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The Houston Dynamo is an Americanmarker professional soccer club based in Houstonmarker, Texasmarker that participates in Major League Soccer. The club won back-to-back MLS Cup championships in its first two seasons of existence.

Houston Dynamo's home is the 32,000 capacity Robertson Stadiummarker, located on the University of Houstonmarker campus in southeast Houston, where they have played since their creation. A three-year lease was signed to play at the stadium while plans for a soccer-specific stadium are finalized. The team is owned by majority owners Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) in partnership with Brener International Group (headed by Gabriel Brener), and multiple world and Olympic boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.


The team was created on December 15, 2005 when the San Jose Earthquakes players and head coach Dominic Kinnear were relocated, due to AEG being unable to secure a soccer-specific stadium. Although all of San Jose's players and Kinnear moved to Houston, the team's name, logo, history and statistics were not transferred and remained inactive in San Jose until the Earthquakes were reactivated in 2007. The Dynamo was thus officially a new team, similar to the Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League (NFL).

Choosing a name

On January 25, 2006, Houston 1836 was first announced as the team name. This followed an online survey for the fans to provide unofficial suggestions for the new team name, with given options of: Apollos, Bulls, Eagles, Gatos, Lonestars, Stallions, Toros, Americans, Buffaloes, Generals, Houston 1836, Mustangs, and Stars. 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, though it had perceived ambiguity, as it is also the year of Texan independence from Mexicomarker. 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, however, soon became a political issue. While their stated intent was to link to the founding year of the city, the team name was changed to Houston Dynamo after the Houston 1836 name raised a furor among some locals of Mexican descent, a major target audience, who related 1836 with the war for Texas independence. Sylvia Garcia, Harris Countymarker's first Hispanic commissioner in more than a century, rallied for a boycott of the team name.

After the controversy, MLS selected the team name "Dynamo". It 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. 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." However, the name Dynamo also has precedence in the soccer world, specifically in Eastern Europe,(most notably, KS Dinamo Tirana, FC Dynamo Kyiv, FC Dynamo Minsk, Dinamo Bucureşti, FC Dynamo Moscow Dinamo Zagreb and Dynamo Dresden among others) and notoriously, associations with the secret police . The team colors are orange, white, and "Space City" blue or "Luv Ya Blue" (light blue), meant as a symbol of yet another team in Houston's sports history - the Houston Oilers of the NFL.

The Inaugural Season (2006)

The Dynamo played their first game on April 2, 2006. In front of a crowd of 25,462 in Robertson Stadiummarker, the Dynamo beat the Colorado Rapids 5–2. Brian Ching led the charge for the Dynamo with four goals, all of which were set up with assists from teammate Dwayne De Rosario. Later in the season they went on to beat established MLS clubs such as D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire and eventually their Texan state rivals FC Dallas.

The Dynamo finished their first season in Houston with an 11-8-13 record, earning them second place in the Western Conference. In the Conference Semi-final playoffs, they beat Club Deportivo Chivas USA (Chivas USA). On November 5, 2006, they beat Colorado Rapids 3-1 in the Western Conference Final to advance to the MLS Cup.

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

2007 season: repeat

Houston began the 2007 season early, competing in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. After winning a dramatic quarterfinal, beating Costa Ricanmarker team Puntarenas F.C., Houston went out of the competition in the semifinals, beating Mexicanmarker team Pachuca 2-0 in the first leg but losing 5-2 after extra time in the return leg.

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

Houston also 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 also 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, a new MLS record.

Houston was also invited to compete in the inaugural North American SuperLiga, where they dominated the group stages before losing in a semifinal shootout against Pachuca.

They finished in second place in the regular season in the Western Conference, advancing to the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs, where they met state rivals 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, they faced the New England Revolution for the championship, and won it 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

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. 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.

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 will hold 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). 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 wnjgf;lkould become more involved once he retires in 2009.


The colors of the Dynamo crest are orange, black and white, with Space City blue added as an accent and border color. That color is represented on the uniform with the Adidas snake. The star on the crest is an ad hoc adoption, likely a nod to 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, likely to simplify coloration.

With the 2006 MLS Cup win, a sanctioned star has been added above the shield in 2008, after wearing the scudetto in 2007. Since they won the MLS Cup again in 2007. they will wear 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.

Image:Houston1836.png|Original Houston 1836 crestImage:DynamoTwoStar.png|Houston Dynamo crest (2006-present)


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 was of an orange haired fox and named, Dynamo Diesel. He was unveiled at Houston Zoomarker on 3 April 2007. 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 helping to promote the Dynamo in Houston.Notably the Dynamo Girls were featured in an episode of the MTV reality series Made.


Houston Dynamo plays its home matches at Robertson Stadiummarker on the University of Houstonmarker campus. The Dynamo signed a three year lease, through 2008, to play at the stadium temporarily as they make plans to construct a permanent soccer-specific stadium.

Club owner, AEG, is hoping to finalize an agreement to construct a 20-22,000-seat soccer specific stadiummarker in Downtown Houston east of Minute Maid Parkmarker, across Highway 59 which would be the third sporting facility for Downtown Houston.


The Dynamo reached a four-year sponsorship deal with Houston based retail electricity provider, Amigo Energy, worth US$7.5M, making it the largest sponsor in team history. Amigo Energy became the official jersey sponsor. Houston were the fifth league team to sign jersey sponsors, after Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC with Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire each adding jersey sponsors for the 2008 season

The Amigo Energy logo appears on all team jerseys, along with other on-field gear, and Amigo Energy also became the official home and business retail energy provider of the Dynamo. As part of the deal, Amigo Energy established a focused marketing strategy that uses the Dynamo in co-branded advertising, customer retention, and new customer acquisition programs.


