Rafael Hall and Lukas Bruegmann were among the 20 players to sign their offer to join the nationally ranked Dynamo Academy in May. Both players will join their teammates in the U-13 category and for the first time in program history, the entire class joins the Academy from the Catalyst Program.
“The vision of the Catalyst Foundation program is to provide a true pathway to the Dynamo Academy and the next levels of play through a well-designed and collaborative developmental programming,” Academy Director Paul Holocher said. “We are proud that so many fantastic young players in the Catalyst program will be moving on to play in MLS Next this summer and continue their growth.”
The Catalyst program launched in May 2019 and focuses exclusively on the Foundation age groups, U-10, U-11 and U-12. The program is a collaborative effort of the Houston Dynamo FC Academy, Dynamo Dash Youth and Total Football Club. The program has five geographic training and development centers throughout greater Houston that provides the capacity for motivated and talented players to experience a professional development pathway, while also helping greatly reduce travel time for thier families.
“I have wanted to be in the Dynamo Academy since I started playing with Total Football Club,” Lukas Bruegmann said. “I love that I could share this moment with my family and they could see where we will train and play.”
Hall, Bruegmann and the rest of their teammates are familiar with Houston Sports Park through the Catalyst Program’s joint training sessions held in south Houston. The future U-13 team held their first training session after each member of the team signed their official Dynamo Academy offer.
“It is a wonderful group of players and it is also a testament to the quality and dedication of the Catalyst staff that all the boys entering the Dynamo Academy this year have come from within the program.” Holocher added. “Not only do the boys have a strong foundation of technical qualities, but also a good understanding of the game model that we work towards in the Academy. We are excited to continue to help them progress.”
“I’m really grateful that I can share this moment with my parents, I really want to do this and I’m grateful that they can drive me down here every day,” Rafael Hall said, who joins from the Dynamo Dash Northeast Catalyst campus.
The U-13 team will take the field, officially, for the first time later this month and open the MLS Next regular season in August but will also host scrimmages throughout the summer months to prepare for their first MLS Next campaign.
“In the time I’ve been able to work with them, I’ve been impressed with the overall mentality of the group. They are all obviously talented young players, but more importantly, they all have a love and enjoyment for the game that fuels their work ethic and willingness to learn,” U-13 head coach Tanner Chassman said. “It’s exciting to see, because it’s their character that what will help drive the development of their talent as they continue to progress through the Academy. We can’t wait to get started.”
For more information on the Catalyst Foundation program, visit: www.houstondynamoacademy.net