Houston Dynamo FC is an American professional soccer club based in Houston, Texas. The Dynamo compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Western Conference.
Houston Dynamo FC Youth Development System
The Dynamo Academy was created in 2007 and led by Director of Youth Development James Clarkson. On February 27, 2009 the Dynamo signed Tyler Deric, their first homegrown player in club history. The following season Francisco Navas Cobo became the second HGP in Dynamo history. On April 17, 2010, Navas Cobo became the first academy alum to appear in an MLS game for the Dynamo. Alex Dixon became the first academy alum to score a goal with his stoppage time winner against Real Salt Lake on August 20, 2011.
The Dynamo Academy has trained and played their games at Houston Sports Park since it opened in 2011. Prior to that, they used multiple fields around the city.
The Dynamo Academy is currently ran by Academy Director Paul Holocher.
For 2014 and 2015, USL-Pro team Charleston Battery was an affiliate with the Dynamo, letting Houston send players there on loan. In late 2014, the Dynamo met with USL officials about creating a USL team. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros replaced Charleston as the Dynamo’s USL affiliate for the 2016 season. The Dynamo send academy players as well as fringe first team players and playersehabbing from injury to train and play with the Toros throughout the year. Brazos Valley Cavalry serves as the Dynamo’s USL League Two affiliate since 2017.
Houston Dynamo FC Academy
The Houston Dynamo Academy is a program that seeks to be the benchmark in professional player development in our nation by providing the necessary resources, experiences, and structure to reach the highest international levels for motivated and talented players from across the Greater Houston. The program’s aim is to prepare and produce young men capable of being successful professionals both on and off the field.
Houston Dynamo FC CULTURE OF DEVELOPMENT
The term ‘Culture of Development’ refers to a way of working which is open and eager to learn together, between staff, with our partners in development, and which is reflected both on our fields or in our working with others in our Greater Houston community.
The development, of our coaches, of our players and our teams, and of our relationships are our highest priority. We value and encourage a Growth Mind-Set combined with the hard work and deliberate learning and training that is required in helping individuals reach their potentials- and always aimed towards the highest international levels.
As the young player enters the Dynamo Academy they are provided a comprehensive and long-term development plan, which focusses both on the individual player and the collective team. Our coaches are teachers, and each has special and unique qualities that are suited for their specific Phase of Development. We aspire to teach a special brand of soccer, utilizing a strong mentality, insight and spirit, always looking to improve our daily trainings with the right balance of structure, and competitive expression.
Vertically Integration: Towards the Highest Levels
The Dynamo Academy (MLS) strives to develop players towards the highest levels of international youth soccer standards. We look to learn from clubs nationally and internationally, but we have our own unique Dynamo Academy Game Model and Development Methodology. The goal of the Dynamo Academy is to provide each young player holistic programming to help them grow and excel in both soccer and in life.
The Dynamo Academy works in three distinct Phases of Development which we take measure to vertical integrate. It is this systematic and consistent approach to development that we believe helps young players take deliberate steps forward and aspiring towards the next higher levels.
Houston Dynamo FC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is the Dynamo Academy?
A. The Houston Dynamo Academy is a program that seeks to be a benchmark in professional player development by providing the necessary resources, experiences, and structure needed to reach the highest levels. The program’s aim is to produce MLS and international standard players and young men of high character, who are capable of being successful both on and off the field.
Q. How are players identified for the Dynamo Academy?
A. Players are identified in a number of ways. For more info click here.
- Talent Identification Nights- the Houston Dynamo Academy hosts several organized Talent ID nights throughout the calendar year in which players may attend to be evaluated for selection to the Academy.
- Scout Identification– the Houston Dynamo Scouts and Tipsters watch for young players with motivation and talent throughout the Greater Houston, regionally and even nationally.
- Personal Application- Motivated players can contact and apply to be evaluated for selection to the Dynamo Academy at any time.
- Training Camps and Youth Program- Players that attend our Dynamo camps and training programs will be evaluated for selection into the Dynamo Academy.
Q. How is the Dynamo Academy different than other teams in the area?
A. The Houston Dynamo Academy is the official academy of the Houston Dynamo, sharing the same Training Complex, at Houston Sports Park, and working within a vertically integrated program that offers a high-level and direct pathway to the professional game. Our Academy players are closely monitored by first team staff and provided opportunities like:
- Training with the First team.
- Playing matches with RGVFC (USL Affiliate)
- Evaluation by MLS First Team staff.
- Highest level domestic competitions. (US Soccer Development Academy and Adidas MLS GA)
- International youth tournament experiences.
Q. What teams does the Dynamo Academy have?
A. Our Academy pathway is comprised of four (4) distinct and important Developmental Phases: Grassroots (U9 and below) Foundation Phase (U10, U11, U12), Formation Phase (U13, U14, U15), and the Pre-Professional Phase (U17, U19). For more information click here.
Q. What leagues do the Dynamo teams play in?
A. The Dynamo Academy plays in the highest leagues possible in each Phase, including local leagues and the US Soccer Development Academy. For more information click here.
