Houston Dynamo FC

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Houston Dynamo FC
Houston Dynamo FC logo.svg
Full nameHouston Dynamo FC
Nickname(s)Orange Crush
El Naranja
FoundedDecember 15, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-12-15)
GroundBBVA Stadium
Capacity22,000[1]
Majority ownerTed Segal
Head coachTab Ramos
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2020Western Conference: 12th
Overall: 25th of 26
Playoffs: Did not qualify
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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. Established on December 15, 2005, the club was founded after their former owners relocated the San Jose Earthquakes' players and staff to Houston following the 2005 season. For their first six seasons in Houston, the Dynamo were based at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston. During the 2012 season, the club moved to BBVA Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium in East Downtown Houston.

The club is majority owned by Ted Segal, with Gabriel Brener, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill, and basketball player James Harden all minority owners.[2] The Dynamo's current head coach is Tab Ramos, who has been in charge since 2019.

The Houston Dynamo have been MLS Cup champions twice, winning during their first two seasons in 2006 and 2007. The club has also won the U.S. Open Cup once, in 2018. They have been MLS Cup runners-up twice, in 2011 and 2012, and Supporters' Shield runners-up once in 2008. The Dynamo have also reached the final of the now defunct North American SuperLiga, finishing as runners-up following a defeat against the New England Revolution.

History[edit]

Bringing an MLS club to Space City[edit]

MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed on November 16, 2005, that the league had granted permission to San Jose Earthquakes' owners Anschutz Entertainment Group to relocate the team for the 2006 season, giving the entertainment giant 30 days to make a decision. Garber was in Houston and spoke with the media before an international friendly between Mexico and Bulgaria at Reliant Stadium, citing Houston as a next destination for an MLS club whether the Earthquakes moved or not.[3]

"This is the market they've got their sights set on. This is a market that we've got investor interest, we've got sponsor interest, we've got media interest. This is a market that's going to be terrific for us. We will have a team in Houston in due time. The question is whether we have one as early as 2006 as part of a move, or as an expansion team. We'll get a team here, there's no doubt in our mind."

— MLS Commissioner Don Garber, in an interview with the Associated Press,[3] printed November 16, 2005

On December 15, 2005, Major League Soccer announced the relocation of the San Jose franchise, along with all players and coaches under contract, to Houston.[4] The Earthquakes name, colors and competition records were retained by the league for a possible expansion team. According to MLS, AEG had invested more than $20 million in the Earthquakes since purchasing the team in 2003 and suffered significant losses during that period because of its stadium deal.[4] AEG had previously considered Houston as a site to relocate to and entered "positive discussions" about finding a soccer stadium in Houston.[5]

This is not an expansion franchise. This is one of the best teams in the MLS. You are getting an extraordinary franchise.

— AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke, at Houston City Hall,[6] December 16, 2005

A ceremony was held outside Houston City Hall on December 16, 2005, to officially announce the franchise's arrival. Mayor Bill White joined city council members, Harris County officials, local soccer organizers and fans in welcoming team coach Dominic Kinnear and players Pat Onstad and Wade Barrett with cowboy boots and hats. It was disclosed that the team would train and play at the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium on a three-year lease with the university earning a percentage of the revenues from concessions, parking and other sources.[7]

In an immediate effort to plant roots in the community, AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke announced former Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck as the team's president and general manager. A previous NFL Europe executive, Luck had served as the head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority since 2001 and was instrumental in pursuing an MLS team for the city while also overseeing the construction of Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros), Reliant Stadium (home to the Texans) and the Toyota Center (home to the Rockets) during his tenure.[7]

Following an online fan vote, the team was originally named Houston 1836,[8] after the year the city of Houston was founded. However, following some opposition to this name due to its association with the Texas Revolution, the name was eventually changed to Houston Dynamo FC.[9]

2006: Inaugural season[edit]

Paul Dalglish 2006 MLS Cup Trophy
Paul Dalglish holds the trophy after the 2006 MLS Cup victory

The Dynamo played their first MLS league game on April 2, 2006, at Robertson Stadium in front of a crowd of 25,462. The Dynamo beat the Colorado Rapids 5–2, with Brian Ching scoring four goals, with all four assisted by Dwayne De Rosario. Later in the season, Houston beat established MLS clubs such as D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire and FC Dallas.

The Dynamo finished their first season with an 11–8–13 record, earning them second place in the Western Conference. In the Conference semifinal playoffs, they beat Chivas USA. They beat Colorado Rapids 3–1 in the Western Conference Final to advance to the MLS Cup.

Houston beat the New England Revolution 4–3 on penalty kicks after a 1–1 tie to win the 2006 MLS Cup on November 12, 2006, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game was scoreless until the second half of extra time when New England's Taylor Twellman scored. One minute later, Brian Ching headed in the tying goal for Houston, and for the first time in MLS history, the championship was decided by a penalty shootout. Kelly Gray and Stuart Holden scored Houston's first two penalty kicks. Dwayne De Rosario and Brian Ching scored the last two. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad saved New England's Jay Heaps penalty kick to secure the MLS Cup for Houston. By winning the 2006 MLS Cup, Houston qualified for the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

2007: Repeat[edit]

Houston began the 2007 season by competing in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. After winning a quarterfinal against Costa Rican team Puntarenas F.C., Houston exited the competition in the semifinals, beating Mexican team Pachuca 2–0 in the first leg but losing 5–2 after extra time in the return leg.

