It seems as if every 4 years the question of soccer’s place in the American sports arena comes up. Now, from a realistic perspective Major League Soccer is not going to catch up to the TV Ratings of the Super Bowl any time soon, but growth is certainly there. Two weeks ago the Houston Dynamo played at BBVA Compass Stadium in front of a crowd of 18,000+, an almost sellout crowd on a rainy Houston Night. Just last year the Dynamo had a match in very similar conditions but the attendance on the day was just shy of 11,000. Now a neutral might say these statistics are fairly poor compared to the rest of the league and especially to the Big four of American sports, but a statistician will point out the nearly 64% increase in attendance on a rainy summer night! Same team, same stadium, same city, but a different mentality. The World Cup has always increased soccer attendance and interest in the United States but usually only by about 25%. So is this 64% attendance increase on a rainy, humid, miserable night a sign of good things to come for soccer in the United States and south Texas or is it just another World Cup “bump”? Only time will tell, but the Dynamo are certainly starting to capitalize on it .
Just this week the Dynamo signed 2 world cup players amongst their ranks, DaMarcus Beasley of The United States and Luis Garrido of Hounduras. Surely by bringing in Beasley, a household name for the past month, the Dynamo are trying to regain the attention of the casual fan who cheered on their stars and stripes last month in Brazil. Whilst the signing of Luis Garrido ,a relatively unknown player to American fans, but a huge figure in Honduras was surely a move to entice and attract the huge Honduran community here in the diverse city of Houston.
With 14 games left and only 4 points back of the last playoff spot the Dynamo are hoping the arrival of these 2 new stars, and the return of their other 2 World Cup players, gives the fans at BBVA Compass Stadium something to sing about as they try to propel the Dynamo to an unprecedented seventh playoff appearance in eight years.