The Houston Dynamo are currently in negotiations to bring a USL Pro affiliate team to the South Texas town of McAllen, it was reported Tuesday morning by a McAllen news outfit, The Monitor.
On Monday, Dynamo President Chris Canetti and VP David Tagliarino sat with officials for the city and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the NBA Development League affiliate to the Houston Rockets, to discuss planting a flag in McAllen for the Dynamo. The team, referred to as the Rio Grande Valley Dynamo, would likely replace the relationship with USLPro team Pittsburgh Riverhounds, which has seen players like Brian Ownby, Anthony Arena, and Jason Johnson compete this season. In addition, the USL Pro affiliate would be used as a feeder for the Dynamo first team.
While both sides have indicated there is a mutual interest, the Dynamo are looking for public funding to expand the existing McAllen Sports Park to 5,000 seats from its current 3,000. The fields also lack a home and visitor's locker room which would need construction before being home to the affiliate team.
Last month, Dynamo Academy Director of Youth Development James Clarkson told parents and Academy players in attendance at an orientation meeting that the club had plans to put a USL Pro affiliate in place by 2016. The affiliate team could provide an intermediary place for players excelling in the Academy program to push for the first team.
McAllen, TX, located along the Rio Grande, is home to around 130,000 and made up of a mostly Hispanic and Latino demographic. In 2007, the Dynamo established the Dynamo South Texas Academy as a developmental tool that has seen youth train and compete across several regional cities.