President George W. Bush and Houston Dynamo 2007 MLS Cup Champions
President George W. Bush and the 2007 Dynamo squad after the second MLS Cup victory

Houston began its 2007 MLS league season with shutouts against Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. Houston then struggled in the regular season, losing against New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire, Toronto FC, and New England Revolution. Owing to their success in winning the MLS Cup in their first season, Houston was invited to spend the day at the White House on May 29, 2007, and meet with President George W. Bush.

Houston made some significant trades during the 2007 season They traded Kevin Goldthwaite and a first-round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft to Toronto FC for Richard Mulrooney. They traded Alejandro Moreno to Columbus Crew in exchange for Joseph Ngwenya. And they traded Kelly Gray to Los Angeles Galaxy for Nate Jaqua. After regrouping and pulling off a win against FC Dallas, Houston began an unbeaten streak of eleven games and a shutout streak of 726 minutes,[10] a new MLS record.

Houston also competed in the inaugural North American SuperLiga, where they dominated the group stages,[citation needed] before losing in a semifinal shootout against Pachuca.

Houston finished in second place in the regular season in the Western Conference, advancing to the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs, where they met FC Dallas in the first round. Dallas won the first leg 1–0, but Houston won the second leg at Robertson Stadium, 4–1 in extra time, to win 4–2 on aggregate. Houston faced the Kansas City Wizards in the Western Conference final, winning 2–0 to advance to the MLS Cup championship game for the second year in a row. Just like in 2006, Houston faced the New England Revolution for the championship. Houston won 2–1 on a game-winning goal by Dwayne De Rosario in the second half, thus winning their second MLS Cup in a row.

Partnership with Golden Boy promotions[edit]

Late in 2007, Major League Soccer informed Dynamo owners Anschutz Entertainment Group that they should divest their interest in the Dynamo, as they wanted each ownership group to own only one team. AEG also owns the Los Angeles Galaxy.[11] On November 21, 2007, it was announced that AEG was in negotiations to sell the Dynamo to a partnership of Brener International Group and Golden Boy Promotions, owned by the famed boxer Oscar De La Hoya.[12]

On February 26, 2008, Houston Dynamo President Oliver Luck revealed the planned negotiations to the media stating that the Houston Dynamo would be managed in majority by original owners Anschutz Entertainment Group (who held 50% of ownership) along with newfound partners Gabriel Brener, head of Brener International Group, and multiple World and Olympic boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya (each with 25% ownership).[13] De La Hoya has been seen wearing Dynamo colors on his boxing uniform with a small Houston Dynamo logo on his right leg in a fight against boxer Steve Forbes. He has also pledged to help find Dynamo a soccer-specific stadium, though he has been too busy with training to participate significantly in Dynamo decision-making. He has said he would become more involved once he retires in 2009, but has yet to do so even ten years later.[14]

2008[edit]

The Dynamo started early competing in the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship debuted on February 20, 2008, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Houston qualified to participate in the tournament via their win as MLS Cup Champions. The Houston Dynamo won their first match against Sydney FC, before finishing second place after their 6–1 loss to Gamba Osaka in the final match. The Dynamo was back on the pitch competing in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup (qualifying as the 2007 MLS Cup Champions). The Dynamo played Municipal in the Quarterfinals winning 3–1 on aggregate (0–0, 3–1) at Robertson Stadium. The club lost to Deportivo Saprissa on 3–0 aggregate (0–0, 0–3) at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.

Brian Mullan vs. the New York Red Bulls during the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals at Robertson Stadium.

The Houston Dynamo season began with its home opener in a 3–3 draw with Texas Derby rival, FC Dallas, after falling behind twice before a game-tying goal in the 93rd minute. The Dynamo went 0–2–4, before getting their first league win of the season in a 2–1 win over the Colorado Rapids. The Dynamo went on a 5–0–4 run to finish the season 13–5–12, claiming 1st in the Western Conference and 2nd overall (behind the Columbus Crew). The Western Conference Semifinals was played against the New York Red Bulls with the first leg finishing in a 1–1 draw at Giants Stadium, and the second leg moving to Robertson Stadium where the Red Bulls defeated the Dynamo 0–3 in front of more than 30,000 fans.

2009[edit]

The Dynamo started the new year with a quick exit from the 2008–09 CONCACAF Champions League with a 1–4 aggregate loss (1–1, 0–3) to Atlante in the quarterfinals.

In the regular season, Houston went on an 11-game unbeaten streak (8–0–3) early in the season before losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy in June. The Dynamo were inconsistent the rest of the season while dealing with international competition, but still finished the season tied for first in the Western Conference with a 13–8–9 record. However, despite their better goal differential, they finished second in the Western Conference, because they lost the regular season series to the Galaxy.