Q. Is the Dynamo Academy free or do I have to pay?
A. The Dynamo Academy is a fully funded program, while some of our younger teams have a small annual registration fee.
Q. Do the Dynamo Academy coaches speak Spanish
A. Some coaches have the ability to speak Spanish, however, training sessions are conducted in English.
Q. Where do the Dynamo Academy train?
A. The Dynamo Academy trains at the Houston Sports Park home of the professional teams Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, and Dynamo Academy.
Q. How often to the Dynamo Academy teams train?
A. Foundation and Formation teams train four (4) days per week. Pre-Professional teams train between 5-8 times per week.
Q. Can a Dynamo Academy player sign a professional contract with the Dynamo First Team?
A. Yes. Houston Dynamo Academy players which demonstrate the qualities needed to sign with the First Team can sign a Home-Grown professional contract. One of the main objectives of the Dynamo Academy is to help identify and develop players for our First Team.
Q. Does participation in the Dynamo Academy mean I lose NCAA eligibility?
A. No. All players in the Dynamo Academy retain NCAA eligibility while playing in the Academy.
Q. Will the Dynamo Academy staff help with my college recruitment?
A. Yes. We have a wide network of college contacts from D1 to D3 to NAIA who are in contact and communication with regarding collegiate opportunities. For more more information on our Academic Programming and College Placement click here.
Dynamo Dash Youth
Dynamo and Dash Camps are aimed at all players aged 4-12 looking for a challenging soccer experience or a fun introduction to the game. In age- and ability-specific groups, led by experienced and qualified coaching staff, players will be motivated to achieve through appropriate soccer activities. Dynamo & Dash Camps operate over four-day periods and are split into two options based on age: Dynamites (4-5 years) or Dynamos (6-12 years) camp programs. Spring Break, Summer, Thanksgiving and Winter camps are offered. Camp registrations include a free companion ticket to select Houston Dynamo or Dash games at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston Dynamo FC TYPES OF PROGRAMS
Dynamo & Dash Camps are held at many locations in Houston and the surrounding areas. Camps are offered at Spring Break, Summer, Thanksgiving and Winter vacations.
Indoor Camps programs are held at the best indoor soccer facilities in the Houston Area. These camps are offered as full or half day camps programs in Spring Break, Summer and Holiday vacations; six hours for 6-12 year old’s and two hours for 4-5 year old’s. Camps include a training ball and a match ticket.
Houston Dynamo FC CONTACT INFORMATION
For general inquiries on all Houston Dynamo & Dash Camps and Training Programs, including hosting a Program at your facility, please email [email protected] or call 832-901-3983 or 713-454-2981.
Para información en español favor de contactarnos por email a[email protected] o llamar al 832-901-3983 o 713-454-2981.
Dynamo USSDA (U10 – U19)
—— Dynamo Academy——
Foundation Phase: (U10, U11, U12)
Q. What is the Houston Dynamo – Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program?
A. The Houston Dynamo Academy is the professional youth academy of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. The Houston Dynamo Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program is designed to bring an elite level development program and pathway to young players throughout Greater Houston.
“We believe strongly in the potential of the young players throughout Houston. In coordination with the Dynamo / Dash Youth Soccer Club, our partners in development, we wanted to develop a program that truly put player development and learning as the top priority. The Houston Dynamo – Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program will be a transformational program for both player and coach development.”
“Houston’s large geographic size and population requires us to provide logistical solutions for families of young, motivated players. In the model of other top professional academies around the world, geographic training and development centers will help greatly reduce travel time and expense for our families. It would provide a capacity for motivated and talented players to experience an elite and professional player pathway through a team of coaching staff with a proven development curriculum and programming. We couldn’t be more excited for the program.” Paul Holocher, Houston Dynamo, Academy Director.
“The development of the Catalyst Program is fundamental to our mission at the Houston Dynamo / Dash Youth Soccer Club. We believe in creating a true pathway from the grassroots to the professional game. This program will provide players from all over Houston an unparalleled level of opportunities! The Catalyst Program clearly demonstrates the level of collaboration between our Development Academy programs for the betterment of the game in Houston. Last week both academies had two players, Cesar Cordova (Pictured aboved; Humble, TX) and Hans Leza (Houston, TX) represent our country and city with the U-15 United States Youth National Team. This program will be the first step for the next generation!” Dave Dengerink, Dynamo Dash Youth Academy Director.
“We are extremely proud of the relationship that we’ve built with the Dynamo/Dash Youth club – and are both committed to working together to grow the game in our community. The Catalyst Program is one of many initiatives we’ve partnered on – and we look forward to collaborating with DDY on many other initiatives in the coming years.” John Walker, Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash – President of Business Operations.
Q. What are the age-categories of the Houston Dynamo – Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program?
The Foundation Phase is an important “golden age” of learning and the largest developmental phase in youth soccer. There are three age-categories in the Foundation Phase: U10, U11 , U12.
Q. How will players be selected for the Houston Dynamo – Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program?
- Talent Identification dates that will be conducted in Feb and March 2020 for evaluations and placements of motivated, soccer-loving and talented young players in the U10 (2011 birth year) U11 (2010 birth year) U12 (2009 birth year)
- Players should attend the Talent Identification dates nearest to where they live.
