One year ago at this time I wrote a Houston Chronicle column about how opportunities to grow awareness for the sport of soccer were being missed.
The article one year ago spoke of the amazing Dynamo run to the MLS Cup final and that here was a moment an opportunity that was rare to re-schedule a day of youth games so that all could make the choice of watching the Dynamo in an MLS Cup Final in their first ever professional season in town.
Awareness at it’s best and an opportunity for our youth leadership to step up.
The youth community was told by state and local associations like South Texas Youth Soccer Association, HYSA, TYSA, EDDOA and BAYSA that re-scheduling was not possible, just to difficult. I wondered if those leaders realized that this was a “GOLDEN” opportunity to grow the sport. A moment that had to be seized!
See it’s real simple, the grass roots level is where you create passion that one day leads to players, fans and parents with passion for soccer. It also leads to future volunteers and “keepers’ of the game. A very simple theory. Create passion at young ages and you will blossom the future of the sport.
There was lots of reaction ( I received countless emails and phone calls) yet in the end the leadership did not live up to the challenge, could not re-schedule, it was just too difficult. (Leadership did show up at Pizza Hut Park for the MLS Cup final and festivities as youth games continued in Houston).
Directors of coaching of youth clubs were upset as they saw like I an amazing opportunity to grow awareness for the game.
So here we are a year later and it is the same song and dance again. So in one years time we haven’t figured this out? So is this leadership or is this administration on a few individuals terms?
Again the MLS Cup is upon us and remarkably the Dynamo are in the Final again Sunday on ABC at 11 AM, sadly games will not be re-scheduled again. Sadly another missed opportunity to create awareness for soccer as I have received an email that the games will go on. I am told EDDOA has 80 games Sunday, well next Monday through Thursday lets play those games, I mean isn’t it the job of leadership to be able to make the tough decision? Isn’t that why you were elected in these rolls to move the sport forward? Isn’t that why you took the volunteer position?
Coaching professionals and directors from Eclipse, Texans , Texas Soccer Club, Texas Premier, Cy Fair Dynamos , Albion Hurricanes , Texas Heat among others have all supported the idea of re-scheduling games and have emailed me with their thoughts on the matter and I know have contributed solutions to the problem.
So when I hear State and local associations leaders be as bold to say they support the Dynamo, I say it is hypocrisy and tire of the small-minded excuses. Tired that opportunity comes and goes without learning. Tired to hear the words “player development” come off leaderships tongues only to fail on the most obvious player development decision of all.
By not re-scheduling you are NOT supporting the Houston Dynamo.
If leaders truly supported the Dynamo you would be “champions’ and visionaries and figure out a way to re-schedule games for the benefit of the community. Lots of good ideas have been brought to the table yet their has been no response.
I see lots of conflict of interest with numerous youth soccer leaders on many different boards (and these same volunteers tell me they are over worked) , I see nebulous answers and a lack of clarity that is confusing.
How can you say you are supporting player development when you don’t re-schedule one day of youth games for a rare event like the Dynamo in the MLS Cup?
Many volunteers and professionals work tirelessly for the support of this sport on a daily basis.
Soccer didn’t arrive with the Dynamo in Houston, it just got taken to another level. Another level that youth can now aspire to if we choose to be allies with our local professional team.
Sunday the youth community has an opportunity to be allies with the Dynamo if you will let them.
There is a “think tank” of soccer knowledge in Houston.
Why are we not tapping into it at the youth level? Why are we not challenging and empowering the top youth directors and coaches for ideas and responsibility.
We have a huge opportunity on Sunday to grow awareness for the sport yet it is blind on youth leadership of these associations. It saddens me that opportunity like this, that is so vivid is not taken advantage of.
Actions speak louder than words. I for one am ready for action and have tired of seeing opportunity like this go by the wayside.