The 2009 Western Conference Final in which the Dynamo were defeated by the Los Angeles Galaxy

In the playoffs, Houston beat the Seattle Sounders 1–0 on aggregate in extra time. The Dynamo then lost 0–2 in extra time to the Galaxy in the Western Conference final, in a game that was interrupted several times due to rolling blackouts in Los Angeles.

The Dynamo reached the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Open Cup before losing to the expansion Seattle Sounders FC 1–2 in extra time, after former Dynamo player Nate Jaqua scored the game-tying goal in the 89th minute.

2010[edit]

During the 2009–10 offseason, the Dynamo saw the departures of two key players, Ricardo Clark to Eintracht Frankfurt and Stuart Holden to Bolton Wanderers.

The 2010 season kicked off with a 1–1 draw against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. In the home opener against Real Salt Lake, Brian Ching suffered a hamstring strain which kept him out for 4–6 weeks. The Dynamo won the game, 2–1, on a pair of penalty goals by Brad Davis. Geoff Cameron was the next player to be lost during the season, after rupturing his PCL during a game against the Chicago Fire; the Fire won the game, 2–0. Cameron returned in August and scored a 70th-minute header from a free kick against D.C. United in the Dynamo's 3–1 win on September 25 in RFK Stadium. The majority of the season saw the Dynamo win, lose, and tie almost in that order (while going winless during the months of June and July) with the club losing out on the playoffs by Week 17, going only 4–7–2 since then. The Dynamo finished the season 9–15–6 (7th in the West, 12th overall) and missed the playoffs for the first time since moving to Houston during the 2005–06 offseason. The Dynamo finished strong, however, with the club's only winning streak at the end of the season against playoff-bound teams at San Jose (1–0) on October 16 and at home against Seattle (2–1) on October 23.

During the 2010 season, the Dynamo continued their season with the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The club defeated Miami FC, 1–0, on June 29 before losing to Chivas USA, 1–3 in the Quarterfinals on July 6 (both games at Robertson Stadium). The Dynamo also competed in the 2010 North American SuperLiga, winning the group before exiting after a 0–1 loss to Morelia on August 5 at Robertson Stadium.

2011[edit]

The Dynamo switched to the Eastern Conference from the Western Conference for the 2011 season, after teams were added in Vancouver and Portland. The team ended the regular season in second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of twelve wins, nine losses, and thirteen draws for 49 points. This record was fueled by MVP candidate Brad Davis's league-leading 16 assists.

In the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Dynamo were matched up in a series against the Philadelphia Union, which the Dynamo won 3–1 in the home and home series. For the Eastern Conference Final, the Dynamo traveled to Kansas City. Brad Davis was injured in the first half, but despite this blow, the Dynamo scored twice to earn their ticket to the MLS Final and a chance to face the Los Angeles Galaxy. Los Angeles's Home Depot Center had been selected to host the 2011 MLS Final. Two seasons prior, the Dynamo faced the Galaxy there in the Western Conference Final, during which several blackouts occurred. The Dynamo were not able to power through the game, surrendering a goal to Landon Donovan in the 72nd minute.

2012: A new stadium[edit]

The Dynamo played their first seven MLS regular season matches on the road because BBVA Stadium, the new home of the Dynamo, was being constructed and eventually opened on May 12, 2012. The Dynamo began the 2012 season with a bang, winning their first two matches away at Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes but they were only able to earn another two points from their next five matches, for a total of eight points.

After completion of their new stadium, the Dynamo made a victorious home debut on May 12, 2012, vs. D.C. United thanks to a Brad Davis strike in front of a capacity crowd of 22,039 that would mark the beginning of what would be an unbeaten year for the Dynamo at home, posting a year-end home record of 11–0–6. The Dynamo's MLS regular season was marked by ups and downs and changes in formation from a 4–4–2 to 4–3–3 and back again by long-time manager Dominic Kinnear. Despite star center back Geoff Cameron's transfer to Stoke City midseason, The Dynamo went unbeaten with a record of 5–0–2 from July 3 to August 3, marked by superb play from captain Brad Davis, Calen Carr, newcomer Macoumba Kandji, new designated player Oscar Boniek García, and the emergence of Will Bruin as a prominent goalscorer, who subsequently went on to lead the Dynamo in scoring with 12 regular season goals. However, some late season lapses caused the Dynamo to drop from second to fifth in the Eastern Conference and only make the playoffs as the wild card.

In the playoffs, the Dynamo traveled to Chicago to face the Chicago Fire in the MLS Wild Card Match. Buoyed by two goals by Will Bruin, the Dynamo held on to a 2–1 victory in Chicago. The Dynamo then faced the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, which was played over two legs. Behind goals from Adam Moffat and Will Bruin, Houston extended their unbeaten streak at home to 29 games in all competitions, handing Kansas City a 2–0 loss in the first leg in front of 20,689 fans at BBVA Stadium. In front of a crowd of 20,894, Kansas City defeated the Dynamo 1–0, but the Dynamo survived 2–1 on aggregate.

