May 12, 2012, 5:34 PM EDT
Nearly everyone here is wearing orange. The Dynamo organization and the fans have long gotten this one right. (And it’s not as easy as it sounds. Plenty of soccer games in the United States play out with all kinds of supporters jerseys in the stands, the Real Madrids, Club Americas, Manchester Uniteds, etc. To get that kind of team unity doesn’t happen everywhere.)
The places to be before kickoff: Lucky’s, the longtime soccer friendly and Dynamo-fan friendly bar between the stadium and Minute Maid Park. Or the festive and well-merchandised alley leading into the grounds from the downtown side.
Spotted by several Dynamo staffers before the match: Brian Ching, biking around the stadium. Gotta love that kind of genuine enthusiasm. (Credit that one to NBC partner and pal Arlo White, who got it from one of his secret sources or something.)
I know this is how it is. I get it. Everybody does it. But … $9.50 for a beer just ain’t right! Power to the people.
Among the big boys in the house: former Dynamo GM Oliver Luck and his son, Andrew Luck, the No. 1 NFL draft pick.
Oscar de la Hoya, a team owner, was here, of course.
A few other suits were out before the match, tape measure in hand, checking the height and width of the BBVA Compass goals at each end. Standard practice, I assume. But really, guys? Couldn’t do this yesterday? Because it’s not like those bad boys are adjustable. If you figure out the things are just 7 feet, 11 inches, what are the options? Send everyone home, shrugging your shoulders and waving the book of official laws?
Lots of recycling bins. And nice people manning them, to get people in the habit, which is an especially nice touch.
As part of the opening ceremonies, the Dynamo brought back former players to lift the 2006 and 2007 MLS championship trophies. Those players: Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson and Wade Barrett. Notice a trend? A goalkeeper and three defenders. Indeed, those terrific Dynamo sides of the late 2000s were mostly built on defense and De Ro – Dwayne De Rosario, that is.
You may have noticed a little trouble getting those championship banners uncovered. I’m sure the Dynamo brass did. There’s sure to be a staff meeting over that one.
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