The Houston Dynamo Academy will host a Catalyst Foundation Festival that will feature the Houston Dynamo Catalyst teams going up against 12 teams from four different affiliate clubs that will travel into the Bayou City for a three-day soccer festival.
The participating clubs in addition to the Houston Dynamo Catalyst teams will be the Lafayette Dynamo, Baton Rouge Soccer Club, Louisiana Fire and Dynamo Coastal Bend. Each club will feature its U-10, U-11 and U-12 teams.
“We are really excited to have this first Catalyst Foundation Festival here in Houston,” Houston Dynamo Academy Director Paul Holocher said. “This is not a tournament in which we are concerned with winning or losing, but rather an opportunity to come together as part of the Dynamo family and grow and develop together as coaches and players. These are really the golden ages of development and we want to make it a really fun weekend for the players and families. We will begin with an opportunity to play some futsal on Friday for all the incoming families and then a weekend of developmental matches and also collaborative coach development.”
The Festival will start on Friday, Jan. 14 with a Futsal Friday event at the mini pitches that the Dynamo helped build last year at Hermann Brown Park. This event will be followed by two days of match play to be held at Houston Sports Park on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16.
“We are super excited about the upcoming Catalyst Foundation Festival. Each organization will have the opportunity to showcase each other’s talent at the foundation ages,” Total Football Club President and Head Coach Nelson Ballestros said. “The Catalyst Program is a true extension of the Dynamo Academy, our staff work on a weekly basis with each affiliate’s staff to enhance and provide opportunities for these terrific foundation players. During this festival, coaches and players alike will compete, develop, and have the opportunity to interact with each other both on the field and in a fun-filled environment.”
Lafayette Dynamo, Baton Rouge Soccer Club and Louisiana Fire all joined the Houston Dynamo Academy System joined the Dynamo’s developmental system this past summer through the newly launched Total Development Program, which aims to support soccer development from the earliest ages to the elite levels for boys and girls in Louisiana.
“The Baton Rouge Soccer Club is proud to be an affiliate of the Houston Dynamo,” Louie Smothermon, Executive Director of Baton Rouge Soccer Club said. “We are excited about this opportunity to participate in the Houston Dynamo Catalyst programming for players ages U10-U12. It's a unique opportunity for players to participate in elite programming with local professional coaches and Houston Dynamo staff and players.”
Dynamo Coastal Bend is an affiliate program based out of Corpus Christi that aims to provide soccer players in that area opportunities to train at a high level with first-class coaches.
“The formation of the Catalyst Foundation Festival is very exciting for our club and community,” Manny Iwabuchi of Dynamo Coastal Bend said. “To be able to provide our players and parents a first-hand look at the bigger ‘umbrella’ that we’re under is huge. It’ll help drive our players to continue to develop with the resources provided, while also getting a look at the level they need to be at. We’re very thankful to be a part of the affiliation family with the Dynamo Academy.”
“This is another really good opportunity to come together with the Catalyst program and play some teams and clubs from outside Greater Houston that we do not usually have the opportunity to play,” Rodo Castilla, Catalyst Foundation Director Dynamo Dash Youth said. “The format of a festival will be focused on development first, but we know the boys always want to show their best, score goals and enjoy competing.”
For more information about the Houston Dynamo Catalyst program, visit https://www.houstondynamoacademy.net/catalystprogram.