The Dynamo advanced to face D.C. United in the Eastern Conference Finals, with the first leg being played in Houston. Houston won the first leg 3–1, behind goals from Andre Hainault, Will Bruin, and Kofi Sarkodie in front of 22,101. In the second leg, a 33rd-minute goal from Oscar Boniek García gave the Dynamo a 1–1 draw, and the Dynamo held on for a 4–2 aggregate win and advanced to their second straight MLS Cup to face the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Calen Carr lies injured as David Beckham looks on during the 2012 MLS Cup

MLS Cup 2012 was hosted by L.A. in a rematch of the 2011 MLS Cup, this time in front of a sellout crowd of 30,510. After getting a goal from Calen Carr in the 44th minute, the Dynamo held a 1–0 halftime lead. However, the 2nd half turned the game on its head, beginning with Carr's ACL tear suffered in the 59th minute. One minute after this injury, the Galaxy equalized through Omar Gonzalez's header. Five minutes later, Landon Donovan sealed the Dynamo's fate just as he had the year before with a penalty after Ricardo Clark handled the ball in the area. Robbie Keane added a third goal for L.A. in stoppage time, and L.A. were crowned MLS Champions for 2012.

The Houston Dynamo managed significant achievements during 2012. During the 2012 season, they were undefeated at home, part of what would eventually become a 36-match unbeaten streak in all competitions that stretched across two stadiums and parts of three seasons.[15] Will Bruin emerged in his 2nd year with the team as their leading goal-scorer. Newly acquired Designated Player Oscar Boniek García had a productive half-season, and by season's end had won MLS Latin Player of the Year honors. Their MLS Cup appearance in 2012 marked the Dynamo's fourth MLS Cup appearance in their seven-year existence in the league. The Dynamo topped their group in the 2012–13 CONCACAF Champions League, where they moved on to face Santos Laguna in the round of 16 of the competition to be played March 5, 2013. By finishing as runners-up in MLS Cup, they were awarded a berth in the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League as well.

2013–2016: Decline under Brener and De La Hoya[edit]

The 2013 Dynamo season saw the men in orange continue their home dominance with a 9–4–4 record. Their 36 consecutive game home-win streak was ended by Sporting Kansas City on May 12, 2013, in a 0–1 loss during which Aurelien Collin heading home the winner. Nevertheless, the Dynamo would make the playoffs yet again as a 4-seed with a 14–11–9 overall record. Houston faced Montreal in a heated contest for the MLS Wildcard Match to open the postseason at BBVA Stadium. Will Bruin continued his torrid postseason run of goals with a brace in a 3–0 rout against Le Impact.

USMNT midfielder DeMarcus Beasley played for Houston from 2014 to 2019

The Dynamo then had to face New York Red Bulls who had bested them during the regular season in all three meetings, and it looked like they would thrash the Dynamo in the playoffs as well after the Red Bulls jumped out to a 2–0 lead during the first leg in Houston. Ricardo Clark was able to get on the board at the 50', and Omar Cummings, recently returned to full form, scored in stoppage time to complete the Dynamo exciting comeback. The 2nd leg in New York proved to be just as exciting. Bradley Wright-Phillips put the Red Bulls in the series lead again in the 23', but Brad Davis punished a mistake from the Red Bull defense to level the score before the half. Enter Omar Cummings for the second time, and for a second time, he scored a thrilling stoppage-time goal to put the Houston Dynamo into the Conference Championship for the 3rd consecutive year.

Unfortunately for the Dynamo, that would be as far as they would go. After an uninspired draw at home against Sporting Kansas City, the future champions, the Dynamo would fall 2–1 to Sporting on the return leg in Kansas. However, 2013 would still be considered another in a long line of successes for the Dynamo, and the team had their core players all locked into long-term contracts for the future.

On July 1, 2014, following two years without jersey sponsorship, Houston Dynamo announced a multi-year jersey sponsorship with BHP Billiton. Dominic Kinnear was the head coach. Brad Davis was the team captain. On July 23, 2014, the Dynamo signed DeMarcus Beasley from Puebla. The team finished 8th in the Eastern Conference, having the 14th most points in the nineteen-team league, and did not make the playoffs for only the second time ever.

Along with Sporting Kansas City, The Dynamo moved to the Western Conference before the start of the 2015 season. Owen Coyle was named the new head coach, and Brad Davis continued as captain. Houston once again finished eighth in the Western Conference, and finished fifteenth in the twenty-team league, again failing to make the playoffs. At the end of the 2015 season, the team announced that Brener had bought out AEG's remaining stake and was now the majority owner.

On May 25, 2016, the Houston Dynamo announced that they were parting ways with head coach Owen Coyle, by mutual agreement. On June 7, Wade Barrett took over as head coach. That season they went on to finish tenth and last in the West on thirty-four points with an average attendance of approximately 20,000. Wilmer Cabrera was named the new head coach on October 28, 2016, replacing Wade Barrett.

2017–present: Further decline[edit]

For the 2017 season the team finished 4th in the West. This saw them clinch their first playoff berth since 2013. They made a deep run in the post season, but lost to Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS Western Conference Finals.

