Learning How to “Dynamize”

Over the summer, I added a new word to my vocabulary: “Dynamize.” OK – you won’t actually find it in the dictionary, but it does describe how Dynamo Charities gave back to a family in the East end of Houston.

The project is part of a joint initiative with  former Dynamo soccer star turned Houston Dash managing director, Brian Ching,  and Habitat for Humanity. Ching partnered with the organization to form the House That Ching Built, which raises money to build homes for deserving families in Houston.

The first house in the project was completed back in 2010. Now, the second house is finished, but I was able to catch volunteers add on the finishing touches before the home was presented to the Garcia-Andrade family.

Dynamo Girl Olevia teamed up with Dynamo Charities to help make the house fit for a Dynamo fan. Let’s just say, she definitely put her interior design skills to use!

Fun fact: Funding for this house came from the proceeds that were raised from Brian Ching’s Testimonial Match last December. Overall, $125,000 was raised – enough to cover this house and get started on a third one next year.

Get the full story on Dynamizing the home, below!

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Bald is Beautiful

This Mother’s Day, some Houston Dynamo fans decided to skip brunch and get their heads shaved for Mom’s special day. But doing that had nothing to do with honoring mothers everywhere (although they’re totally deserving!). It was all about showing support for children with cancer through the annual event, Bald is Beautiful,   sponsored by Dynamo Charities.

Now in its’ sixth year, the Bald is Beautiful campaign seeks to raise money for awareness and research in the effort to find a cure to end childhood cancer by donating money from the event to the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund. All the action happened right before the Houston Dynamo took on Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium.

“Dynamo Zone” co-host Jason Simon participated to mark his third time at the event and ended up giving over $600.00. But he wasn’t the only one. Susan Leining, a retired teacher and soccer coach from Santa Fe, Texas, also joined in. Learn more about what inspired her to get involved, below.

In the past, former Dynamo players Mike Chabala and Craig Waibel have spearheaded the event.

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Dash On

Former Houston Dash player Nikki Washington, 25, received a huge homecoming at the Dash’s inaugural game and season opener, April 11,  against her previous team, Portland Thorns FC. Why do I say former already although the season kicked off just under a month ago? Washington now plays for the Boston Breakers in a trade that has brought Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle to Houston.

But before the Mesquite, TX native returned to the northeast (she played for the Breakers in 2011) , she proudly sported Dash colors. I interviewed Washington after the team’s first match to find out more about what it was like to be back in her home state playing in front of two very familiar faces and got her thoughts on what some considered a questionable call in the 90th minute of the game.

The Dash return to action at home, May 3, (sans Washington) against FC Kansas City. Washington won’t be back on the pitch in Houston until July, when the Breakers take on her newest old team.

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Dynamo Girls Launch Party

It’s official! The roster is set and the 2014 Dynamo Girls have all been named. But before they hit the field on March 8 for the Houston Dynamo season opener at BBVA Compass Stadium, the squad was revealed during a supporter’s group event hosted by El Batallon and Brickwall Firm at Eastdown Warehouse.

The producer of “Dynamo Zone” and I have followed the squad from auditions to the launch to show how they’ve all come full circle. I hope to have more stories on the Dynamo Girls throughout the season. Check out the package below – and do you notice any familiar faces from the auditions?


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Soccer in the Village

Picking up where it left off last season, Dynamo Zone returns this week on HCCTV. We recorded the first show of the year at the store Soccer 4 All in Rice Village. Soccer 4 All is run by Jen Cooper from the show Keeper Notes on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560.

On Dynamo Zone, I write and record the teases and also do packages, interviews and demonstrations. This week’s show is about the new roster additions to the Houston Dynamo and updates on the National Women’s Soccer League team, the Houston Dash, which is owned and operated by the Dynamo, plus Brendan Keyes – owner and head coach of the Houston Hurricanes stopped by for an interview and English Premier League talk.

The Houston Hurricanes is a semi-professional soccer team that plays in the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL). Keyes brought everyone Hurricanes gear including the green and white striped scarf I’m sporting around my neck during my stand-up! Learn more about the Houston Hurricanes here: http://www.houstonhurricanesfc.com/

You’ll probably see more of Dynamo Zone from Soccer 4 All in the coming weeks. We’re taking a break from recording at BBVA Compass Stadium for now until the season kicks off in March.

See more from Soccer 4 All here: http://soccer4all.com/

Pics from the shoot are below!

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Dynamo Girl Auditions

Over 100 women tried out for the opportunity to join the Dynamo Girls, the only dance team in the MLS.

Led by director Marilu Amador-Harman, the Dynamo Girls held their 8th annual auditions on Sunday, January 26 at the Jesse H. Jones student life center on the University of Houston’s downtown campus from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Women with all levels of experience tried out. I talked to one who used to dance for the Houston Aeros before the team moved to Iowa, another who was returning to try out for a third time, and one man (well, actually the only man) who came back to audition a second time. He advanced to the second round the first time he auditioned before being eliminated.

Judges included Sarah Pepper, Ivan Trujillo and PK from HOT 95.7 and Comcast Sportsnet Houston’s Sara Eckert.

I decided to get involved just to see what it’s like trying to keep up with the eight counts while dancing to Pitbull’s “Timber.” Check out my attempt at learning the moves with one of the DG hopefuls (she ended up making it to the second round of auditions, by the way!) in the pics above!

The next round of auditions is this weekend where the finalists have one more chance to show they belong on the squad.

To learn more about the Dynamo Girls, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HoustonDynamoGirls or go to http://www.houstondynamo.com/dynamogirls.

Here’s the package on the tryouts: