Posted & filed under General.

Hello Escondido Soccer Club and FC Heat families,


In this edition of the newsletter you will find quite a lot of information that you may need to review more closely. All of this is available on our Websites: and




DOC Steve Yorke & son Lennon far right with; From left to right,

Academy Director James Clarkson, Asst. GM Matt Jordan, Asst. 1st team coach

Sandy Stewart and Owen Coyle, the Houston Dynamo Head Coach


Our DOC Visits Houston Dynamo 


I spent 4 days visiting Houston Dynamo this month in an effort to learn as much as I could about how a professional club operates. The management, led by Head Coach Owen Coyle, were very gracious in opening their doors and giving me a tour and a breakdown of everyone’s duties.


Owen Coyle and his assistant Sandy Stewart have a wonderful coaching partnership that has taken them from the British Premier League with Burnley, to the Championship Division with Wigan and then over to the USA with Houston. Houston Dynamo are one of the very few profitable clubs in the league.


The Scottish coaching team of Coyle and assistant Sandy Stewart are a no holds barred team that run the show. When they say jump the players ask how high very quickly.


Monday and Tuesday are days used to cover any problems or mistakes that may have  happened from the last Saturday’s game. Wednesday onward, everyone works on the next game for the following Saturday. Learning about their opponents and their possible or expected tactics., including watching video footage.


fieldDynamo training facility on the outskirts

of  Houston. The grass is watered for an hour before the players arrive. Coaches align their cones prior to players stepping out and have everything ready to go. 

All coaches in gray uniforms explain the session to the players after their warm ups


Goalkeeping coach Paul Rodgers – who was the US National Ladies coach last year- works his goalkeepers one hour before other players step on the field. He continues to work his 3 goalkeepers separately from the other group as practice advances.  For the last hour of practice they join the rest of the squad.


Each coach has tactics for each particular game. They know the weak players and the strong players they are playing against. LA Galaxy were their next opponents when I was there. The goalkeepers know the habits and the potential of all the Galaxy players way before LA had even arrived for theSaturday game.
The Dynamo Academy consists of similar teams to Heat, all boys who play in local advanced divisions. They work seriously with BU10’s on up to BU17/18. On average, one academy player will break through to the senior ranks on an annual basis. There was an 18 year-old local protege in the senior squad while I was there.


The academy nutritionist use to work for Houston Space Center designing nutritional meals for the astronauts during space travel. The senior team are on very strict diets as is every serious professional athlete.
No coach wants to be responsible for injuring a player, that is why they spend a considerable amount of time stretching and working with the players to get them up to speed for the practice. This takes about 35 to 45 minutes.


Injured players coming through rehabilitation, work the whole session one on one with a coach who is very familiar with their type of injury. They are pushed gradually to help build their muscles and to regain their strength. Water, and no other juices,  is always available around the field. Liquid aides are only used when practice is completed.


They practice in the heat of the day because that is game like conditions. The temperature was 102 degrees on this Friday and the humidity was high. Media people, photographers and the management staff stop by to observe the sessions on a regular basis. At game time, 8 pm on Saturday, it was 95 degrees on the field, and getting hotter.
















The players sometimes work indoors on turf and right next door in the weight room

The goal of each practice session is to rehearse the set group of tactics which are going to be used in the next game. In this sessions case, they were concerned with closing down the passing skills of Galaxy’s recent signing, Steven Gerrard from Liverpool and their dynamic forward, Irish international Robbie Keane. All players quickly understand when Owen Coyle changes tactics during a game. Simple hand signals and a scream from the bench is all it takes.


How different a practice session is when you are dealing with every player who is technically equipped to carry out any instruction, or able to attack any situation. Everything seems to work smoothly as each player expertly performs his duties. Many international players play for Houston Dynamo so the standard is very high. But Houston have to be very thrifty when purchasing new players in order to stay profitable, that is why they study potential players from all over the world before investing.


After the sessions were completed the players went to the changing rooms to get showered, massaged and treated for minor injuries. Two physios were constantly working two tables.