The 2018 season saw the first U.S. Open Cup title in franchise history when the team beat the Philadelphia Union 3–0 in the final. This qualified the Dynamo for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, their first appearance in the competition since 2013. However the team once again failed to qualify for the playoffs, prompting calls for new ownership as Brener and De La Hoya remained quiet about the team's woes.[16]

The Dynamo started the 2019 season by competing in the CONCACAF Champions League and defeating C.D. Guastatoya in both legs of the first round. They then lost to Tigres UANL by an aggregate score of 3–0 in the quarterfinals. Houston participated in the inaugural Leagues Cup but were eliminated via penalties in the first round by Club America. After going through a 2–11–1 stretch during the summer, the Dynamo fired head coach Wilmer Cabrera.[17] They were also unable to qualify for the MLS playoffs for the second consecutive year.[18]

For the 2020 season, the Dynamo hired former U.S. men's national team player Tab Ramos as head coach,[19] traded for former Minnesota United attacker Darwin Quintero[20] and signed Croatian goalkeeper Marko Maric.[21] However, they would go on to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years, finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference during the shortened season.[22]

Colors and badge[edit]

Club logo (2006–2020)

The official colors of the Dynamo crest are Wildcatter orange, Space City blue, and Raven black.[23] The star on the original crest is an ad hoc adoption, likely a nod to the Houston, Texas Flag or the "Houston 1836" crest concept. It also retains the soccer ball with the star in the middle from the "1836" logo, though the shadow is changed to Space City blue.

With the 2006 MLS Cup win, a sanctioned star was added above the shield in 2008, after wearing the scudetto in 2007. Since they won the MLS Cup again in 2007. they wore the scudetto for the second consecutive year in 2008. Consequently, a sanctioned star was added to the logo in 2009 for their win at MLS Cup 2007.

In 2020, the club rebranded as Houston Dynamo FC with a new logo. The new logo features a hexagonal shape to whose six sides represent the Dynamo's founding in 2006 and to reference the six wards that made up the original layout of the city. The crest also references Houston's bayou system with the channels within the interlocking monogram to represent Bayou City's waterways.[24]

Name[edit]

Houston announced the name "Dynamo", on March 6, 2006, which refers to Houston's energy-based industrial economy, as well as a previous Houston soccer team, Houston Dynamos who played in the Lone Star Soccer Alliance and United Soccer League.[25][26] The official reason for the name is that "Dynamo is a word to describe someone who never fatigues, never gives up. The name is symbolic of Houston as an energetic, hard-working, risk-taking kind of town." The name "Dynamo" is also an homage to teams based out in the former Soviet Union republics and satellite states, such as Dynamo Moscow, Berliner FC Dynamo, Dynamo Kyiv, Dinamo Tbilisi, Dinamo București and Dinamo Zagreb.[26][27] The team colors are orange, white, and "Space City" blue or "Luv Ya Blue" (light blue), meant as a symbol of the city of Houston flag which is light blue and of yet another team in Houston's sports history – the NFL's Houston Oilers.

Originally, on January 25, 2006, the team had announced that Houston 1836 would be the team name. This followed an online survey for the fans to provide suggestions for the name. According to MLS & AEG, who chose the name, the 1836 name referred to the year that the city of Houston was founded by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.[28] The name had perceived ambiguity, however, as it is also the year of Texan independence from Mexico.[26] Houston 1836's logo featured a silhouette of General Sam Houston, one of Houston's and Texas' most famous historical figures. The choice of Houston 1836 soon became a political issue. It raised a furor among some locals of Hispanic descent, a major target audience, who related 1836 with the war for Texas independence. Owing to protests from Hispanic fans, the name was changed to the Dynamo. MLS has since not allowed any online surveys to name expansion teams.

Stadiums[edit]

Robertson Stadium was the former home of the Houston Dynamo.
Stadium Capacity Location Year(s) Notes
Robertson Stadium 32,000 Houston, Texas 2006–2011
Reliant Stadium 71,795 2006 Hosted one game in MLS regular season (first match of a doubleheader featuring FC Barcelona vs. Club América) and the 2010 MLS All-Star Game
Carl Lewis Track & Field Stadium 6,000 2006 Hosted one game in U.S. Open Cup
Aggie Soccer Stadium 3,500 College Station, Texas 2007, 2011 Hosted one game in CONCACAF Champions' League, one game in US Open Cup
BBVA Stadium 22,039 Houston, Texas 2012–present

BBVA Stadium[edit]

BBVA Stadium is the current home of the Houston Dynamo.

On December 2, 2010, Harris County and the Houston Sports Authority reached an agreement for the 20,000–22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Downtown Houston east of Minute Maid Park, across Highway 59 which would be the third sporting facility for Downtown Houston. The venue, now known as BBVA Stadium, opened on May 12, 2012, against D.C. United.

On February 5, 2011, Houston Dynamo players, accompanied by Dynamo owner Philip Anschutz and Equity Partners Oscar De La Hoya and Gabriel Brener, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Harris County Judge Ed Emmitt, Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti, amongst others, participated in the groundbreaking of the Dynamo's new stadium in front of a few thousand fans. Construction began later that month.

