Puma Cup
TO OUR VOLUNTEERS: WE NEED YOU!
By Tanya Goytia, Volunteer Coordination
Puma Cup is just around the corner!! This is our annual club tournament, and we want to make sure our event is the best in Houston! That is only possible with volunteers like you! Please consider signing up to help out, we will need all hands on deck. It will be a busy weekend, as we have many of our older teams participating in out-of-town tournaments. We are asking everyone to help out, share a shift with a friend, help one another by providing rides for players. Please know our staff will be stretched thin between all the games, and our parent coaches and managers will already be helping to ensure our players our taken care of. We will be covering three parks--our home field and tournament headquarters, Dyess Park, and two additional parks, Zube Park and Katy Park. We will not have game schedules until the week of the event, and we cannot wait until that time to ensure that we are fully staffed. I have allowed the option for volunteers to easily swap shifts should schedule conflicts arise. As of now, we anticipate the U11 and U12 age groups will be at Katy Park, and the U14 boys at Zube Park, the other age groups split between the other two parks. I will provide breakdowns when they become available. We also are asking those teams not participating, and available that weekend, to please help us out. Any of our older players not committed to working, may also help out, we can sign off on community service hours, which look great on college applications. We would like to thank each and every one of you in advance for being the #DYNAMOSDIFFERENCE! Click link below to volunteer!
Puma Cup Volunteers

U. S. National Team
CLOSER LOOK AT NEW COACH
What exactly will be Gregg Berhalter’s “style of play and the culture” for the U.S. men's national team? First, a look at his recent past. The Columbus Crew made the Major League Soccer playoffs every season with the exception of 2016 and reached the MLS Cup Final in 2015, losing to the Portland Timbers. All this success despite a small budget and a team dealing with a possible move to Austin, Texas. We learned that he likes to use the 4-2-3-1–the preferred formation in MLS over the past few years–to great effect. When the Crew possessed the ball, fullbacks pushed forward and center backs veered wide. Wil Trapp as the maestro in midfield often sprayed passes down the middle to lone striker Gyasi Zardes. Other times, the fullbacks supplied balls to the middle and in the penalty box. That movement of the wings kept other teams on their heels. Maximizing possession and building up plays tired opponents. While passing accuracy and possession are not qualities often associated with MLS sides, Berhalter effectively used both to win games. These tactics are highly desirable on the national team level. Trapp and Zardes also got plenty of minutes under U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan last year. That could set the stage for Berhalter this year when limited to MLS-based players. At the same time, Berhalter also offers dynamism. Even with the Crew, he wasn't married to any particular style. In Columbus, he used Trapp to drop between the center backs, although the lone striker has been a staple of his lineups. Aside from MLS, Berhalter’s tactics have a Dutch influence. Berhalter played in the Netherlands for six seasons, but he spent more time in Germany. It’s knowledge from his seven years in the first and second divisions that will help him connect with the many Americans now playing in the German topflight. --From reports by Clemente Lisi, USsoccerplayers.com

Soccer Registration Now Open Ages 4-10
CoachesMemo Jan 25 19 logo

THE BUZZ
English citizen Roger Hill, dad of a certain Dynamos trainer, and an avid Coaches Memo reader, has a knotty question for other readers. Teases Mr. Hill, “Coach Dave Hill has a $50 bet with me that he will be 225 lbs when I get there (United States) on the first of March. . .what do you think?.” To Mr. Hill, the Coaches Memo editorial board promises that based on his teaching of persistence to succeed to our players, Coach Hill will reach his goal, with a few days to spare! We suspect Roger will let us know as soon as he arrives. . .Welcome to Edgar Diaz as the new running mate with veteran Roland Sikinger as the Dynamos goalkeepers maximize their touches on the ball every Monday evening on Field 6. Roli oversees the Junior Keeper and Intermediate boys and girls at 5:15pm, while at 6:30pm Edgar will meet the Seniors--15 years and older--and younger keepers who can’t make the earlier training due to conflicts with team practice. . .The U. S. men's national team will host Chile, the 13th ranked team in the world, on March 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Like the U. S (ranked 25th), Chile surprisingly failed to quality for the 2018 World Cup. Tickets go on sale to the public Feb. 6, but Dynamo and Houston Dash ticketholders will receive an exclusive pre-sale beginning Feb.1. . .By calling 281-780-3776, you can join the talkfest of "Soccer Matters" on Radio ESPN 97.5FM, 7-9pm where the sport's local, national and international topics are discussed. Glenn Davis is the host and welcomes your visit.

QUOTABLE
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”—Coach Franklin D. Roosevelt

THOUGHT ON COACHING
Ben Olson has signed a contract extension as head coach of D.C. United through 2021. This comes after a season in which Major League Soccer has a most-ever turnover rate with nine coaching changes. Behind only Peter Vermes, Olson is the league’s second longest-tenured coach, and at least four years ahead of all others. Five times he has guided the club to the playoffs, with high expectations for next season.

ANOTHER THOUGHT
After 2019, a face (and more recently, beard) synonymous with American soccer will hang up his gloves: Tim Howard has announced this season will be his last as a pro, after breaking into Major League Soccer as a teenager starring for his local club. He won Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year with the MetroStars and earned a then-record $4 million transfer to Manchester United before becoming a legend at Everton, a move he called the “single greatest thing to happen to me after my children.” During his time at Everton, Howard enjoyed his brightest spell with the U.S. men’s national team, crescendoing with that performance against Belgium that nearly single-handedly sent the Americans to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup. Back in MLS with the Colorado Rapids since 2016, Howard will play out the final season of a career that Matt Doyle waxed lyrical about, and rightfully so: Howard’s Farewell Tour begins now.—MLSsoccer.com

IT’S ONLY FAIR
He’s not betting heavily on the Super Bowl, promises Coach Cy Fair, until it is confirmed that the referees’ dogs have been certified with 20-20 vision. You know that little thing you have in your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t say? Well, Coach Flo doesn’t have one of those.