vaughn Watson and Nathan Sturgis may also get opportunities to step up for La Naranja this weekend, however Sturgis is more likely to be used as a substitution. Ultimately the Dynamo will need to see a strong back line led by Geoff Cameron and Bobby Boswell paired with good finishing up front in order to get another road win when they take on the Chicago Fire this Sunday.
On the heels of the Houston Dynamo’s first loss of the season to the Seattle Sounders, the Dynamo find themselves facing multiple suspensions and a civil lawsuit. If you have been keeping up with our coverage of the Colin Clark incident, you should already know that Clark has been suspended for three games, was fined an undisclosed amount and will complete additional sensitivity training. It is now being reported that midfielder Adam Moffat will also be fined and suspended for one game for a reckless challenge on Sounders Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso in the 35th minute of the game.
When I went out of town this weekend and put the Houston Dynamo versus Seattle Sounders game on my DVR list, I never expected to come home to this game. I knew that the Dynamo lost and that Colin Clark said something controversial, but I didn’t look into it immediately. Instead I decided that I would wait and watch it myself. In hindsight I should have clicked on those news links because I was beyond unprepared for what I heard.
Personally, as a Dynamo fan and season ticket holder, I was immediately embarrassed. In all of the seasons that I’ve been a fan I have never heard anything so thoughtless come out of a players mouth, which says a lot considering all of the things Bobby Boswell has said in anger. In all seriousness though, I have a lot of faith that Dominic Kinnear came down on him. I know we haven’t heard anything official, but Kinnear is known to hold each player responsible for their actions and words on the pitch, and I hope this situation is no different. I also hope that the fans will hold him responsible for his actions. While Colin Clark wears our crest over his heart he represents every single one of us in his words and his actions and to me this is unacceptable.
It has been a good week in the world of the Houston Dynamo. The men in orange won their second game on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes, fans got a new look inside the stadium and the club announced that they are expecting another sell out at BBVA Compass Stadium for the May 15th game when the Dynamo take on the Portland Timbers.
Fans can also register for the annual Go for Goal 5K. This 5K is headed up by assistant coach and former player Wade Barrett. Word has it that last year’s run had some pretty hilarious moments and I will be running the 5K this year in the hope that there will be similar antics. It is scheduled for May 6th as a part of events leading up to the Dynamo’s sold out home opener on May 12th.