Spectators will be able to experience unobstructed views from both the lower and upper seating bowls, which are supported by a single concourse.[29] The concourse provides full access around the stadium with easy access to concession and toilet facilities.[29] The fan experience will be enhanced by modern sound and video elements throughout the stadium.[29] Fully integrated broadcast facilities will allow viewers and listeners to feel part of the atmosphere.[29]

Aside from Major League Soccer and international soccer matches, the new Dynamo stadium also hosts Texas Southern University football, concerts, boxing matches, and much more.[29] With its downtown location, the new stadium is now a part of a true Stadium District, which already features Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center, as well as other amenities and attractions such as the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas, Discovery Green, and Houston Pavilions.[citation needed]

On June 13, 2019, it was announced that BBVA Compass Stadium was changing its name to BBVA Stadium.[30]

Houston Sports Park[edit]

HSP is the permanent home and professional training center for the Dynamo first team and youth academy.

The training facility for the Dynamo first team and academy teams is located at the Houston Sports Park (HSP). Opened in 2011, the complex features seven soccer fields, field lighting, and parking. All of the fields feature Bermuda grass, except one that contains FieldTurf. One of the fields, entitled the Methodist Champions Field, is reserved exclusively for use by the Dynamo and visiting professional teams. The remaining fields are available for public rental. The training facility includes a Methodist Hospital physical therapy center and Athlete Training + Health Performance facility. The complex, located 10 miles south of BBVA Stadium, was built through a partnership with the City of Houston.

Club culture[edit]

Supporters[edit]

The Dynamo enjoyed good fan support in its first season. Their first ever match attracted 25,462 fans against Colorado Rapids on April 2, 2006. Attendance gradually declined throughout the remainder of the spring and summer months. During July and August, they played five matches at Robertson Stadium, and the average attendance for those matches was 10,348.

The team's attendance figures received a boost on August 9 when they played a game against Los Angeles Galaxy in Houston's Reliant Stadium as part of a double-header, with the other game being an exhibition match between FC Barcelona and Mexican side Club América, which attracted a crowd of 70,550. Home attendance began to rise again as the weather cooled and the playoffs approached.

For the 2006 season, they averaged 18,935 over the 16 regular season home games. Attendance remained high during their playoff run, where home attendance was 17,440 and 23,107 in games against Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids. Dynamo fans contributed greatly to the sell-out crowd of 22,427 in the 2006 MLS Cup, which was played about 275 miles (450 km) from Houston, in Frisco.

There are currently three officially recognized supporter groups, El Batallón.[31] La Bateria and Brickwall Firm are former supporter groups.[32]

Mascot[edit]

In 2007, Houston started a search for a mascot by asking members of the Art Institute of Houston to submit drawings, from which several finalists were selected and an official mascot would be decided through an online poll, both for the mascot design and name. The winning design, by Eric Hulsey and Leslie Lopez, was of an orange-haired fox and named Dynamo Diesel. He was unveiled at Houston Zoo on April 3, 2007.[33] Dynamo Diesel began working alongside the Houston Dynamo marketing and community outreach programs. He is not only present at games, cheering on the team, but also joins the Houston dancers, the Dynamo Girls[34] helping to promote the Dynamo in Houston.[35]

Rivalries[edit]

Brian Ching dribbles through two FC Dallas players

Texas Derby[edit]

The Houston Dynamo's main rival is FC Dallas, who they play in the Texas Derby.

MLS regular season results only

Season Played Dynamo
win
Draw FCD
win
Dynamo
goals
FCD
Goals
Goal diff Texas Derby winner
2006 4 2 1 1 6 5 +1 Houston Dynamo
2007 4 3 1 0 6 1 +5 Houston Dynamo
2008 3 0 3 0 7 7 0 FC Dallas‡
2009 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 Houston Dynamo
2010 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 FC Dallas
2011 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 Houston Dynamo
2012 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 Houston Dynamo
2013 1 0 0 1 2 3 −1 FC Dallas
2014 1 0 0 1 1 4 −3 FC Dallas
2015 3 0 0 3 2 10 −8 FC Dallas
2016 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 Houston Dynamo
2017 3 0 3 0 4 4 0 Houston Dynamo
2018 3 0 2 1 2 6 −4 FC Dallas
2019 3 1 0 2 5 10 −5 FC Dallas
2020 4 1 1 2 3 5 −2 FC Dallas
Total 37 12 14 14 56 65 −9 Houston Dynamo (7), FC Dallas (8)

Note ‡: FC Dallas won on away goals rule, 4–2

Other rivalries[edit]

The Dynamo have also developed a rivalry with Sporting Kansas City after facing each other in the playoffs and the US Open Cup multiple times.[36]

Revenue and profitability[edit]

The Dynamo's revenues increased significantly when they moved to BBVA Stadium in 2012, propelling the team into profitability and doubling season ticket sales – according to club President Chris Canetti.[37] A 2015 study by Forbes listed the Dynamo as the third-most valuable franchise ($200 million) based on financial data – including estimates of revenue ($26 million, 6th) and operating income ($5 million, 3rd) – from the 2014 season.[38] In a 2016 ranking by Forbes Mexico, the Houston Dynamo were valued at $215 million – the tenth-best among soccer clubs of the Americas.[39] The latest Forbes valuation has the club valued at $280 million[40]

Broadcasting[edit]

