We continue our series of giving some of the spotlight to you, the fan. Living in the Houston area we are used to long drives to get anywhere around town. Not everyone has been able to experience the teams glory days, but it’s the ones that stick with their teams in the dark season that experience the biggest joys when the team they love get a breakthrough and excels. Let’s meet today’s fan.
Name: Huris Martinez
Fan Since: Year: Officially, I’d say 2018
Current Season Holder: Captain Membership on my third season as a season ticket holder
Where are you originally from and what is your earliest memory of soccer?
I was born in Arlington, Virginia with Salvadorian roots. You would be surprised how many Salvadorians live in that area. Most of my childhood memories of soccer in Virginia was going out to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium as a DC United fan. I can remember going to the games with my dad and my older brother. Each game had a big crowd and a bigger atmosphere. Being too small to watch the play on the field, I remember having to stand on my seat to see my favorite players like Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno and Raul Diaz Arce, since the crowd was always on their feet. But as a kid, playing soccer with my neighborhood was everything. Eventually, my family and I moved to Houston in 1999.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Houston Dynamo fan?
One of my friends has been a season ticket holder since the since the stadium was built in 2012. He would invite me to Dynamo games at times. I am a big soccer fan and any chance I had the opportunity to watch a live match, I would. From the jump, I won’t lie, I wasn’t attracted to the Dynamo. I would mostly watch European soccer or international matches because I wasn’t a huge fan of MLS. I think what I soon realized was that when you think about clubs like Real Madrid, Liverpool, or other big teams around the world, they have been around 100s of years, while MLS and the Dynamo are young in comparison. Therefore, if I want my hometown team to grow and towards the level of such historic teams, then I would have to be part of the development by following the team as a season ticket holder. Now, I am invested in the team, making sure to keep track of everything going on with the club.
Also, as of recent I have become a huge fan of the Hustletown supporters. I have gotten a chance to meet lots of great people from all the different groups. Its always a fun time, win or lose, I enjoy the vibe.
What is your favorite Houston Dynamo memory and why?
I didn’t get a chance to be a Dynamo fan when we won the MLS Cups and even the finals that we lost. But for me, 2018 had some great memories because I was there when we won the US Open Cup and it felt good. Being of Salvadorian decent, I was a big Arturo Alvarez fan, and it was good to see him out there lifting a trophy with his hometown team. Our squad was so underrated that year. Man, I miss players like Alberth Elis!
It seems that you get the opportunity to go to some of the Houston Dynamo away games, what is it like to represent Houston at different stadiums around the country?
Man, away days are the best, especially when it’s an in-state rival. That feeling of marching into the stadium with El Batallon leading the way, being in the stand chanting and cheering Houston on, and looking at all those sour faces around you is just quite the experience for me. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you come out to an away game.
The club unveiled the winning seat design that will be getting installed for the 2023 season. What are your thoughts on that?
Eh, I am on both sides of the fence on this. I get the idea of making the stadium more attractive and giving new fans a better experience and if it helps offsetting this Houston heat, then I’m for it. However, I just feel that that it would be better to see more investment of the team itself. No, I am not just referring to spending a ton of money on bringing expensive, quality players but looking at things from the business side as well. Things like spending on hiring more scouts and improving training facilities.
Also, I would like to see investing on finding new ways to bring in casual fans to the stadium as well. Not everyone can afford high price tickets, so when the clubs do the 7-1-3 nights, you do see a higher attendance. As a season ticket holder, I would love to get more perks too.
What are your thoughts on where the club is heading under this regime for the upcoming years?
I feel that majority owner Ted Segal is invested in the project to get the club to the next level. Unfortunately, we’re still dealing with the effects from the previous regime. I know we are going to go through some trial and error and a slow process for change but some of us were expecting a bigger impact this season. I am hopeful for the next few seasons, considering that a roster overhaul will take place in the offseason. I know I speak for many fans, but we want to see improvement now. We don’t want to keep settling for just seeing the club as a mediocre team. We want to see our club as a contending team with plenty of roster depth.
Eventually, I would like to see Dynamo 2 players that are playing well be given the opportunity with the first team more often. Dos are one of the top teams in MLS NEXT Pro and these kids play with a lot of heart and love for the club, which seems to be missing with the first team at times. Ultimately, if the organization shows some accountability and truthful self-evaluation throughout the process in the coming years, the club can go places.
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!