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Houston Matters

Houston Dynamo: A Team As Diverse As Its City

Houston Matters learns how the many international players on the Dynamo learn to overcome language barriers to succeed on the pitch.

Houston Dynamo players pose on the pitch in San Jose, Calif. on April 14, 2018.

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The Houston Dynamo are on the road this weekend for a Saturday match against the Minnesota United Football Club.

The team, like many in Major League Soccer, is comprised of players from all over the world. In addition to players from the United States, the Dynamo's roster includes others from Columbia, El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela, Sweden, Switzerland, Panama, Brazil, and England.

And, there's even a few from Greater Houston who have ties to other nations, which is a characteristic common to much of Houston in general, being the oft-touted “most diverse city in the country.”

Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty recently went to Dynamo practice and spoke with several players with international connections to learn how such a diverse team learns to work together and how that diversity echoes the city the team calls home.

In the audio above, Michael talks with midfielders Memo Rodriguez, Juan David Cabezas, and Arturo Álvarez.

  • Houston Dynamo midfielder Juan David Cabezas hails from Columbia and is playing in the United States for the first time. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Houston Dynamo midfielder Juan David Cabezas hails from Columbia and is playing in the United States for the first time. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Houston Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez is from El Campo, Texas and grew up in the Greater Houston area. Much of his family hails from Mexico. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Houston Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez is from El Campo, Texas and grew up in the Greater Houston area. Much of his family hails from Mexico. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Houston Dynamo midfielder Arturo Álvarez hails from Houston, but his parents are originally from El Salvador, which allows him to serve as a captain of the Salvadoran National Team. (Photo Credit: Arturo Álvarez/Twitter)
    Houston Dynamo midfielder Arturo Álvarez hails from Houston, but his parents are originally from El Salvador, which allows him to serve as a captain of the Salvadoran National Team. (Photo Credit: Arturo Álvarez/Twitter)
  • Houston Dynamo players pose on the pitch in San Jose, Calif. on April 14, 2018. (Photo Credit: Houston Dynamo/Facebook)
    Houston Dynamo players pose on the pitch in San Jose, Calif. on April 14, 2018. (Photo Credit: Houston Dynamo/Facebook)
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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