The Houston Dynamo for Dummies

An abbreviated primer on the most successful sports franchise in Texas this side of the Spurs. (Update: the Dynamo lost to the LA Galaxy, 3-1, in the 2012 MLS Cup Final.)
Sat December 1, 2012 3:56 am
Houston Dynamo

(Update: the Dynamo lost to the LA Galaxy, 3-1, in the 2012 MLS Cup Final.)

The Texans-Titans game is not ‘til Sunday. That Alabama- Georgia SEC championship game is just going to make you wish the Aggies had another shot at LSU (or the Longhorns had a shot at all). So why not turn your Saturday sports-watching attention to the most successful franchise in Texas this side of the San Antonio Spurs?

That would be Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, which will face the L.A. Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s a familiar spot for Houston’s soccer club, both because the Dynamo lost to the Galaxy in last year’s final, and because Houston won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007, the first two seasons that the team existed. Manager Dominic Kinnear has been in charge that entire time, and this season, the Dynamo’s long tenancy at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium came to an end with the completion of the soccer-only BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.

On behalf of non-soccer fans (and non Houstonians), we reached out to a few experts with some basic questions about the Dynamo, the sport, and the MLS Cup. 

1. The Dynamo are back in the MLS Cup Final for the second straight year despite being the Eastern team with the worst record. Is there something about this franchise that makes it especially good at the postseason?

The short answer is Dominic Kinnear. Tactically he gets it right every time. 

- Michael Bertin, former Austinite and freelance writer (Deadspin, Slate, ESPN). 

Two words: Dominic Kinnear. The man knows how to build a team given the resources available, and knows how to approach the long season so that the players are in peak form when the playoffs arrive. An MLS season really is two separate seasons–regular season and playoffs. 

- Eric Carl Nordstrom, Dynamo fan

The Dynamo seem to take it to another level in the playoffs and against top teams. They had winning records against the two top seeds, but they struggled and dropped points against the worst. When it matters, they step it up,

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