This page contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links provided, we may earn a commission.

'The club has been irrelevant for ten years or so' - Ben Olsen says Houston Dynamo feel 'invisible' ahead of U.S. Open final against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami

Olsen Dynamo 2023Getty
  • Dynamo boss admits club has been 'irrelevant'
  • One playoff appearance in a decade
  • Dynamo to face Messi's Miami in cup final

WHAT HAPPENED? The Dynamo are set to face Lionel Messi's Inter Miami in the U.S. Open Cup final and, while the Herons have been something of a mainstream club since entering MLS, the Dynamo have long been one on the backburner.

The club won the U.S. Open Cup in 2018 and two MLS Cups back-to-back in 2006-07, but Houston has long played second, and now third fiddle, even in Texas with FC Dallas and Austin FC. The Dynamo have ranked towards the bottom of MLS in attendance and has rarely, if ever, drawn mainstream attention in the way clubs like Inter Miami have with their marquee signings.

Olsen, the team's first-year head coach, knows that won't change this week, but he sees the U.S. Open Cup final as a chance to help change the narrative and perception around the club.

Article continues below

WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s not exactly that we’re disrespected,” said Olsen told U.S. Soccer. “But like we’re invisible. I see it week in and week out. And that’s because the club has been irrelevant for ten years or so.”

“Houston kind of needs a renaissance here to make this club one that people respect and fear,” he added. “Instead of opponents just knowing, ‘oh we have to go to Houston, there’s not gonna’ be a lot of people and it’s gonna be a hundred degrees’.

“There’s only one way to do that. Being in Open Cup Finals and raising trophies and putting ourselves in the postseason year after year. That’s the job.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Dynamo were once among the top teams in MLS, regularly contending for MLS Cups after arriving in Houston. However, after losing two finals in a row in 2011-12, the club began a downward decline and have made the playoffs just once in the last decade. New owner Ted Segal, though, has injected life into the Dynamo, who have signed Mexican star Hector Herrera to lead the charge while bringing in ex-D.C. United boss Olsen to steer the club back towards relevance.


Dynamo 2007 MLS CUpHouston Dynamo U.S. Open Cup 2018Héctor Herrera Houston Dynamo

WHAT NEXT FOR THE DYNAMO? After Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup final, the Dynamo will play host to FC Dallas on Saturday. Entering the weekend, the club sits fourth in the Western Conference as they look to push on towards a return to the MLS Playoffs.

Sign up here for MLS Season Pass through Apple TV and watch every MLS match, including Lionel Messi's Inter Miami!