Canetti, MLS's longest-tenured club president, will leave Dynamo for Houston World Cup bid position

Chris Canetti, the longest-tenured club president in MLS, is leaving the Houston Dynamo at the end of the year when his contract as president of the Dynamo and NWSL's Dash expires.

Canetti has been with the Dynamo since its launch in 2006 when it won the first of back-to-back MLS Cups, and he was named president in 2010. It also finished second in 2011 and 2012 though it has only made the playoffs two years since then -- in 2013 and 2017, losing in the conference final both times.

He will become the president of the Houston World Cup Bid Committee -- under the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority -- seeking to bring games at the 2026 World Cup to Houston.

In 2012, the Dynamo moved into BBVA Compass Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston. It averaged more than 20,000 fans three of its first four years, but attendance has dropped since then, falling below 17,000 for the first time in 2018.

The Dash was the first expansion team in the NWSL, joining the women's league in 2014. It has yet to make the playoffs in five seasons. Its attendance has also dropped each of the last three years, falling below 4,000 in 2018.

During Canetti’s tenure, the Dynamo also launched its partnership with Rio Grande Valley FC. The Dynamo was the first MLS team to operate the technical side of an USL club, leaving the business operations to the club itself.

“Today, I am filled with mixed emotions," said Canetti. "I love this club, cherish my time here, and feel sadness about it coming to an end, but I am confident that is the right time to move on to the next challenge.  And with this next challenge comes the opportunity to work on something vitally important to the game of soccer and our community, and that’s ensuring that Houston secures World Cup matches in 2026.”

Canetti, the 2008 MLS Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year, came to the Dynamo from the MetroStars, where he was assistant general manager.

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