MLS- Houston Dynamo

MLS sanctions Dynamo supporters

DynamoFans (Getty Images)

Houston Dynamo supporters crossed the line on the road a few times last season, and as a result, their privileges have been limited by MLS heading into the 2012 campaign. 

In a letter written by the league to Dynamo supporters groups, the club's fans have been sanctioned and restricted for breaching the Fan Code of Conduct during three occasions last season during road games.

At a regular season game against FC Dallas on Sept. 24, the Eastern Conference championship against Sporting Kansas City on Nov. 6 and the MLS Cup final against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Nov. 20, Dynamo supporters brought prohibited smoke bombs into the stadium and ignited them. The league's letter also states that at MLS Cup, Dynamo fans threw ignited smoke bombs and other objects "that presented a safety risk" onto the playing field.

As punishment, Dynamo fans will be restricted from bringing permitted items such as flags, banners, confetti and drums to road games on an indefinite basis. While the league maintains that the ban will "be in effect until otherwise notified by MLS," it will be in place for Houston's games against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on March 11 and Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on July 7 without question.

The letter also states that a decision to end the ban will be made after the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12, at which point the league will evaluate the Dynamo supporters' conduct on the road and at home games before coming to a conclusion.

"The decision to impose this sanction is based on the League-wide position that misconduct at any MLS event can affect a fan's standing at other MLS facilities," the league wrote in its letter. "MLS will not tolerate behavior which threatens the safety of any fan, stadium employee or match participant. The actions of just a few individuals can influence the perception of all of our supporters, clubs and League."


What's your take on this situation? Think the league is making the right call? Is the punishment deserved? 

Share your thoughts below.

  • treasure22

    “jack-booted” ? Man, please reserve these words for something a little more worthy. They can’t bring flag, etc… to the games. No blood will be shed.


  • curmudgeon

    @adam: And it wasn’t shown happening on national TV. But you’re on the right track, absolutely.


  • Edwin in LA

    I have to ask? You are a Dynamo fan aren’t you? And from Houston I am imagining or at least live in the region?

    You guys don’t get tired of making excuses and for whatever happens to all of your sports teams ESPECIALLY when it comes to facing big cities or just plain winning teams that beat you?

    You implying that it’s just because it was in LA? Pretty sure it all started in Dallas as they did document the things done in the game there? That one should have been easy to spot with as little FC Dallas fans that show up to the now ex-Pizza Hut Park.

    What about in Kansas City? Nothing guilty there? Relax how many of you actually do anything worth while as far as traveling fans anyway? If it’s not during the playoffs I don’t think is going to matter much. Notice it was only the 2 big Playoff games and the 1 game that is within quick driving distance during the regular season?


  • Edwin in LA

    You guys never seen a Raider home game huh?

    Or even a road game at say San Francisco or San Diego…..where it tends to be pretty much neutral with all the Raider fans


  • Edwin in LA

    God you must one of those “gentleman’s game” type of peeps that care more about the damn handshakes being done in a mandated gesture than let it play out so we can see who the real sportsmanship examples and the brats are

    Try watching a Argentinian game for say Boca or Velez and maybe don’t pay attention to all the confetti and pay attention to the quality and entertaining aspect of ACTUAL skill and technique among players with technical level, as opposed to run run run, by physical and park it for 90 minutes with the occasional long shot and successful long booted pass from the English game, but I’m sure a clean pitch and quite boring stadium of West Brom vs Stoke or Blackburn vs Newcastle is much better with everyone looking like they are at a Funeral wearing long dark colored or black coats and applauding for a long run like it was track or something when it was simply a clearance on defense….


  • Edwin in LA

    Don’t the majority of the NFL teams use smoke for their introductions at the beginning of EVERY NFL game?


  • Chris

    I’m glad this is being done. It shows the league is serious about supporter conduct. I certainly apriceate Dynamo fans and their passion, but they’ve been problematic at times for a while. I remember some throwing beer at Altidore at Giant Stadium back in ’07, I believe.

    As long as MLS remains fair and hold all supporters to the same rules I don’t think there should be a problem. If this results in the supporter groups not being allowed flags and banners, however, then it will be an issue.


  • coop

    At least those Englishmen don’t pretend to be shot by a sniper whenever a breeze hits. Or riot when their team loses. If I wanted to watch a bunch of weak kids flopping around the pitch maybe I would watch south American leagues. For that skill the have the sportsmanship of spoiled brats.