- Click HERE for more information on the February and March 2020 Talent ID nights and to register.
“The expansion of the Houston Dynamo Academy to north Houston is a terrific development for our club and city. By enhancing the technical relationship between the Houston Dynamo Academy and the Dynamo | Dash Youth we will be able to work and collaborate together on a day to day basis to better identify, develop and promote the most motivated and talented young players. We are thrilled to work with our colleagues at Dynamo | Dash Youth and Total Football Club to continue to grow the game across Houston and we look forward to starting in August.”Justin Neese, Houston Dynamo Foundation Director.
Q. Where are the Houston Dynamo – Academy Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program Campuses located?
Concordia Lutheran High School (700 E. Main, Tomball, 77375)
Bear Branch Soccer Complex (5205 Research Forest Dr. The Woodlands, Texas, 77381)
Hickory Slough Sportsplex (7600 Hughes Ranch Rd., Pearland, Tx 77581)
Dalecrest Fields (9500 Dalecrest Dr, Houston, TX 77080)
West: Memorial Hermann Sports Park (23900 Katy Fwy. Katy, Tx. 77493)
New Dynamo Catalyst Foundation campus coming to Katy.
“Having a Catalyst Program campus in Katy will provide the opportunity for local players to experience the elite programming provided by the Houston Dynamo Academy. We aim to attract the most motivated and talented young players in our area and to help them develop and maximize their abilities. This is a huge first step in expanding a full development pathway to professional soccer through Dynamo Dash Youth and the Houston Dynamo Academy in Katy and we are looking forward to the Talent Identification nights and working with the motivated and talented U10, U11, and U12 players in Katy and building the Dynamo Catalyst teams for the 2020/2021 soccer year.” Radojica Ristic, Director- Dynamo Dash Youth West
Q. What are the team and training fee costs associated with the program?
Each Foundation Phase Campus operates under a similar registration model to keep fees low. There will also be opportunities for need-based scholarships.
Q. What league will this program compete in?
- Texas Pre-Academy U12 League
- The league is an elite player development program and competition that is conducted and administered by USSSA on behalf of the 12 Texas Member Clubs. This league has been created in order to provide a competitive programming schedule that is reflective of the needs of the players and clubs participating.
- South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) – Dynamo | Dash League (U10 & U11)
Q. Who will be staffing the Programs?
Justin Neese (Dynamo Academy Foundation Director) and Paul Holocher will oversee the annual programming, along with an excellent ‘team of coaches’: Tanner Chassman (Dynamo Academy Skills Coach) Cesar Gutierrez, Carl Fleming, Darron Rush, Rodolfo Castilla, Alan Cuevas, John Shannon, Radojica Ristic.
Q. What are the Key Learning Objectives for the Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program?
- Cultivate a growth mindset and love of learning
- Teach the game in a positive and instructive way
- Teach the players to fall in love with the ball and be skillful
- Introduce and teach the club’s game model
- Implement our Methodology to the coaching staff and players
- Develop video learning
- Inspire players to become “Students of the game.”
- Inspire players to dream big and aspire to achieve high goals.
Q. What are the benefits of the Houston Dynamo Foundation Phase – Catalyst Program?
- Each Foundation campus will help to greatly reduce travel time and expense for families while providing the capacity for motivated young players to experience an elite and professional player pathway of the Houston Dynamo
- The Foundation Program will provide insightful, enthusiastic and systematic development, guided by a proven developmental philosophy and curriculum of the Houston Dynamo Academy
- Special futsal and ball mastery- SKILL BUILDER training will also be emphasized and utilized throughout the year
- Unique developmental opportunities to train at the Houston Sports Park (HSP), home of the Houston Dynamo first team. This will include film learn and Pro-Time mentoring with current and former Houston Dynamo professional players.
- A full-time staff and ‘Team of Coaches’ working collaboratively to provide top-level training and learning environments
- Players also have the opportunity to attend MLS only events such as the Generation Adidas and other national and international opportunities that are part of the Houston Dynamo Academy development plan.
Q. How often will players train at the Foundation Phase Campus?
- Each Foundation Phase campus will operate on similar developmental calendars and will typically train 3-4 days per week with weekend matches throughout the year
Q. How much interaction will there be between the Foundation Phase Campuses?
- In addition to normal geographic campus training, special ‘combined sessions’ and ‘matches’ will be organized on a monthly basis.
- These specially designed training sessions will bring players together from each Foundation Phase campus to train and develop collectively with our coaching staff
- Other opportunities to train, develop and educate collectively will also take place throughout the year.
If you have any further questions about this new and exciting program, please contact the following Academy Directors:
Paul Holocher, Houston Dynamo Academy Director at [email protected]
Justin Neese, Foundation Director, Houston Dynamo Academy at [email protected]
Dave Dengerink, Houston Dynamo | Dash Academy Director at [email protected]
Formation Phase: (U13, U14, U15)
To learn more about the Formation Phase, please click here.
Pre-Professional Phase: (U17, U19)
To learn more about the Pre-Professional Phase, please click here.
