Nine days from today, the Houston Dynamo will kick off the 2012 campaign where the 2011 one ended, at the Home Depot Center. Only this time, instead of facing the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS Cup, they'll be playing the Gals' version of the time-share tenants who just won't ever leave, Chivas USA. Or, judging purely by attendance numbers, the FC Dallas of California.
This season, Dynamo's seventh, is definitely an auspicious one, moving as they are into BBVA Compass Stadium, with the home debut coming against The D(amned)C United on May 12 (71 days from today, but who's counting?). But for today, we will be beginning our countdown at No. 9. (Why 9 and not 10, you may ask? Because I'm writing this post today, when I first thought of it, and not yesterday, when I didn't, OK? Happy now?)
Nine, according to many in the Universe of Magical Thinking, represents "attainment, satisfaction, accomplishment and our success to achieve an influence in our circumstances." Sounds like a solid game plan to me. So, more importantly, the question is, what does the Number 9 mean to the Houston Dynamo?
Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. Dynamo first played las chivitas in on June 28, 2006, where the teams met for a 1-1 draw. The first goal, scored by none other than Dwayne De Rosario, would be the first of nine the Orange scored against the Amerigoats that season as the two teams went 2-2-2. The last two of the nine goals, however, were the most important, as the ninth propelled Dynamo to their first ever playoff win en route to their first MLS Cup. Chivas took a 2-1 lead in the aggregate at the HDC the previous week, so Your Men in Orange had to win by two to advance. Feast your eyes thusly:
This is a nice eight-and-a-half (rounds up to...9!) video of the period of time that includes goal No. 8, a PK from Brad Davis. My favorite moment was when De Ro absolutely tagged the post a few seconds after Brad Davis scored the PK. What a teeth-rattler.
And now, the clincher, 9, scored by Brain Ching (natch) in that game. Best moment: De Ro beating none other than Jesse Marsch to get the cross in. Houston Dynamo, shredding Jesse Marsch's heart since 2006.
The thing I loved in this game was that it was chippy, solid, wonderful and we beat the crap out of those guys. Great moments at the end of the game where the Goatlings take their beating like men. And by "men," I mean like whining crying, feet-stomping, tantrumming 2-year-old versions of men. (It was also the first game my sons ever attended, and they have a nice healthy hate of Chivas USA ever since. Soccer...The Great Divider.)
Coming tomorrow: The Great 8, or, What do you get when you add 6 and 2?