Since the start of 2014, FC Dallas (by a fairly comfy margin) have the best regular season record of any team in Major League Soccer. In that stretch, Houston has failed to make the playoffs and have been an afterthought in the league. In that seem period outside of an anomalous 5-0 loss early last year, FC Dallas has put up a 6-0-2 record across all competitions against Houston. Houston has taken a backseat to Seattle, Portland (when it comes to quality), and San Jose (when it comes to goonery) when it comes to matchups of importance to the artists formerly known as the Hoops.
This season may be a different story for the club with the worst jerseys in MLS. Savvy acquisitions in the form of Honduran speedsters Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto as well as the inspired choice to hire Papí confidant Wilmer Cabrera has transformed Houston’s fortunes so far this season. With the fortunes of our benzene-rich swamp dwelling neighbors to the South on the rebound, a re-introduction to what a Houston Dynamo is seems in order. Don’t feel bad, this is apparently necessary in Houston, too. Fortunately, all you really need to do to get an idea of the rivalry as it used to be is to revisit this 2007 match that earned Ricardo Clark a nine game suspension (wow, you can actually hear the kick connect!).
None of this even taps into the very core of what make the derby special- the marsh people who are our natural rivals. You can’t make a city smell that bad without a lot of people, and to that end, Dynamo have an enormous fan base that is enumerated by a precise and fairly-measured social media following.
Unfortunately, much in the same way the numbers are stretched at the stadium, it would seem Houston’s popularity on the internet might be claimed with its fingers crossed. In the spirit of hospitality and the hopes that we can play nice with the rivalry being re-established- and I’m being optimistic here; Houston could still easily screw this up- I’d like to introduce you to the 10 most interesting, must-follow, totally real fans who follow Houston Dynamo’s twitter account.
- @anonomous0123. The Dynamo has a large Greek fanbase, and they will not clutter your timeline because they need the attention. Follow this (noun).
2. @runthecowmeat. For Houstonians, even virtual fish are mutants.
3. @connectairrblx. Rumor has it these guys were going to be Dynamo’s kit sponsor in 2014. Per their account, they are the premier ‘Low-cost ROBLOX fictional airline based in San Francisco.’ Connect Air pulled out of negotiations when they realized that the Dynamo were not the same thing as the Earthquakes. Also, ROBLOX?
4. @pillevokka29- Nothing screams diehard Dynamo fan like a diehard Hockey fan (seriously, check his timeline). Honestly, I think he mistook the Dynamo for the Aeros which are now the Iowa Wild. This is, in many ways, the prototypical Dynamo fan.
5. @prodigy_capper1. Uh, actually you just did the math for me, bro. Kidding aside, I do love me some degenerate gambling, and this kid is the future of sports handicapping. And you’re not limited to soccer with this one. No, no, no- Australian Rugby, Men’s Singles Tennis, and College baseball are all on the board WITH Oceania World Cup Qualifying if you have to limit your wagers to soccer. Seriously, I’m going to see if we can get this guy for staff picks on Friday.
No reply. Guess the Deep State got him, too.
7. @tattooporn4u. After going through a few hundred followers, I noticed a pattern of 21 follows that are probably ‘imaged’ onto phones. I have no idea how many of Dynamo’s ‘followers’ are like this, but there’s certainly enough of them for me to notice a pattern in less than an hour. Tattoo Porn is one such account.
8. @aeep2017. A little too on the money. I’m actually kind of interested in this project. Help em’ out, fam!
9. @mexispice84. Alright. After looking through thousands of profiles, this one made me laugh. Not sure how big a fan of Dynamo ‘Yaseen’ is, but she definitely needs some new followers.
10. @H0ustonAstros. Now that’s just sad. Maybe Dynamo will make their way on to this busy logo some day.
Anyway, there’s the cream of the crop or, at least, the best I could find with the time I decided to allot to this little project. I’ll see if I can get the BigDSoccer intern for next year’s dive into the Dynamo fan base but, honestly, this seems like a fair representation to me. Hard to deny their passion with diehards like ‘Yaseen Maboobs’.