RVG FC Toros
The Rio Grande Valley FC is an American professional soccer team based in the Rio Grande Valley operated by Lone Star, LLC. They joined the United Soccer League in the 2016 season. Lone Star has the same ownership team as the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, of the NBA G League.
The team serves as a hybrid affiliate of the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. Chris Canetti, Houston Dynamo president, called the relationship “an important and necessary step.” The hybrid affiliation, a first for the USL, means that the Dynamo will be responsible for the tactical part of the club – selecting players and coaching staff. The ownership group, Lone Star, will be responsible for operations and day-to-day management of the club.
To learn more about RGV FC, please click here.
Houston Dynamo Junior Academy U-9
The Houston Dynamo JR Academy is the initial step in the pathway into the Houston Dynamo Academy. The JR Academy will provide players U9 and younger the necessary resources, experiences, and structure needed to reach the highest level.
The JR Academy is designed with a focus on providing the technical skill base and understanding of the game. The JR Academy will allow selected participants the ability to train, experience, and prepare in an environment similar to the current Dynamo Academy’s training structure. Click here to learn more.
Houston Dynamo Recruitment
The Houston Dynamo are always on the lookout for our city’s and country’s best and brightest young soccer players.
The Dynamo Academy (MLS) is committed to providing the best training environment possible, utilizing a clear Game Model and development methodology that optimizes player development and opportunities for the young player.
Each team is overseen by a full time coach and technical staff that includes, technical, athletic, academics and social components. The goal of the Academy is to develop strong soccer players and good people. Vertical integration with our Houston Dynamo First team is a top priority and you will see players from the Academy join into First team training sessions on a regular basis. The goal is to develop young players who have a professional mindset while enjoying the game at the highest possible levels here in the United States.
Our priority is to provide each individual in our Academy the opportunity to develop to their highest potentials. Each season, we have developed our players to a level where they are signing a professional contract with our MLS First Team, USL Second Team, or in obtaining a scholarship to a top accredited NCAA University.
Please read below for more information about the following:
- Scout Identification
- Talent ID Days
- Host Families
- Join the Academy – Player Application
- Camps and Training
Join the Academy!
Players can initiate contact with the Academy at any time by filling out the application below or by contacting the Academy directly.
To apply for a trial or for further information, please submit your application by clicking here.
Once we receive your application, the information will be submitted to the Head of Talent Identification and Scouting and the Academy Director for consideration.
Houston Dynamo Football Club is an American professional soccer club based in Houston, Texas. The franchise competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), as a member of the Western Conference. It is affiliated with the NWSL team Houston Dash. The Dynamo had first played their home games at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus until 2011. Since 2012, the Dynamo has played home matches at BBVA Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston.
The Dynamo was established on December 15, 2005, when the then owner of the San Jose Earthquakes, Anschutz Entertainment Group, announced that the team was relocating to Houston after failed attempts in securing a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose, California. The club would then be an expansion team of the league, which began play in 2006. The Dynamo are owned by Gabriel Brener, Jake Silverstein, Ben Guill, NBA star James Harden, and former boxer Oscar De La Hoya.
Houston Dynamo’s domestic success consists of winning the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups in their first two seasons. They also won the U.S. Open Cup in 2018. In 2008, Houston became the first American club to secure a point on Mexican soil in the CONCACAF Champions League era during the 2008–2017 format of the tournament.
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Houston Dynamo History
Bringing an MLS club to Space City
Anschutz Entertainment Group had 30 days to decide whether or not to move the San Jose Earthquakes for the 2006 season, according to MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who announced the decision on November 16, 2005. At a pre-match press conference before a Mexico-Bulgaria international friendly at Reliant Stadium, Garber mentioned Houston as a potential MLS expansion city, regardless of whether the Earthquakes relocated or not.
Major League Soccer confirmed on December 15th, 2005, that the San Jose Earthquakes team and all players and coaches under contract will be moving to Houston. Expansion teams could use the Earthquakes’ name, colors, and competition records. An MLS investigation found that the Earthquakes’ stadium arrangement cost AEG more than $20 million in total since it bought the franchise in 2003. In the past, AEG had contemplated moving its headquarters to Houston and had engaged in “good discussions” about finding a soccer stadium in the city before that.
On December 16, 2005, a ceremony was held outside Houston City Hall to officially announce the franchise’s arrival in the city of Houston. Dominic Kinnear and Pat Onstad and Wade Barrett were greeted with cowboy boots and hats by Mayor White, along with Harris County authorities, local soccer organizations, and fans. An agreement was made to lease University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium for three years, which would allow them to practice and play there while receiving a portion of the money from concessions, parking and other sources.
Ex-Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck was named president and general manager of the team by AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke as an urgent step toward establishing roots in the city. Before becoming the head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority in 2001, Luck was an NFL Europe executive and was instrumental in pursuing Houston’s first Major League Soccer (MLS) team. He was also responsible for the construction of Minute Maid Park in Houston, Reliant Stadium in Houston, and The Toyota Center in Houston.
