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Houston Dynamo FC defender Zarek Valentin and Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell model their new gear.

Houston Dynamo FC, A Welcome Reboot for Soccer in Bayou City

Houston Dynamo rebrands to Dynamo FC with eye on representing entire city

Ultimately, the Houston Dynamo FC will be judged by victories and championships, or lack thereof. Midfielder Memo Rodriguez knows that has been the case since the inaugural Dynamo team won the 2006 MLS Cup.

Rodriguez grew up in El Campo, Texas, about an hour away from Houston. The son of Mexican immigrants followed his parents’ beloved Club America as a child. He also watched Dynamo icons Brian Ching and Brad Davis before he joined the Dynamo Pre Academy.

Almost a decade after he joined the Dynamo Academy, Rodriguez is excited to execute the vision the organization laid out Tuesday. The Dynamo took a step forward while rebranding the franchise to better represent its tremendous growth. The club added FC (Football Club) to the name and new crests for the Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Dash.

“It’s amazing how far this club has come along since I was in the academy,” said Rodriguez, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next month. “Obviously we want to see it grow.

“Hopefully with this new rebrand we’re more connected with everybody, with the Dash, with the Academy and especially the city of Houston. … Hopefully it grows and it continues to grow.”

FC kept the teams’ beloved orange and team names. But the crests were changed. The organization commissioned Houston creative agency 9thWonder, which is owned by members of under-represented groups. Both crests are in hexagonal shape. The six sides are a nod to Houston’s six original wards and the club’s inaugural season, 2006.

Bayou City represented on crest

The Bayou City’s bayou system is represented within the interlocking HD monogram on the Houston Dynamo FC crest. The blue inner lines on the Dash crest signify Houston’s waterways.

More importantly, perhaps, Dynamo FC strives to show that all parts of the club flow in the same direction. There is also one main goal: to unite Houston behind the organization’s MLS, NWSL, Academy and youth clubs.

“It’s so important for us to be one club, one family, and live that out,” Dash star Shea Groom said. “I think it’s vital for both of our successes just as separate organizations as well. I think the more that we can support each other the better this community is going to be able to buy into us.

“The more support you have, the more success you’re going to find. It’s definitely been special to have some of those guys come along and support women’s soccer as a whole.”

It’s more than the Dynamo or Dash.

In other words.

“It’s not just Dash,” Groom said. “It’s not just Dynamo. It’s the city of Houston.”

The next step is to get the Dynamo back to prominence. The four-time MLS Cup finalist and two-time champions have struggled in recent years.

Even if the crest has changed, Rodriguez knows the weight of it. He knows of the expectations. He was a child when Ching and Co. were winning titles in their first two seasons in Houston.

“I think as a club not only as players, we’re reaching for those goals that we want to be an international team that is known,” Rodriguez said. “So hopefully with the new rebrand obviously we get the results on the field speaking as well with winning.

“Obviously we can’t forget the past logo of championships, the conference finals. And hopefully we can bring back more excitement and enjoyment that the fans want and deserve. And obviously make this team know worldwide.”

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