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 9 August when they played a game against Los Angeles Galaxy in Houston's Reliant Stadiummarker 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.
Texian Army is one of the Supporter Clubs of the Dynamo
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, Texas.

There are currently two Supporter groups, El Batallón and Texian Army.

Average attendance

The Dynamo's first year regular season attendance was excellent, placing third only behind the two Los Angeles teams. Playoff attendance, however, was in-line with regular season attendance, with neither game selling out (just under 31,000 at Robertson Stadium).

Although regular season attendance dipped a little bit in 2007, in spite of the Dynamo's MLS Cup win in their first year, they nearly sold out the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal match against FC Dallas, and then they did sell out the Conference Final match against the Kansas City Wizards.

In 2008, regular season attendance rebounded a bit from the lull in 2007. The attendance for the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal was nearly identical to the previous year, just under a sellout crowd.

regular season/playoffs
  • 2006: 18,935/20,274
  • 2007: 15,883/30,530
  • 2008: 16,939/30,053
  • 2009: 17,047/NA

Top Ten Houston Dynamo Matches At Robertson Stadium

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


The team's main geographic rival is FC Dallas. Each season they compete in the Texas Derby, or El Capitán Clasico, in which the victor wins an 18th century cannon named El Capitán. Houston won the 2006 and 2007 series with a win on August 12 and on August 19 of their respective campaigns.
Season Played Dynamo Win Draw FCD Win Dynamo Goals FCD Goals +/- 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 (away goals rule, 4-2)
2009 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 Houston Dynamo
Total 14 7 6 2 23 15 +8 Houston Dynamo (3), FC Dallas (1)

Television and radio

Local English coverage is carried by KHOUmarker-DT Channel 11.2, when not carried by the national MLS broadcast partners such as ESPN and the Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). Select games will also be simulcast on Fox Sports Houston. Charlie Pallilo calls the play-by-play with Glenn Davis usually calling the color commentary. Spanish coverage is on KHLM-LP "TV Informa", Channel 43, with Ernesto Del Valle calling play-by-play and Gustavo Rangel providing color.

English radio broadcasts are carried by KBME 790 AM The Sports Animal, with Jonathan Yardley calling play-by-play and James Clarkson doing color on home games. Spanish radio broadcasts are carried by KEYH-AM 850 AM La Ranchera, with Daniel Mejia calling play-by-play and Héctor Zelada, a former World Cup winner, providing color for select games.

Dynamo All-Access is a local Houston radio broadcast on KBME (AM), which is hosted by Glenn Davis. It regularly features head coach Dominic Kinnear and the team's players.



Minor Trophies


Current roster

As of November 25, 2009.

Notable former players

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

Team records

MLS regular season only, through September 27 2009

Team Officials

Senior Club Staff
  • President and General Manager: Oliver Luck
  • Chief Operating Officer: Chris Canetti
  • Vice President: Rocky Harris
  • Vice President for Business Development: Steve Powell

Coaching Staff
  • Head coach: Dominic Kinnear
  • Assistant coach: John Spencer
  • Goalkeeper coach: Tim Hanley
  • Head athletic trainer: Theron Enns
  • Team administrator: Nick Kowba
  • Equipment manager: Mike Porter


Season League Record Top Scorer Top Goalkeeper Notes
P W L T F A +/- Pts PPG Player GP G Player GP GA GAA SHO
2006 32 11 8 13 44 40 + 4 46 1.438 Brian Ching 21 11 Pat Onstad 32 40 1.25 5 MLS Cup Champion
2007 30 15 8 7 43 23 +20 52 1.733 Brian Ching 20 7 Pat Onstad 27 22 0.815 11 MLS Cup Champion
2008 30 13 5 12 45 32 +13 51 1.5 Brian Ching 25 13 Pat Onstad 24 24 1.03 7 Lost to New York Red Bulls in Quarterfinals
2009 30 13 8 9 39 29 +10 48 1.3 Brian Ching 19 8 Pat Onstad 30 29 0.966 10 Lost to Los Angeles Galaxy in Semifinals
Totals 122 52 29 41 171 124 +47 197 1.492 Brian Ching 85 39 Pat Onstad 113 115 1.018 33 2 MLS Cups
Statistics current as of October 27, 2008

Year Reg. Season MLS Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF

Champions' League
2006 2nd, West Champions Semifinals Could not qualify Started in 2007
2007 2nd, West Champions Round of 16 Semifinals Semifinals
2008 1st, West Quarterfinals Round of 16 Semifinals Final
2009 2nd, West Semifinals Semifinals Group Stage Did not participate

International competition

The Dynamo have had a recent run of competition against international clubs for the two years following their inaugural season. By virtue of their MLS Cup victories, the Dynamo have entered prestigious competitions like 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.

See also


  1. Eighty-Sixing 1836: Why isn't "Houston" offensive too? Editorial, Enter Stage Right, March 20, 2006
  2. Dynamo allow goal, but stay hot,, July 22, 2007
  3. MLS wants owners to sell Dynamo, Houston Chronicle, November 21, 2007
  4. Dynamo For Sale; De La Hoya Group Interested,, November 21, 2007
  5. De La Hoya on the way to Dynamo,, February 26, 2008

External links

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