We continue our series of giving some of the spotlight to you, the fan. This fan may not need an introduction to most, but if you’ve never run into him, this guy will quickly make you feel at home. He works really hard to grow the Houston soccer fandom. Let’s get to know this Dynamic fan!
Name: Sergio Zelaya
Fan Since: 2006
Current Season Holder: Yes
Where are you originally from and what is your earliest memory of soccer?
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Both my parents are from El Salvador. I couldn’t tell you my earliest experience, soccer was always around. My dad played for a professional club in El Salvador and when he moved to the US, he would play pickup games every weekend. I would go watch him play at different fields around Houston. I grew up playing soccer as well, from youth all the way until high school. I used to love playing soccer but my love for watching soccer came during a Liverpool game where Fernando Torres made this incredible run and goal, and something switched in my head to appreciate the beautiful game. My love for supporting a club came in 2006 with the Dynamo.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Houston Dynamo fan?
I went to the very first Dynamo game without knowing what the Dynamo or MLS was. My dad took me out of nowhere and in my head, I thought I was going to watch him play pick-up. I remember driving up to Robertson Stadium and seeing everybody in orange walking towards the stadium and realizing that this was something much bigger. It was packed, it was loud, the Dynamo won 5-2, and I have been hooked ever since.
What is your favorite Houston Dynamo memory and why?
There are so many, but it would have to be going to both of our MLS Cup championships, Frisco in 2006 and DC in 2007. Being able to celebrate those cups live was an amazing experience. Even though I was maybe 11 or 12 years old at the time, those are still memories I cherish and something I hope kids now can experience.
Many people might not know but you are the president of Hustle Town’s supporters group The Surge. Tell us what inspired the creation of the group and how can fans join it?
The idea of starting a supporters group started in the middle of the 2019 season. My cousin, Jeffrey Bonilla, and I wanted to be more involved in the Supporters Section. We went to the different pregames/events of the groups that were available and we didn’t really feel like it was for us. We wanted to bring something different for Dynamo fans. We started off on social media explaining our goals and what we are. Some people believed in us and became members and it’s been growing ever since. I’m extremely proud of where we are. I, Jeff, and all the leaders of The Surge want to keep the momentum rolling. We’re not settling, our goal is to continue growing and providing an amazing community for Dynamo/Dash fans. To become a member, you can do so at WeAreTheSurge.com. You can also follow us on social media to see upcoming events. You don’t need to be a member to pregame with us or go catch watch parties with us. Come hangout and have a good time with the Dyna-Fam.
It was announced recently that there will be a new look to the stadium next year. How do you think renovations like this will help increase the fan experience, especially for the new and casual fans?
I love it, I think it’s going to look great! I’m pretty sure all of us were tired of the peach-colored seats. Renovations like this are very important for fan experience. If you don’t feel comfortable in your seat, why would you come back? Hopefully the new mesh seats provide comfort and keep the fans cool. The most important thing I wanted was for HOUSTON to be spelled out, so I’m glad that’s happening.
What are your thoughts on this new era of Houston Dynamo soccer and are you excited about the new Front Office and the direction the club is headed?
As someone who’s seen the different “eras” of Dynamo soccer, it’s really refreshing what Ted Segal and Pat Onstad have brought in their first season. MLS has grown rapidly in the last decade, but the Dynamo didn’t grow with it. Making the playoffs once in the last 8 years is unacceptable. But in my opinion, that’s in the past. This isn’t the same old Dynamo anymore. With club record signings of Sebas (Ferreira) and HH (Hector Herrera), to extreme renovations to the Stadium, to the introduction of Dynamo Dos. We are headed in the right direction; I have no doubt in my mind about that.
Our hope is that you can put a name to a face in the crowd at PNC Stadium. That you would wear your orange gear with pride and make friendships catching the games at your favorite watering hole. And never forget to always Hold It Down and Keep It Forever Orange!