A soccer rant
Can Dynamo gain more relevance in Houston?
Glenn Davis is the host of Soccer Matters on ESPN 97.5 FM every Tuesday 7-9 p.m. (podcasts) and a play-by-play announcer for ESPN, FOX Sports and local Houston Dynamo broadcasts. Davis was a professional soccer defender for the United Soccer League's Houston Dynamos in the 1980s and a youth coach for several years.
I am climbing up on the soapbox after seeing the attendance at both the Dynamo and Dash games this weekend in a city of 6.5 million people. This is a very general post that does not go in to details.
As a play-by-play commentator, I want to be calling games with a sold-out BBVA Compass Stadium showcased on TV. Why don't we believe we can be like Sporting Kansas City or Portland and sell out every match? Yes I want what Atlanta, Minnesota, Seattle and other markets have: pressure, fans, discussion, desire to make it all better and a esprit de corps with like minded individuals in larger numbers yet I feel we have become content.
Houston is a great soccer city but it is being judged in many cases for the attendance that we have had over the years in MLS, which has created a fatigue. We have many that pander to the MLS product instead of treating it professionally and talking pros and cons.
Every weekend bars are packed with fans of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Tigres and so on. Stop this nonsense that this is not a "potentially" great MLS city.
Stop believing that media will cover our sport outside of the big international matches. Relationships must be created with media and this will take time and effort to bring the Dynamo into the consciousness of our sports media landscape.
We are not entitled to coverage and it is time to change hearts and minds about our game.
So what is it WE can do IF this means something to you?
Support those that cover the sport, demand more from those that don't cover the sport. Support those that sponsor the sport. Attend games. Grow the soccer culture.
Why can't our supporters groups grow and swell to larger proportions? I want to see passionate groups like El Batallón and Texian Army extend and grow the game further!
You can also hold us all accountable including your two professional teams. Speak out, call my radio show Soccer Matters on ESPN 97.5 FM, I have a platform for you!
Healthy criticism means you have arrived! Above all, have fun.
Call other radio shows, talk with your friends, debate. I run in to people all the time that want to talk soccer and Dynamo to me.
The current Dynamo squad is arguably the most excited that we have had with pace, youth, a high-tempo game and yes they are getting results. Games are exciting at BBVA but don't think just winning will bring fans to a stadium - it simply is a component.
You are allowed to be critical and you are allowed to look at the team "through orange glasses," this is your choice and this is the beauty of supporting your team and being a fan.
Lets end the excuses. Excuses mean you do not have answers or solutions.
Remarkably, I heard someone say to me the other day that the Dynamo should be moved to St. Louis. I was stunned. I have heard those supposedly involved in our sport tell me "Houston is not a good soccer market."
You can be a part of making MLS more relevant in this market if you believe in the product! If you don't, I want to know why and the Houston Dynamo need to hear you.
We have a lot to be fortunate for in this city with two professional teams, regular stops for huge international matches and an amazing youth and adult soccer community. The ceiling is high with so much potential on all fronts.