Saturday was a banner day for Houston, the Dynamo, and Major League Soccer with the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium.
The pre-game ceremonies were a beautifully emotional dedication to everyone who made the new home of the Dynamo a possibility, the club’s history, and players past and present.
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.
Ah Houston fans. You already know you’re in the Major League Soccer doghouse for your behavior on the road. So instead of being on top notch behavior as you travel to Chicago, one of you decides to attach this to a public Facebook page:
How nice! Giving a tifo done by Section 8 celebrating diversity the bird. Classy. I wasn’t feeling much sympathy for the restrictions placed on you as you travel as supporters before, and now even less so.
If that doesn’t cheese you off, check out the even more offensive version after the jump. (Warning, highly inappropriate language)
In the first match for Houston since the Colin Clark incident, Section 8 Chicago unfurled an amazing tifo declaring “Our City – Our Club – Our Diversity – Our Strength”:
The game was called off in the 61st minute due to weather, and you can see the toll the storms took on the tifo.
Huge kudos to Section 8 for standing up for diversity with such an amazing display.
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.
Colin Clark (according to reports) – right after the game went to the ball boy to apologize in person, apologized on Twitter within hours of the end of the game, and then accepted his punishment with remorse over his actions.
MLS – took down the video as a kneejerk reaction, took a few days to figure the right course of action, then gave out a perfect punishment with a statement that shows MLS will not standard for homophobic actions and words.
In addition, this is the first time a major league athlete has ever been suspended solely for homophobic actions or words. John Rocker went off about everyone and everything. Kobe Bryant was just fined. In addition, a 3 game ban in most soccer leagues is seen for extreme behavior hence why its the standard punishment for a very violent act on the field.
With all of that said, I am tired of trolling gay media sites and reading articles and comments that are SO off base its shocking.
MLS sent a strong and appropriate message today that homophobic language is unacceptable in our league.
In what may be a first in over a decade for professional sports leagues in America, Colin Clark was suspended three games in addition to an undisclosed fine and mandated education. This consequence is appropriate for the severity of the language that Clark used. Recent high-profile incidents of a similar nature carried a fine, but no suspension related to the comments made.
Our Houston correspondent Ayla reacted: “I think that it’s absolutely appropriate, and as a Dynamo fan, the three game suspension is not overkill in my opinion. Also I’m glad that he made an official statement and didn’t just let the twitter apology be the end of it.” Clark’s statement was part of the announcement from MLS, which they didn’t shy away from at all and put front and center on their website.
It’s a proud day to be a GLBT or allied MLS fan, to be a part of a community that isn’t afraid to be progressive and tackle the issue of homophobia head on.
We hope to be an aid as the League and the Dynamo work through this particular incident, and to be a part of working together in various ways to eradicate this sort of language from 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.