2021 Houston Dynamo Local Broadcast Teams[41]
English TV Partner(s) TV Commentators English Radio Partner(s) English Radio Commentators Spanish Radio Partner(s) Spanish Radio Commentators
KTBU[42] Play-by-play:
Glenn Davis
Color:
Eddie Robinson
Sideline:
Cindy Burbano

Alternate(s):
Play-by-play:
Matt Pedersen
Color:
Bobby Boswell
Eric Quill

ESPN 97.5[43]

Streaming:
[1]

Play-by-play:
Jeremy Branham
Color:
Garret Heinrich
Univision Deportes Houston 1010AM[44] Play-by-play:
Daniel Mejía
Color:
Lester Gretsch
Sideline:
Rodolfo Soules

Radio[edit]

In February 2016, the Dynamo announced the start of a new multiyear deal with CBS Radio Houston. CBS Sports Radio 650 will serve as the home of the Dynamo with specific games airing on SportsRadio 610.[43] CBS Sports Radio 650 will also broadcast a half-hour pregame and ancillary programming such as The Players Show and The Coaches Show, both of which will also be broadcast on KKHH 95.7 HD-3 as well as streaming online at www.houston.cbslocal.com, and via the Radio.com app. Promotional partnerships will extend across the FM brands with on-air features and programming airing on their sister radio stations.

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of August 7, 2021[45]
No. Pos. Player Nation
1 GK Marko Marić  Croatia
2 DF Alejandro Fuenmayor  Venezuela
3 DF Adam Lundqvist  Sweden
4 DF Zarek Valentin  Puerto Rico
5 DF Tim Parker  United States
7 FW Mateo Bajamich  Argentina
8 MF Memo Rodríguez (HG)  United States
10 MF Fafà Picault  United States
11 FW Ariel Lassiter  Costa Rica
12 FW Corey Baird  United States
13 DF Ethan Bartlow (GA)  United States
14 MF Joe Corona  United States
15 DF Maynor Figueroa  Honduras
17 FW Nico Lemoine  United States
18 DF Teenage Hadebe (DP)  Zimbabwe
19 FW Tyler Pasher  Canada
20 MF Adalberto Carrasquilla (on loan from Cartagena)  Panama
21 MF Derrick Jones (HG)  United States
22 MF Matías Vera  Argentina
23 FW Darwin Quintero (DP)  Colombia
24 MF Darwin Cerén  El Salvador
25 DF Griffin Dorsey  United States
26 GK Michael Nelson  United States
27 MF Boniek García  Honduras
29 DF Sam Junqua  United States
30 MF Ian Hoffmann  United States
31 GK Kyle Morton  United States
32 MF Juan Castilla (HG)  Colombia
33 FW Danny Ríos (HG)  El Salvador
37 FW Maximiliano Urruti  Argentina

Out on loan[edit]

No. Pos. Player Nation
14 MF Marcelo Palomino (HG; at Charlotte Independence)  United States
16 DF José Bizama (at Charlotte Independence)  Chile
28 DF Erik McCue (HG; at Charleston Battery)  Sweden

Head coaches[edit]

Name Nationality Tenure G W L T Win %
Dominic Kinnear  United States December 16, 2005 – October 25, 2014 288 112 90 86 38.8
Owen Coyle  Republic of Ireland December 9, 2014 – May 25, 2016 46 14 21 11 30.4
Wade Barrett (interim)  United States May 28, 2016 – October 26, 2016 22 4 7 11 18.2
Wilmer Cabrera  Colombia October 28, 2016 – August 13, 2019 93 32 39 22 34.4
Davy Arnaud (interim)  United States August 14, 2019 – October 24, 2019 9 3 5 1 33.3
Tab Ramos  United States October 25, 2019 – present 23 4 9 10 17.4
  • Note: Record for MLS Regular season games only. As of November 14, 2020.

General managers[edit]

Name Nat Tenure
Dominic Kinnear  United States 2005–2014
Matt Jordan  United States 2014–2021

Staff[edit]

As of June 22, 2021[46][47][48]
Executive
Majority owner United States Ted Segal
Minority owners Mexico Gabriel Brener
United States Oscar De La Hoya
United States Ben Guill
United States James Harden
President United States John Walker
General manager/vice president United States Matt Jordan
Assistant general manager/director of soccer operations United States Nick Kowba
Coaching staff
Head coach United States Tab Ramos
Assistant coach United States Omid Namazi
Assistant coach United States Martín Vásquez
Goalkeeper coach England Paul Rogers
Sports performance director/fitness coach Republic of Ireland Paul Caffrey
Head of sports science Australia Alex Calder
Head video analyst New Zealand Carl Edwards
Equipment manager United States Chris Maxwell
Assistant equipment manager Mexico Eddie Cerda
Director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer United States Theron Enns
Assistant athletic trainer United States Chris Rumsey

Affiliates and club academy[edit]

Alex Dixon (of Bay City, Texas) signed a homegrown contract with the club in 2011

The Dynamo Academy was created in 2007 and led by Director of Youth Development James Clarkson.[49] 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.[50]

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.[51]

The Dynamo Academy is currently ran by Academy Director Paul Holocher.[52]

For 2014 and 2015, USL-Pro team Charleston Battery was an affiliate with the Dynamo, letting Houston send players there on loan.[53] 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.[54] The Dynamo send academy players as well as fringe first team players and playersrehabbing 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.[55]

The Dynamo also own the Houston Dash of the NWSL.

