Archive for November 2011

Why We Want Our Captain

Earlier tonight, I read a story about how the Houston Dynamo were trying to "have their cake and eat it too" in regards to the MLS Expansion Draft.  Of course, that reference was to how the Dynamo handled the Brian Ching situation.  The story talked about how the Dynamo wanted "their cake" (the 11 protected players) and "eat it too" (protecting Ching, the 12th player).  I'm tired of all the back and forth regarding the blame game - is it Kinnear or Marsch?  Obviously the facts are the facts.  Kinnear gambled, and lost.  Marsch knew what he was doing and showed bad character in a gentleman's game.  Yes it's a business, but with his history with Ching (previous blog accusing Ching of being a diver, and USMNT snub), and knowing Ching was only playing one more season to open the Dynamo Stadium, it was just a poor judgement call.

But the question is - why do the Houston Dynamo fans care so much?  Where has all this hatred for Marsch and the Montreal Impact come from?  Well, that is an easy question to answer.  In sports, there are times where a player defines a team.  In fact, usually several players define a team.  The Houston Dynamo are no different.  For the last six years, through numerous regular season games, international games, playoff games, and championship games, we the fans have grown to love our team.  The team had no standout stars as big as some other teams.  But they had heart.  And heart is what wins championships, respect, and fans.  That heart was evident each and every day the Dynamo took the field.  Over the last six years, we have seen beloved players leave for every reason you can name.  This year was tough; up and down from the start of the season to the high finish at the end.  Through it all, Brian Ching is one of the few we have left from the start of this dynasty in Houston.  He embodies what the Houston Dynamo stand for.  He has been the face of this franchise since moving to Houston and remains so to this day - even though technically he is listed as at Montreal Impact player today.  Ching is a leader on the field, a leader in practice, a leader off the field in the streets of Houston, and a person anyone can look up to.  A true definition of a captain.  The face of a franchise.  The face of a city.

I know that Brian Ching will be in Houston in 2012.  What I don't know is in what capacity.  As I read multiple stories and comments regarding taking Montreal's money and either having season ending surgery or sitting on the bench, I know Ching is not this kind of person.  As I mentioned, Ching is a leader, someone who commands respect - because he always does the right thing.  Even though anger can make us feel that is justified, it's not.  The second option is a trade for our captain being held captive.  Based on the boldness of Marsch to take Ching in the first place, he may demand players we cannot part with.  After all, this is a business and we may not be able to trade back for him.  The last option is Ching walks away from the game and is watching us open the 2012 season in the "House that Ching Built" from a suite with other front office employees.  This last option is not how the story was supposed to end.  But as we know, the gamble did not pay off.  We are not in control of the story right now.

For Ching's sake (and Dynamo fans) I hope we can make a reasonable trade for him so he will rightfully open the Houston Dynamo stadium wearing the number 25 Dynamo jersey with the captain's armband.  That is the way it is supposed to be.  That's the story book ending.  Let us have our captain back - so we can show him how much he means to us for one final year.  He is and always has been a player that deserves that.

Salud!  Here's to Brian coming home.

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Dynamo ready for the MLS Cup

The time for talking is nearly up. 

There are only a few more stories that can be written. 

Topics of discussion are running thin.

Davis' injury.  Beckham's last MLS game (possibly). Defender of the year (Gonzalez) versus the best Defender in MLS (Cameron).  Who will get three stars?  Coach of the year - the winner (Arena) or the real deal (Kinnear). AEG vs AEG "step children." Big millions vs little millions. 

There are more stories of course - this MLS Cup is building to be one of the best yet.  The LA Galaxy deserve credit for being one of the best and most consistent teams all season.  The Houston Dynamo are a club that "rebuilt" in less than a year.  14 new faces - countless questions - up and down results all year - nevertheless, playing for the MLS Cup this Sunday.

"This is probably the biggest MLS Cup that we'll see." said head coach Dominic Kinnear.  "I don't think anyone is picking us to be the favorites," he said.  "There is pressure on us.  We have to try and win this game." 

Coach Kinnear wasn't on hand at the steps of City Hall this evening to rally the fans who came to cheer the Dynamo on in their last night in Houston.  But that didn't matter.  The front office staff was all smiles.  The players on hand (Cameron, Boswell, Moffat, and Hall) were loose and confident.  Glenn Davis was great as emcee to the short, but perfect event.  Chris Canetti said what we as fans want to hear.  He talked about the teams performance this season, how the team has come together, and how we'll do our best to set up another celebration on City Hall's steps next Tuesday - holding up the MLS Cup for the third time in the last six years.  The event ended with a loud "Let's go Dynamo" chant by everyone around.  And then, we the fans, began walking to our vehicles to go home and wait a couple more days until the "big day." Of course, we were reminded how much we love our team... our Dynamo... by the walls of City Hall - illuminated in orange.  A fitting end to a Houston Dynamo send off to Los Angeles.

I wish I could be there - but I will be watching right here in Houston... longing for that Tuesday celebration on the steps of our orange City Hall. 

Good luck Houston Dynamo!  Our team.

...Before I go, I just have to make a prediction - fans love to do this.  Last home game, I joked with Coach Tim Hanley the Dynamo will pull off a modest 1-0 victory again the Union (which came true).  I didn't share an opinion on the KC game (honestly, I was too nervous to even joke about it).  But as the MLS Cup approaches, I just have this "feeling" about the Cup.  I'm going with the final score of 2-1 in favor of the Houston Dynamo, with goals from Bobby Boswell and Carlo Costly in extra time.

Vamos Dynamo!!!  Queremos la Copa!!!!!

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