  • SoccerScrub

    My feelings exactly! What REALLY gets me is that MLS has actually used a similar pic from the 2007 MLS Cup in ads to promote the league to a broader audience. But now we’re being santioned for the same? Don’t get it.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Banning the drums for road games is a pretty harsh deal, if you’ve heard the Dynamo SG shtick. Lot of drumming. Perhaps too much? We’ll see if this pushes the envelope past the tifo and drums and certain chants that have been de rigeur since 2006. It might be doing a favor, it could use freshening.

    The smoke bombs is kind of a fake issue, no one’s going to push that envelope to live stuff, but I understand the tossing of stuff on the field, consistent issue, I get bored watching a Dynamo game get halted for streamers or other “throw-ins.” It’s cute pre-game or for a goal. It’s annoyance during play or interrupting a CK.

    In terms of effectiveness, the whole SG concept is changing with the new stadium anyway, so maybe this is trying to use a transition period to make a point. The first several games will also be road efforts so they can push the issue and then back off by the first May home game. Tempest in a teapot, IMO. But they could use to clean up their acts and freshen the repertoire up in the interim. New music/ songs/ chants/ maybe get the stadium involved like Seattle instead of it being so in-group.


  • Roger

    That’s fine as long as it’s for away games. Can’t wait to see the environment in the new stadium!!! :)


  • mabeuf

    I think everyone would be singing the same song if this happened to their team.

    Bottom line: If the league is going to take actions like this they need to communicate with SGs and the team, a step which was not taken.

    This punishment is negligible as the vast majority of fans don’t travel (especially in geographically isolated Houston). All it did was give the team and fans more local press.


  • The Imperative Voice

    This didn’t happen to the “team,” it happened to the SGs. As a non-SG Dynamo fan I have occasionally found the antics of tossing streamers, etc. to be counterproductive to the experience and even the team’s chance by draining valuable time off the clock for cleanup. In fact, visiting teams often milk the cleanup for all it’s worth. So don’t drape yourself in the orange like it’s us vs. them.

    The Dynamo SGs were punished for, among other things, what happened in LA. So they “don’t travel?” Verges on self-refuting there, eh? Or perhaps your point is about the “vast majority of fans.” But I don’t think the vast majority of any teams’ fans travel anywhere. And that’s really a red herring because we were talking about the SG’s, an unusually motivated set, anyway. Are you suggesting the Dynamo SGs don’t travel? Then why’d they bother with the new rules?

    To the extent it was done without prior communication, that probably is because this was a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t affect home games and there won’t be any for months anyway. It affects road games but not the right to show up for them. It’s not a big deal but I think it is a hint that change is desired, and moving into the stadium might be a useful transition point for it to occur.


  • The Imperative Voice

    You really oughta toss in full disclosure you’re with El Batallon, the Dynamo SG.


  • The Imperative Voice

    If he’s in a Dynamo SG — like say, El Batallon — I think he’s misleading people by acting like an ordinary poster. I’ve seen a post on the Houston Chronicle under his same SN, when they had a blog post saying the Texian Army was the best SG, where he promoted El Batallon instead.

    I may be passionate about the Dynamo and have a particular POV with which some disagree, but I am a private citizen, don’t work for the team or have a SG membership, I don’t have a dog in the SG fight. He’s however made a point of promoting his SG online and now he’s on here, without telling people he’s in a SG, talking about the ban.

    My identity IRL or on someplace I might have previously posted is immaterial; I’m not carrying water for some unacknowledged third party who has a direct interest in the ban and its contents. It would be like a player’s agent posting undisclosed on a discussion thread of their potential transaction, or the team sub rosa defending their decision to pass on that same player.

    I have zero problem with him talking — it’s not a censorship issue — I just think if a SG member comes on here defending his SG on a thread about Dynamo SGs, he should be letting people know.


  • mabeuf

    JuveChelsea, I’m not with an SG. I’m born and raised in Houston, but I haven’t lived there for five years. Good research though.

    Good to see you’re as all over the place on these boards as on BigSoccer.


  • prizby

    no more out of control than the cop who randomally decided to taser a fan or the fact that after the game, the so called columbus hooligans moved from their end of the stadium and situated themselves by the tfc fans exit

    you should also check your facts…your own security guards threw the smoke on the canopy and onto the fields after they confiscated from the TFC fans


  • prizby

    whats more sad is the mls didn’t cry about until freddie lundjberg made a fuss


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