Honors[edit]

[56]

Domestic[edit]

League

Cups

International[edit]

Seasons[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Dynamo. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Houston Dynamo seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs USOC Continental / Other Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name(s) Goals
2016 1 MLS 34 7 14 13 39 45 −6 34 1.00 10th 19th DNQ QF DNQ 19,021 Colombia Mauro Manotas 9
2017 MLS 34 13 10 11 57 45 +12 50 1.47 4th 10th SF Ro16 17,623 Mexico Erick Torres 14
2018 MLS 34 10 16 8 58 58 0 38 1.12 9th 17th DNQ W 16,906 Colombia Mauro Manotas 25
2019 MLS 34 12 18 4 49 59 −10 40 1.17 10th 19th R5 CONCACAF Champions League
Leagues Cup
QF
QF
15,674 Colombia Mauro Manotas 15
2020 MLS 23 4 10 9 30 40 −10 21 0.91 12th 25th NH MLS is Back Tournament GS 5,279 Colombia Darwin Quintero 7

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, MLS is Back Tournament, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

Team records[edit]

International tournaments[edit]

By virtue of their MLS Cup victories, the Dynamo entered the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the North American SuperLiga. During the 2008 season, the Dynamo participated in the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship as well as the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League. The Dynamo participated in the final two seasons of the CONCACAF Champions Cup tournament reaching the semi-finals both times. They have also competed in five editions of the CONCACAF Champions League and reached the quarterfinals on three occasions.

Career records[edit]

MLS regular season only, through December 19, 2019[57]

Season records[edit]

MLS regular season only

Player awards[edit]

Brian Ching signing autographs, 2008

League awards[edit]

MLS Best XI[edit]

MLS All-Star[edit]

Goal of the Year[edit]

Save of the Year[edit]

Fair Play Player award[edit]

Team Awards[edit]

Season MVP Defensive Player of the Year Newcomer of the Year Young Player of the Year Players' Player of the Year Ref
2006 Canada Dwayne De Rosario United States Eddie Robinson Not Awarded Not Awarded Not Awarded [63]
2007 United States Brian Mullan, Canada Pat Onstad United States Eddie Robinson Not Awarded Not Awarded Not Awarded [63]
2008 United States Brian Ching United States Bobby Boswell United States Geoff Cameron United States Stuart Holden Not Awarded [63]
2009 United States Brad Davis United States Geoff Cameron United States Cam Weaver Canada Andre Hainault Not Awarded [63]
2010 United States Brad Davis United States Bobby Boswell Jamaica Lovel Palmer United States Danny Cruz Not Awarded [63]
2011 United States Brad Davis Canada Andre Hainault Scotland Adam Moffat United States Will Bruin Not Awarded [63]
2012 United States Brad Davis United States Bobby Boswell Honduras Boniek García United States Will Bruin Honduras Boniek García [63]
2013 United States Tally Hall United States Kofi Sarkodie England Andrew Driver Guyana Warren Creavalle United States Ricardo Clark [63]
2014 Jamaica Giles Barnes Not Awarded Honduras Luis Garrido Honduras Luis Garrido Jamaica Giles Barnes [63]
2015 United States Ricardo Clark United States DaMarcus Beasley Spain Raúl Rodríguez Argentina Leonel Miranda United States Ricardo Clark [63]
2016 Brazil Alex Lima United States Joe Willis United States Andrew Wenger Colombia Mauro Manotas Brazil Alex Lima [63]
2017 Colombia Juan David Cabezas Panama Adolfo Machado Honduras Alberth Elis Colombia Mauro Manotas Honduras Alberth Elis [64]
2018 Colombia Mauro Manotas United States DaMarcus Beasley Venezuela Alejandro Fuenmayor Honduras Alberth Elis Colombia Mauro Manotas [65]
2019 Argentina Matías Vera Slovenia Aljaž Struna Argentina Matías Vera United States Memo Rodriguez United States DaMarcus Beasley [66]

Attendance[edit]

Average season attendance[edit]

Season Regular Season MLS Playoffs
2006 18,935 20,274
2007 15,883 30,530
2008 16,939 30,053
2009 17,047 27,465
2010 17,310 DNQ
2011 17,694 24,749
2012 20,985 21,395
2013 19,923 21,395
2014 20,117 DNQ
2015 20,618 DNQ
2016 19,021 DNQ
2017 17,500 17,319
2018 16,906 DNQ
2019 15,674 DNQ

Notes:

  • The 19% increase in regular season attendance from 2011 to 2012 coincides with the Dynamo's move into their new stadium.

Highest attended matches[edit]

Attendance Date Match Notes
30,972 11/10/07 HOU vs. KC 2007 Western Conference Final
30,588 10/7/07 HOU vs. LA 2007 Regular Season Match
30,361 10/18/08 HOU vs. LA 2008 Regular Season Match
30,088 11/2/07 HOU vs. DAL 2007 Western Conference Semi-final
30,053 11/9/08 HOU vs. NY 2008 Western Conference Semi-final

References[edit]

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External links[edit]