[MLS]Though it has struggled to finalize a stadium deal, the Houston Dynamo has done just about everything else right since joining MLS prior to the 2006 season when the league approved a move from San Jose. Its success on the field and at the gate has yielded hosting rights for the 2010 All-Star Game, as announced by Commissioner Don Garber Monday. "I don't think that people really expected that Houston, Texas would be a strong, powerful and successful MLS market," Garber said. "It's turned out to be one of our best."
The Dynamo won MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007 and consistently has ranked in the top half of MLS team attendances, for both regular-season games and international competitions. It currently leads the Western Conference with the league's best record at 9-5-5 and is sixth in per-team attendance with an average of 15,632. Anschutz Entertainment Group and a consortium led by former boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya and his business partner Gabriel Brener share the team's operating rights.
A decision is pending on whether the Dynamo's regular home, Robertson Stadium, or Reliant Stadium - where the NFL Texans play - will be used for the All-Star Game. Reliant has hosted Interliga and Gold Cup matches in addition to Mexican national team and club friendlies, and Garber mentioned a Mexican League opponent is a possibility for next year's All-Star Game.
An MLS team defeated Guadalajara, 3-1, in the 2003 All-Star Game at Home Depot Center and two years later, a sister club, Chivas USA, began league play as an expansion team. In past years, several Mexican clubs - including Monterrey, Pachuca, Club America and Atlas - have been rumored as possible expansion candidates without any real progress taking place.
Houston coach Dominic Kinnear, who was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2005 just before the team moved from San Jose, is coaching the MLS All-Star team that faces English Premier League club Everton on Wednesday. In five games pitting its all-stars against foreign club teams, MLS is 5-0.
"These are always great events for MLS," said Kinnear at a press conference Monday. "It's a credit to us that we do get these big-marquee matchups, but it also puts pressure on us that we have to do well in these games."