2006: Inaugural season
The Dynamo made their MLS debut on April 2, 2006, in front of 25,462 fans at Robertson Stadium. Dwayne De Rosario assisted on all four of Brian Ching’s goals as the Houston Dynamo defeated the Colorado Rapids 5–2. Houston later defeated well-established MLS teams including D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire, and FC Dallas. The Dynamo finished second in the Western Conference with an 11–8–13 record in their inaugural season. Chivas USA was beaten in the Conference semi-finals. They advanced to the MLS Cup after defeating Colorado Rapids 3-1 in the Western Conference Final.
On November 12, 2006, the Houston Dynamo beat the New England Revolution 4–3 on penalties to win the 2006 MLS Cup in Frisco, Texas. The game remained scoreless until New England’s Taylor Twellman scored in the second half of extra time. For the first time in MLS history, the title was decided on penalties after Brian Ching headed in Houston’s equalizer. Houston’s first two penalty kicks were scored by Kelly Gray and Stuart Holden, respectively. The final two goals were scored by Dwayne De Rosario and Brian Ching. Houston’s MLS Cup triumph was sealed when goalkeeper Pat Onstad saved a penalty kick from New England’s Jay Heaps. Houston qualified for the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup by winning the MLS Cup in 2006.
Concacaf Champions’ Cup the first tournament Houston played in during the 2007 season. Houston left the competition in the semifinals after beating Puntarenas F.C. 2–0 in the first leg but falling 5–2 after extra time to Pachuca in the second leg. Houston swept the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA in the 2007 MLS season openers. After that, Houston had a rough time in the regular season, losing to the New York Red Bulls, the Chicago Fire, the Toronto FC, and the New England Revolution, to name a few.
Because of their first-season MLS Cup victory, the Houston Dynamo were asked to spend the day with President Bush at the White House on May 29, 2007. During the 2007 season, the Houston Astros completed a number of notable moves. Richard Mulrooney was moved to Toronto FC in exchange for Kevin Goldthwaite and a first-round choice in the 2008 SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. Columbus Crew received Alejandro Moreno in exchange for Joseph Ngwenya. Kelly Gray was sent to the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for Nate Jaqua, who was acquired through the deal. After beating FC Dallas, Houston began an 11-game unbeaten streak and a 726-minute scoreless streak, both MLS records.
As part of the inaugural North American SuperLiga, Houston won the group stages before falling in a shootout to Pachuca in the semi-final round of play, Regular season runners-up in the West, Houston advanced to MLS Cup Playoffs, where they were up against FC Dallas in first round matchup. Houston came back from a 1–0 deficit to defeat Dallas 4–1 in extra time at Robertson Stadium, capping off a 4–2 aggregate victory. In the Western Conference final, the Houston Dynamo faced the Kansas City Wizards and won 2–0 to progress to the MLS Cup finals for the second year in a row. Houston was once again pitted against the New England Revolution in the title game. Dwayne De Rosario’s second-half goal gave Houston a 2–1 victory, their second MLS Cup in a row.
Partnership with Golden Boy promotions
MLS notified Anschutz Entertainment Group late in 2007 that they had to sell their participation in the Dynamo because they wanted each ownership group to control only one franchise. The Los Angeles Galaxy is also owned by AEG. For sale: AEG reported on November 21, 2007, that it was in negotiations with Brener International Group and Golden Boy Promotions, controlled by boxer Oscar De La Hoya, to acquire the Dynamo.
According to Houston Dynamo President Oliver Luck, who revealed the negotiations to the media on February 26th, original owners Anschutz Entertainment Group (who held 50% ownership) and newfound partners Gabriel Brener, head of Brener International Group, and multiple World and Olympic boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya will manage the Houston Dynamo in the majority (each with 25 percent ownership). A little Houston Dynamo emblem was emblazoned on De La Hoya’s right thigh during a battle against boxer Steve Forbes. Dynamo’s new stadium search has been one of his pledges, but his training schedule means he hasn’t had much time for it. He promised to get more engaged after he retired in 2009, but it has been ten years and he still hasn’t done so.
On February 20, 2008, the Dynamo made their competitive debut in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the first-ever Pan-Pacific Championship. The MLS Cup Champions, Houston Texans, earned their berth in the competition by winning the MLS Cup. The Houston Dynamo beat Sydney FC in their first encounter, but lost 6-1 to Gamba Osaka in the last match to finish second. As part of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, the Dynamo returned to the field of play (qualifying as the 2007 MLS Cup Champions). A 3–1 aggregate victory over Municipal at Robertson Stadium was enough to advance the Dynamo to the semi-finals. At Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, the team was defeated by Deportivo Saprissa on a 3–0 aggregate (0–0, 0–3).
Before FC Dallas’s 93rd-minute equalizer, the Houston Dynamo’s season began with a 3–3 draw at home against Texas Derby rivals FC Dallas. A 2–1 triumph over the Colorado Rapids was the Dynamo’s only league victory of the season before they went 0–2–4. During the final five games of the season, the Dynamo went 5–0–4 and finished the season with a record of 13–5–12. (behind the Columbus Crew). With a 1–1 tie at Giants Stadium, and a 0–3 defeat at Robertson Stadium, the New York Red Bulls won the Western Conference Semifinals against the Dynamo 3-0 in front of a crowd of over 30,000.
