HOUSTON – The past year has been like Christmas for the Houston Dynamo, opening one shiny new attraction after another.
A year ago, it was the opening of the club's training fields at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. In May, the Orange celebrated the opening of the organization’s crown jewel, BBVA Compass Stadium, where they are undefeated in 13 games this season.
Last Friday, Houston were able to take another step, opening the new training facility that will house the team between matches.
“This past year has been a huge thing for our organization and our players and this is just another step in the right direction,” said Dynamo original Brad Davis. “It’s part of the professionalism, and the guys here have paid their dues. Off the field, it’s another positive thing that keeps guys’ heads up, and it’s another stepping stone.”
Until Friday, the Dynamo’s training facilities and the technical staff's offices had been housed in a portable building. And although it certainly did the job, it did not deliver the kind of image that the club aspires to represent.
That all changes with their move into a new training field home. Houston will share the facility with Methodist Hospital for a sports rehabilitation facility and an independent sports performance facility, which the club will have access to for treatment and training purposes.
WATCH: BBVA Compass Stadium soft opening
“It’s beautiful,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “This goes back six-and-a-half years ago, when we came here. It was all about better facilities. It’s a beautiful facility and it’s great for the guys and the staff from many standpoints.”
The move is another in a series of positive steps that the Dynamo have taken at HASP. The Dynamo Academy just finished hosting an international tournament at the venue, and the US Soccer Federation Development Academy held their Academy Week Finals there in July.
“It’s a great soccer complex and provides a great purpose for the public as well as the Dynamo, and we’ve been able to have a lot of great public use for it,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “This puts our players in probably one of the best positions of any club in MLS to have a great training field, excellent quality pitches and a first-class locker room. … This is all vital to our progress.”
Four called for international duty
Houston’s international contingent of Andre Hainault (Canada), Boniek García (Honduras) and Jamaicans Jermaine Taylor and Je-Vaughn Watson have been called in for World Cup qualifiers Sept. 7 and 11, putting further strain on the Dynamo’s depth.
“It’s not just six games in 19 days, but it’s beyond that,” Kinnear said. “And that’s why the health of the group is so important. You can’t extend these guys beyond what they’re capable of doing because when they go away internationally, they’re probably going to play and you may come back with a tired player.”
Before leaving for national team duty, the quartet will be available for selection in Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League match vs. Olimpia in Honduras and Sunday at the Chicago Fire. All four will miss the Sept. 6 match against Real Salt Lake.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.