Thursday, March 12, 2015


Written by: Angelo Lawford
Date posted: 3/14/2015

At the eleventh hour, the Major League Soccer (MLS) players union and league owners, avoided disaster and agreed upon a new Collectively Bargained Agreement (CBA), just as the season was set to start. 

For MLS and it's fans, a work stoppage would have been a terrible way to kick off its twentieth and maybe most anticipated season to date. Though the threat of a work stoppage loomed over the league for the entire off-season, the off-season was not without its joy as the league hauled in several coups that could dramatically bolster the profile of the league both nationally and internationally.

With that said, as the league celebrates its milestone twentieth season, our local soccer heroes now celebrate their own significant milestone.

The Houston Dynamo just kicked off their tenth season in a 1-0 home victory over the Columbus Crew this past Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium

As I ponder the league's twentieth year and our own Houston Dynamo's tenth year, I can't believe how quickly the time has passed and how much the league has grown. There were times when nobody ever thought the league would make it this far. Now we laugh and bask in the glory of knowing that as fans, we have a league that can do more than stand on its own.

For the the Dynamo, it is well documented that this tenth year is tipped to be a significant year of change for the Dynamo. On Saturday against the Crew, the change and the growing pains that go along with change, were evident. The mix of new coach and new players need time to gel and that's okay and expected. 

To be honest, I'm just glad there is local soccer to speak of again and this change within the Dynamo trust and this new kind of hope, is much needed to see soccer have the potential to stake a claim as a true and consistent part of the city's culture.

If you haven't had a chance to make it out to BBVA Compass Stadium to receive your Houston Dynamo experience, I strongly suggest you make this year, the year to do so. I think the quality of the team and the quality of the opposition deserve it.

As I mentioned before, the league landed some significant talent in the off season. Famed international names such as: former Brazilian international and world player of the year, Ricardo Kaka (please see pic below); English internationals Steven Gerrad and Frank Lampard; and Italian international, Sebastian Giovinco, who in my opinion, could be the best ever international signing to date for the league. Each should appear at BBVA Compass Stadium for the first time this season. 

For those that rooted for the USMNT this past World Cup cycle, USMNT World Cup heroes, Jozy Altidore and Mix Diskerud, will also pass through the orange doors of BBVA Compass Stadium. For Altidore, it's a return to the league in which he got his start as a 16-year-old. For Diskerud, it's his first experience in the league. He scored the first goal in the history of the New York City Football Club in the match which debuted both the New York City Football Club and the Orlando City Soccer Club in the opening week of the new MLS season.

It's a great time to be a fan of the sport or maybe even become a fan of the sport in Houston. The Dynamo have the best pre-match and post-match stadium atmosphere in the city, and that is not up for debate. Bars, restaurants, and food trucks galore surround the stadium. Make this tenth year, the year you join the club.

Angelo Lawford

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