The Houston Dynamo are back in the MLS Cup Final after downing DC United 4-2 on aggregate to with the Eastern Conference championship. Just like last year we'll be heading to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy, but the similarities really do end there...but we'll get to that later.
Fortunately we have two weeks to talk about that and all the other things that will inevitably come up as we creep towards the final on December 1st.
Here on Dynamo Theory, we'll be ramping up this week and giving you comprehensive coverage all next week building up to the game. We'll have a review of the Dynamo's season, match previews, a look at tactics, all sorts of good stuff.
For now, I want all of Dynamo nation to take a nice deep breath and enjoy what this team has accomplished so far. There's going to be enough tension and stress ahead, so we might as well have a couple days to decompress before we start driving ourselves nuts.
For the fourth time since moving to Houston, the Dynamo are playing for an MLS title. Let that sink in a minute...seven seasons we've had the Dynamo an they've already given us two league titles and four conference titles. To put that in perspective, the New York Red Bulls (formerly New York/New Jersey Metrostars) have played 17 seasons and only been the the MLS Cup final once (they lost to Columbus).
Are we a spoiled fan base? A little, but it's not our fault we have a fantastic head coach that understands how to be successful in the gloriously goofy MLS system. That's how sport works and it's not our fault the Dynamo organization is successful at playing the system. Fortunately Dynamo fans understand this and appreciate the amazing ride we've been able to enjoy thus far.
The thing that struck me the most yesterday in watching both the second leg conference final matches is that despite the success, the Dynamo are still having fun. Every single person on that podium in DC danced and laughed as Brad Davis lifted the Eastern Conference trophy, but at the same time every single one of them realized the work is not done. Compare that to the Galaxy's near disinterest in the trophy presentation in Seattle. Sure Galaxy fans will tell you that they like it, that it shows how focused their team is on the ultimate goal, but so are the Dynamo, they just know how to have a good time.
Supporting Houston is enjoyable both because it's a successful franchise and because they are extremely down to earth, it looks like a bunch of kids having the time of their lives because in the end, they are a bunch of kids at heart, playing a game and having fun.
So my advice to fans is to take a page from the Dynamo's celebration yesterday and be a kid. Jump up and down, smile, have fun for the next few days. There's going to be plenty to stress about later, but for now, we're once against conference champions and we're 90 minutes away from a third MLS Cup.
Whether the Dynamo win it or not, we'll still be fans of the best franchise in the league and we'll have plenty of reasons to smile. Because in the end, this is still a game and it should be about having some fun.