Houston Dynamo: Organized supporters still need to get heard

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 05: Houston Dynamo mascot Dynamo Diesel celebrates Houston Astros mascot Orbit's birthday at Minute Maid Park on June 5, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 05: Houston Dynamo mascot Dynamo Diesel celebrates Houston Astros mascot Orbit's birthday at Minute Maid Park on June 5, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Dynamo supporters remain the team’s lifeblood.  They’ve never been more organized. And they still have the jury out on their team’s future.

The Houston Dynamo changes have gotten mixed reviews from supporters — the lifeblood of any soccer organization. The supporters have never been more organized. And they’ve left the jury out mostly for the decision whether they’re on board early in this virus-interrupted 2020 season.


The highly organized group Dynamo Fans for Change met a second time with available Houston Dynamo leadership.

The first meeting between the Dynamo and this supporters group made news in September 2019. During Fan XI observances early this year another meeting was held. This one didn’t pull the attention of the first.

While Fans for Change members acknowledged some in answering questions from MLSMultiplex, the energy level didn’t reach the first meeting. Fans aren’t as moved.

Tony Quinones, Fans for Change founder, said the left-out feeling fans reported before the first meeting continues.

“We’re hoping the front office will listen,” he says. “The front office wants to make the experience family-friendly. They’re investing in new point-of-sale equipment and new concessions.

“But Houston loves winning teams. I hope the players they’ve brought in are key factors but we don’t see it yet. We’ve got the lowest payroll in the league and haven’t gotten a very good answer for that.”

Nigel Brooks is a talented photographer named 2011 Dynamo Fan of the Year, but no longer a season-ticket holder.

Through the years, a lot of archived Houston Dynamo photos bear the Brooks credit.

In an exhaustive report by Brooks, portions obtained by MLS Multiplex, he connects the dropping of season tickets by him and others to the team’s reduced performance since 2013. In that time, his research shows a drop from about 12,000 season-ticket subscriptions to under 7,000.

Some supporters are guardedly optimistic with the Dynamo head coach change to Tab Ramos. But Brooks and many other supporters directly tie the performance drop to the overall player salary level.

“According to the latest figures published by the MLS Players Union, the spending on all salaries by all teams for 2019 ranges from $8.5-$24.2 million,” the Brooks report says. “With the Dynamo being fourth from the bottom at $8.7 million.”

Quinones and other group members concur that, with the Dynamo resting in the lowest payroll quadrant, the team hasn’t acquired a payer of the topmost caliber.

A group member identified as Justin expresses  the feeling he was burned in a previous Houston Dynamo rebuilding period.

“I go into this season very cautiously.”

Fellow member identified as Kenny looked at the Tab Ramos move as not enough to fully restore fan confidence.

“They seem to think the team is good enough to win now with Tab at the helm,” Kenny says. “It’s needless to say most of the fan base doesn’t believe this and expects the team to be teetering on a playoff spot.”

Most Dynamo supporters responding on- or off-record to MLS Multiplex were optimistic regarding the team move to start the Hustle Town Supporters fan coalition.

“It should lead to better communication amongst the supporters groups – and between the groups and the front office,” Kenny says.

“If the overall goal – a larger, more active supporters section is achieved – then everyone wins.”

“Hustle Town is something different, which I like,” Justin adds. “We’ll see if it sticks, though.”

And Tony Quinones is equally optimistic about this move. But continues to emphasize what the organized supporters believe will fix the Dynamo structure. That simply is more wins on this season’s record.

“Performance will increase the supporter group base and the season-ticket holder base,” he says.

Next. Atlanta United and FIFA 20 potential. dark

So Houston Dynamo front office and organized supporters indeed share a mission of getting a winning, playoffs-bound team on the pitch. They’re not yet in agreement on how to get there, nor how soon. But both sides are speaking rationally about the topics. They just need to gather and speak together a lot more.