Houston Dynamo’s watertight defence should help them to victory against Minnesota United in their midweek MLS fixture.
Houston Dynamo FC were announced as a new MLS team in 2005, with the San Jose Earthquakes franchise moving to Texas. They were initially owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group. Houston hosted a welcome party on December 16 and announced that the team would play at the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium.
Originally owned by AEG, the Dynamo's current majority owner is Mexican Gabriel Brener. Boxing superstar Oscar De La Hoya and NBA superstar James Harden are among the minority owners.
Big-name players the Dynamo have rostered include Chris Wondolowski, Dwayne De Rosario, DaMarcus Beasley, Stuart Holden, Geoff Cameron, Brian Ching, Brad Davis and Pat Onstad.
The Dynamo arrive and win it all
Their first game in Houston drew 25,462 fans for a 5-2 win over Colorado Rapids as Ching scored four goals, which is still a franchise record for a single game. From May 27 to July 22, they went 10 straight unbeaten and they also didn't lose over the final six games of the regular season. They finished second in the Western Conference as Ching and De Rosario each scored 11 goals. In the first round of the play-offs, they beat Chivas USA 3-2 on aggregate, as Ching scored twice. In the Western Conference finals, Paul Dalglish scored twice in a 3-1 win over Colorado Rapids. Houston played the MLS Cup final a couple of hours from home in Dallas and the game was tied 0-0 after 90 minutes. New England scored in the 113th minute, but Ching equalised a minute later. The first ever MLS Cup final to be decided by penalty kicks was won by Houston 4-3 as Onstad made the game-winning save.
The end of the 2007 season also saw the Dynamo sell 50% of the team to Brener International Group and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. In 2008, the Dynamo finished second in the Pan-Pacific Championship in Hawaii with a win over Sydney FC and a loss to Gamba Osaka. They lost in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semi-finals to Deportivo Saprissa 3-0 on aggregate. Back in MLS, Houston won the Western Conference regular season with 13 wins but lost in the Conference semi-finals to New York Red Bulls 4-1 on aggregate.
In 2009, Kinnear's side were eliminated from the Champions League in the quarter-finals and went on an 11-game unbeaten streak in MLS. They reached the semi-finals of the US Open Cup before losing to Seattle in extra time. They got revenge on Seattle with a 1-0 win in the MLS Cup play-offs after finishing tied for first in the West but taking the No. 2 seed. In the Western Conference final, they lost to LA Galaxy 2-0.
Houston moved into BBVA Stadium in 2012 after playing seven straight away games to start the season. The first game at their new home was on May 12 - a win over D.C. United in front of 22,039 fans. Houston didn't lose at home all season, picking up 11 wins and six draws. Cameron moved to Stoke City in England during mid-season after they had added Designated Player Oscar Boniek Garcia. Dynamo had a seven-game unbeaten streak from July 3 to August 3. Bruin led the team with 12 goals over the campaign. Houston made the play-offs as a wild card and beat Chicago Fire 2-1 in the first round as Bruin scored twice. In the Conference semi-finals, they upset No. 1 seed Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on aggregate as Bruin and Adam Moffat scored. In the Conference finals, they beat D.C. United 3-1 in the first leg before drawing 1-1 in the second leg and advancing. The Galaxy were again waiting in the MLS Cup final and Houston led 1-0 at half time through a goal by Calen Carr. However, he tore his ACL in the 59th minute and the Galaxy scored three goals in the final 30 minutes to win 3-1.
The Dynamo post-Kinnear
Elis was bought off loan before the 2018 season, but the Dynamo missed the play-offs with a ninth-place finish in the West. The highlight of the season came in the US Open Cup. Houston beat NTX Rayados 5-0 in the fourth round and dispatched Minnesota United FC 1-0 in the last 16. Quioto and Mauro Manotas scored twice in a 4-2 quarter-final win over SKC and Houston beat LAFC on penalty kicks in the semi-finals. In the US Open Cup final, which was played at home, Manotas scored twice as Houston lifted the trophy with a 3-0 win over Philadelphia Union.
Tab Ramos comes in
Tab Ramos, who played 81 games for the USMNT from 1988 to 2000 and spent seven seasons in MLS, was hired as Dynamo manager on October 25, 2019. He managed the US U-20 team from 2011 to 2019 and served as a USMNT assistant from 2014 to 2016.
Houston Dynamo's rivals
After their move east, the Dynamo's presence in Houston caused the formation of the Texas Derby with FC Dallas. Houston started the rivalry on the right foot, winning 4-3 in the first game and taking five of the first eight meetings. Houston eliminated Dallas from the 2006 US Open Cup and won a first-round play-off series en route to the 2007 MLS Cup title. Dallas turned the tables in the middle of the 2010s with seven straight wins between 2013 and 2015. That stretch included eliminating the Dynamo from two US Open Cups. After five consecutive draws in 2017 and 2018, Houston finally snapped a nine-match winless streak against FC Dallas.