The Dynamo’s 2008–09 CONCACAF Champions League run came to an end in the quarterfinals, falling to Atlante 1–4 on aggregate (1–1, 0–3). Regular season Houston was on an 11-game unbeaten streak early in the season before losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy in June 8–0–3. However, despite the Dynamo’s struggles later in the season due to international competition, they finished the season tied for first place in the Western Conference with a record of 13–8–9. In spite of this, they finished second in the Western Conference despite having a higher goal difference.
Houston defeated Seattle Sounders 1–0 on aggregate in extra time during the playoffs. As a result of multiple rolling blackouts throughout Los Angeles, the Dynamo fell short in the Western Conference finals to the Galaxy, losing 0–2 in extra time. In the 2009 U.S. Open Cup, the Dynamo advanced to the semifinals before falling to the expansion Seattle Sounders FC 1–2 in extra time, with 89th-minute goal from former Dynamo player Nate Jaqua tying the game.
Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden left the Dynamo in the offseason of 2009–10, two of the club’s most important players. A 1-1 tie versus FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park marked the start of the season in 2010. Brian Ching was sidelined for 4–6 weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury in the home opener versus Real Salt Lake. Brad Davis scored two penalties in the second half to give the Dynamo a 2–1 victory. After Geoff Cameron, who ruptured his PCL in a game against the Chicago Fire and was lost by a score of 2–0, the next player to go down injured was gone for the season. The Dynamo beat D.C. United 3-1 in RFK Stadium on September 25 thanks to a 70th-minute header from a free kick from Cameron, who returned to the team in August.
By Week 17, the Dynamo had lost their playoff hopes after going winless in June and July. They finished the season with a record of just 4–7–2 since that point. The Dynamo missed the playoffs for the first time since moving to Houston in the 2005–06 offseason with a record of 9–15–6. At San Jose on October 16 and at home against Seattle on October 23, the Dynamo recorded their only winning streaks of the season against playoff-bound opponents. The Dynamo competed in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the 2010 season. Before falling to Chivas USA 1–3 in the semifinals on July 6, the team had defeated Miami FC 1–0 in the regular season on June 29. (both games at Robertson Stadium). After winning their group in the 2010 North American SuperLiga, the Dynamo went on to lose to Morelia 0–1 at Robertson Stadium on August 5.
Due to Vancouver and Portland’s additions to the Western Conference in 2011, the Dynamo were moved to the Eastern Conference. It finished the season with a record of 12 wins, 9 defeats, and 13 ties for 49 points in the Eastern Conference. MVP candidate Brad Davis’ league-leading 16 assists were a major factor in this milestone being reached.
The Dynamo faced the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, a series they won 3–1 in both the home and away games. The Dynamo made the trip to Kansas City for the Eastern Conference Final. As a result of Brad Davis’s injury early in the second half, the Houston Dynamo advanced to the MLS Finals and a showdown with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The 2011 MLS Final will be held at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles. The Dynamo and Galaxy met in the Western Conference Finals two seasons earlier, and multiple blackouts happened during that game. Landon Donovan scored a goal in the 72nd minute to give the Dynamo a 1-0 defeat.
2012: A new stadium
Because BBVA Stadium, the Dynamo’s new home, was under construction when the team’s first seven MLS regular season games were played on the road. Dynamo started the 2012 season with a bang, beating Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes away, but they were only able to score another two points from their following five matches, resulting in a disappointing eight points. A Brad Davis goal in front of a capacity crowd of 22,039 marked the beginning of what would be an unbeaten year for the Dynamo at home, ending with a year-end home record of 11–0–6 in May 2012, the Dynamo’s first game in their new stadium. Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo’s longtime manager, went from a 4–4–2 to a 4–3–3 formation and back again during the team’s MLS regular season.
After Geoff Cameron’s midseason transfer to Stoke City, the Dynamo went unbeaten with a 5–0–2 record from July 3 to August 3, highlighting the excellent play of captain Brad Davis, Calen Carr, Macoumba Kandji, new designated player Oscar Boniek Garca, and the emergence of Will Bruin as a prominent goalscorer. Although the Dynamo finished second in the Eastern Conference, a series of late-season failures resulted in a wild card spot in the playoffs. Dynamo traveled to Chicago in the MLS Wild Card Match to face the Chicago Fire.
Will Bruin scored twice for the Dynamo in a 2–1 win over the Chicago Fire. Afterwards, the Dynamo faced Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, which was a two-legged match. Houston extended their home unbeaten streak to 29 games in all competitions thanks to goals from Adam Moffat and Will Bruin in the first leg against Kansas City at BBVA Stadium. On aggregate, Kansas City defeated the Dynamo 2–1 in front of a crowd of 20,894, but the Dynamo held on for the win.
Next up for Houston is the Eastern Conference Finals against D.C. United, with the first leg taking place in Texas. Andre Hainault, Will Bruin, and Kofi Sarkodie scored in front of a crowd of 22,101 as Houston won the first leg 3-1. First, Oscar Boniek Garca’s 33rd-minute goal gave the Dynamo a 1–1 draw. The Dynamo held on to win the match and proceed to face the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup finals for the second straight year.
