Dynamo supporters proved me wrong.
Three weeks ago, I questioned the soccer passion in Houston following a disappointing fan turnout for the Conference Semifinal match against the Portland Timbers.
That doubt was laid to rest on November 21 when Houston fans packed BBVA Compass Stadium for the first leg of the Western Conference Finals.
22,661 supporters were on hand to watch the Houston Dynamo play the Seattle Sounders, setting a new attendance record for the club.
This figure shows that soccer is still thriving in the city, but also points to one harsh reality for Major League Soccer. The league continues to lag behind other U.S. sports, notably Major League Baseball.
The last time the Dynamo were in the playoffs in 2013, the team drew 20,626 for its Conference Semifinal home game. This year, they drew a meager 15,169 for the same match. The main difference = the Houston Astros. During the month of October, the city’s baseball team was on its way to a World Series Championship.
We long for the days when baseball teams see a dip in attendance while their respective soccer teams are competing in the playoffs.