For all five of you that read my weekly fantasy article, thanks for wading through the Rivalry Week Dynamo take down. Felt pretty good- I might have to work this in the next time we play Houston or Seattle (AKA the inventors of soccer and fan culture). For those of you who are new, my team is FC Byrd Turgler. After finishing in the Top 25 last year, I’m scuffling a bit this year and have only recently re-entrenched myself in the Top 500 this year. As ‘experts’ go, that’s pretty run of the mill, but we’ve found our form recently; things are looking up.
Part of pulling back to the pack is making contrarian picks or ‘differentials’ as some have labeled them. My approach to that is more about who not to pick than to pick here or ‘fade’ as DFSers often phrase it. Honestly, I’ve had a little luck improving my position with this strategy, but it’s definitely risky. My fades this round are Atlanta and Romain Alessandrini.
For Alessandrini, the 3rd most transferred in midfielder who’d be higher if he weren’t already so heavily owned, there’s a few reasons I’m not playing him. He’s already mentioned he isn’t used to the high usage in LA, and a game at altitude might be a good rest for him. Even if he doesn’t rest, his home game is against stingy Spork and he’ll play both games without Giovanni Dos Santos who is in Russia with Mexico for Confederations Cup. Here’s the kicker- if Alessandrini does play in Colorado tonight and picks up a yellow card, he’s suspended on Saturday. Nothing will improve your ranking quicker than the pack earning a tasty ‘3’ for Alessandrini this round.
As for fading Atlanta, that’s more general and seemingly more risky. Hear me out. Atlanta, with their busy schedule, light rotation, and frenetic style, could have trouble bringing full throttle for either of the games this round. What’s more, DC and Colorado already eschew a lot of buildup play when they have the ball and are more than happy to get the ball out to the wings for their attack. It wasn’t a total anomaly that DC managed to beat Atlanta 3-1 in Atlanta at the end of April, and I won’t be surprised if Pablo and the human spirit manage to steal a point or 3 in Georgia this weekend. Check back at 6pm CDT today. I’ll have more DC and Crapid than most.
Ben’s Fantasy Round 17
Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 16. 4-0-1, Season 53-21-10)
- Kevin Molino M $10.1
- Diego Valeri M $10.7
- Nicolas Lodeiro - M $11.6
- Christian Ramirez - F $7.9
- Fernando Adi - F $9.7
My stud picks were great last round (for those new to my scoring system, go here). 105 for the round still trailed FC Walter (111- Big D’s round leader) and Lamah I just killed a man (109- Big D’s overall leader), but it was good for some movement upwards at least.
Remember: My picks on DGW players mean I think they can earn twice the median score per game. I feel comfortable that each of these players will do that, which is basically 12 pts for a DGW Forward and 14 pts for a DGW Mid. The Portland-Minnesota match is prime for crooked numbers tonight, and they’ve both got home games this weekend. As for Lodeiro, he’s due and the travel is light this round.
Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 16 1-4-0, Season 37-43-0)
- Kofi Opare D $4.4
- Gustav Svennson M $6.1
- Ibson M $6.7
- Jerome Thiesson D $5.0
- Julian Gressel M $4.3
For the newbies, picking cheapies is difficult. Then again, my rules are pretty stringent for it. Opare’s cheap, and he’ll definitely play 2 this round. I’m kind of bullish on DC this round. There’s a lot of buzz about Roldan this round, but give me Svennson. He’ll get you the same or better points and is $1.4 cheaper.
Ibson is everyone’s favorite MLS player who sounds like a famous Norwegian playwright but is actually a poor man’s Godoy (Great name for a play!). The central midfielder who rakes up bonus points with the low floor is great, but you do have to watch out for the red cards with these guys. His teammate Thiesson is also cheap and, while there may not be great opportunity for a clean sheet, two games and bonus points from each should add up to an SGW clean sheet defender. Finally, I guess I won’t totally boycott Atlanta since Gressel’s dirt cheap, and I’m only hoping for 5 out of Jules (and probably not playing him). That’s all for this week. Good luck and Houston sucks.
Complaints, comments, suggestions, slang? Email bmlyon (at) yahoo.com