In a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup, L.A. hosted MLS Cup 2012 in front of a sellout crowd of 30,510 people. The Dynamo led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a Calen Carr goal in the 44th minute. Carr’s ACL tear in the 59th minute flipped the game around in the second half. Omar Gonzalez’s header gave the Galaxy the equalizer just one minute after the injury. At the end of the five minutes, Landon Donovan, who had scored a penalty kick the year before to clinch the Dynamo’s doom, sealed their fate. Robbie Keane scored a stoppage-time goal for L.A., and the MLS champions were declared. In 2012, the Houston Dynamo made great progress.
As part of a 36-game unbeaten run that spanned two stadiums and parts of three seasons in 2012, they were unbeaten in their own backyard, as well. Will Bruin became the team’s top goal scorer in his second season. This season’s MLS Latin Player of the Year award went to newly acquired Designated Player Oscar Boniek Garca. The Dynamo’s appearance in the MLS Cup in 2012 was their fourth in the league’s seven-year history. In the 2012–13 CONCACAF Champions League, the Dynamo defeated Santos Laguna to go to the round of 16, where they will face off against them on March 5, 2013. Second-placed finish in the MLS Cup earned them an automatic spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League.
2013–2016: Decline under Brener and De La Hoya
At the end of the 2013 season, Dynamo finished with a 9–4–4 record at home. Sporting Kansas City halted their 36-game home winning streak on May 12, 2013, with a 0–1 victory, with Aurelien Collin scoring the game-winning goal. It was still possible for the Dynamo to qualify for the playoffs with a 14–11–9 overall record. The MLS Wildcard Match between Houston and Montreal was a tense affair at BBVA Stadium. With two goals, Will Bruin kept up his incredible goal-scoring streak in the postseason with a 3–0 demolition of Le Impact.
A 2–0 first-leg lead in Houston by the New York Red Bulls seemed to indicate that the Dynamo would be thrashed by the Red Bulls as well when they met at Yankee Stadium for a second leg in New York. Ricardo Clark opened the scoring in the second half, and Omar Cummings, who has recently returned to full fitness, completed the Dynamo comeback in stoppage time. A thrilling second leg in New York City followed. At halftime, Brad Davis equalized for the New York Red Bulls after an error by the Red Bulls’ defense allowed Bradley Wright Phillips to reclaim the lead for the Red Bulls. Omar Cummings makes his second appearance, and he once again scores an exciting stoppage-time goal to send the Houston Dynamo to the Conference Championship game for a third straight year.
That would be it for the Dynamo, which was a shame. At home, the Dynamo were held to a scoreless tie by eventual champions Sporting Kansas City, and they lost the rematch 2–1. However, the Dynamo’s 2013 season would go down in history as just another one of their many triumphs, and the team’s core players were all under contract for the foreseeable future. On July 1, 2014, the Houston Dynamo signed a multi-year shirt sponsorship agreement with BHP Billiton following two years without a sponsor. It was Dominic Kinnear’s job to lead the team.
The team’s captain was Brad Davis. The Dynamo acquired Puebla’s DeMarcus Beasley on July 23, 2014, and he has been with the team ever then. To make matters worse, they were eliminated from playoff contention after finishing eighth out of a possible 19 teams in the Eastern Conference and scoring 14th most points in that same league. Before the start of the 2015 season, the Dynamo relocated to the Western Conference with Sporting Kansas City. Brad Davis remained the team’s captain while Owen Coyle took over as head coach. There were no playoff berths for the Houston Rockets this season after finishing eighth in the Western Conference.
The team announced at the end of the 2015 season that Brener had purchased AEG’s remaining interest and had become the majority owner. The Houston Dynamo announced on May 25, 2016, that they had mutually agreed to part company with head coach Owen Coyle. Wade Barrett became the new head coach on June 7th. The following season, they finished tenth and last in the West with 34 points and a typical attendance of about 20,000 people. After Wade Barrett’s resignation on October 28, 2016, Wilmer Cabrera was selected as the team’s new head coach.
2017–Present: Further Decline
The club finished fourth in the Western Conference in 2017. For the first time since 2013, they qualified for the playoffs. Despite making it to the MLS Western Conference Finals, they were beaten by Seattle Sounders FC. New York City FC won its first U.S. Open Cup trophy in 2018 by defeating Philadelphia Union 3–0. The Dynamo have qualified for their first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League since 2013 with their victory. As a result of the team’s failure to make the playoffs yet again, Brener and De La Hoya have come under fire for their lack of transparency regarding the team’s plight.
Both legs of the Dynamo’s first-round CONCACAF Champions League matchup against C.D. Guastatoya were won by the Dynamo. Tigres UANL beat them 3–0 in the quarterfinals, and they were eliminated from the tournament. Club America beat Houston in the first round of the Leagues Cup, but the Texans were knocked out in penalty kicks. In the midst of a 2–11–1 slump, the Dynamo fired coach Wilmer Cabrera this summer. For the second year in a row, they failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs.
The Houston Dynamo have hired former US men’s national team player Tab Ramos as their head coach, traded for former Minnesota United forward Darwin Quintero, and signed Croatian goalkeeper Marko Maric for the 2020 season. It was their sixth straight season without making the playoffs, as they finished last in the Western Conference during this year’s abbreviated season.
Colors and Badge
The Dynamo crest’s official colors are Wildcatter orange, Space City blue, and Raven black. Adding the star to the original crest was an afterthought, maybe in honor of Houston, Texas’s flag or the “Houston 1836” crest concept, which may have inspired its addition. As with the “1836” logo, the soccer ball with the star in the center is still present, but the shadow has been replaced to the Space City blue of the brand new design.
A sanctioned star was put to the shield above the shield in 2008, after donning the scudetto in 2007, following the 2006 MLS Cup championship. Since they won the MLS Cup for a second time in 2007. In 2008, they won the scudetto for a second time in a row. After winning MLS Cup 2007 in 2007, the team’s logo received a sanctioned star in 2009.
Houston Dynamo FC was renamed in 2020 with a new logo. Since its inception in 2006, the Dynamo has used a hexagonal form to commemorate the six wards that comprised the original city layout. The interlocking monogram in the crest reflects Houston’s bayou system with the channels depicting the city’s rivers.
Houston Dynamo Stadiums
To the east of Minute Maid Park, across Highway 59, the Harris County Sports Authority and Harris County struck an agreement on December 2, 2010, for the 20,000–22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Downtown Houston. This would be Downtown Houston’s third athletic complex. BBVA Stadium officially opened on May 12th, 2012, hosting a match between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union. Several thousand fans witnessed the groundbreaking of the Houston Dynamo’s new stadium on February 5, 2011, which was attended by Dynamo owner Philip Anschutz, along with equity partners Oscar De La Hoya and Gabriel Brener, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Harris County Judge Ed Emmitt and Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti. Later in the month, construction began.
With a single concourse supporting both the lower and upper seating bowls, spectators will be able to enjoy unimpeded views. The concourse gives convenient access to concessions and restrooms around the stadium. The stadium’s sound and video systems will be updated to provide a better experience for fans. Viewers and listeners will feel a part of the action if the broadcast equipment is fully integrated. The new Dynamo stadium also accommodates Texas Southern University football, concerts, boxing matches, and other events in addition to Major League Soccer and foreign soccer. The Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center, as well as the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas, Discovery Green, and the Houston Pavilions, are all within walking distance of the new stadium’s downtown site, creating a genuine Stadium District. The rebranding of BBVA Compass Stadium as BBVA Stadium was announced on June 13th, 2019.
Houston Sports Park
Located at Houston Sports Park is a training facility for the Houston Dynamo and its youth teams (HSP). The complex, which has seven soccer fields, field lighting, and parking, was inaugurated in 2011. FieldTurf is used on one of the fields, while Bermuda grass is used on the rest. The Dynamo and other visiting professional teams have exclusive use of the Methodist Champions Field. Those remaining fields can be rented out to the general populace. A Methodist Hospital physical treatment clinic and a Athlete Training + Health Performance facility are part of the training complex. A joint venture between the City of Houston and a developer located about 10 miles south of the BBVA Stadium resulted in the construction of the facility.
In its inaugural season, the Dynamo received a lot of support from fans. On April 2, 2006, they played Colorado Rapids in front of 25,462 spectators for the first time in their history. Over the course of the rest of the spring and summer, the number of students attending decreased. At Robertson Stadium during the months of July and August, they played five matches, and the average attendance was 10,348. On August 9, the Houston Dynamo hosted the Los Angeles Galaxy at Houston’s Reliant Stadium in a doubleheader that drew a crowd of 70,550 for an exhibition game between FC Barcelona and Mexican side Club América. As the weather cooled and the playoffs drew closer, home attendance began to rise again. The average attendance for the team’s 16 regular-season home games in 2006 was 18,935. When they faced Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids in the playoffs, home crowds totaled 17,440 and 23,107 respectively. The 22,427 spectators who attended the 2006 MLS Cup in Frisco, some 275 miles (450 km) from Houston, were largely made up of Dynamo supporters. El Batallón currently has three formal support groups. Brickwall Firm and La Bateria were two of the organization’s former supporters.
City of Houston, Texas
With an expected 2019 population of 2,320,268 people in Houston, Texas, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States, and the most populated city in the Southern United States. At a population of 7,066,141, it is the second-largest metro region in Texas, after Dallas–Fort Worth, after Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Harris County is the capital of Harris County, and it is the primary city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. The Texas Triangle includes Houston and the surrounding area to the southeast.
In terms of distance, Houston is approximately 165 miles (266 kilometers) east of Austin, 88 miles west of the Louisiana border, and 250 miles south of Dallas. Total land area of the city is 637.4 square miles (1,651 km2), with a water-covering area of 22.3 square miles (58 km2). Western Gulf coastal grasslands make up most of Houston’s vegetation, which transitions to the Big Thicket as it moves further north into a subtropical jungle.