The coaching staff grouped a circle of chairs together and gave me the floor to answer any questions I wanted to ask. Owen Coyle and his staff have only recently taken over at Houston, but it is very obvious the professional way in which they carry out their duties. Nothing is done half-hearted at Dynamo, everything is serious and winning is everything for a professional team such as this.


To cap the week off we were allowed onto the field to watch the players warm up prior to the Galaxy game. We toured the stadium and got to meet all the staff behind the scenes who make it tick, we were escorted into a private air conditioned suite, which was sound proof while the game was also on the TV. But we opted for seats in the crowd so as to soak up the atmosphere of a 3-0 Houston win.


Prior to the game I was witness to Sandy Stewart’s team talk through the dressing room wall. It sounded more like a call to arms or a battle cry from the lowlands of Scotland, but when the players stepped out onto that field it was nothing but business as usual. 3-0 up and with 3 minutes to play, Owen Coyle was off his bench screaming at his center-forward to chase down a Galaxy player. At this level it is the small things that make a big difference.



After the game in the players lounge, Owen Coyle, Sandy Stewart and Paul Rodgers shared their successful tactics with me. What a learning experience!


I learned many things from this wonderful experience, which we can use at FC Heat, from nutrition to warming players up correctly, to successfully teaching tactics to already experienced players. I got given many fantastic pointers on how to work with technically sound players and also players who need developmental help, like many of ours do. That is what we do best at FC Heat, so look forward to some new, refreshing ways for match day preparation and overall improvement.


Thank you Houston Dynamo!





chinaWell with a lot of hard work and out of this world fund raising, FC Heat were able to send one of their teams to Dalian in China. The team will be visiting Dalian and Beijing and The Great Wall. They will play at least 3 games, possibly 5 before they return from their 8 day trip.


A group of 40 will leave on the 2nd August until 11th of August. A movie will be made of the trip and a journal of their experiences will be carefully written. Every player and parent traveling had to get up to date on their inoculations and were warned on what they should and should not eat and drink.


This experience will be shared club wide when the group returns and hopefully we will pave the way for other teams in the future.






GU18/19 Team Champions of Copa Del Mar coached by Hector Hernandez



BU14 Team League Champions of Fallbrook coached by Steve Yorke & Arturo Duarte



BU12 Team Dave Shelton Champions coached by James Griffen and Martin Lopez



BU11 Team Dave Shelton Champions coached by Denis Sweeney



BU9 Black Team Dave Shelton Champions coached by Martin Lopez



BU8 Team Coronado Champions coached by Martin Lopez – sorry about picture quality



BU15 Team Runners-Up in the Fallbrook League Championship coached by

Roger Rolim de Moura & Robbie Jeffers & Steve Yorke


Two of Bryan Wilkes players working out with A professional club in Austria

Joaquin Romero and Bo Sparks. The player in the middle is Hayden Miller who

could not go so they took a cardboard cut out with them









Ryan Park is due to be open the first week of August, so we must be vigilant in the use of the fields so as to protect them for the year.


We ask that goal mouths (six yard boxes) should not be used at all in order to save them for game day. Teams are allocated a portion of the fields, FC Heat teams have the lighted areas and Recreational teams, who have been placed on Ryan Park, will practice on the allotted unlighted areas. Either way we all, parents, coaches, managers and players alike, should make sure we are protecting our own fields.


During the Dave Shelton tournament many of the fields were closed and some finals were not played and went to penalties in order to find the winner. Nobody likes to do this but during bad weather we first need to protect our children, (especially when lightning is prevalent) and secondly our fields. The City of Escondido have a strict regimen when it comes down to field usage in inclement weather and conditions. So please help us to help you in the future by supporting management decisions.


Danny Smuts, the player who collapsed in one of the pool games during the Dave Shelton Tournament is still in hospital but is in high spirits. He is always in our thoughts and Escondido Soccer Club and FC Heat will continue to support Danny and his family. If you wish to read more about Danny or help, go to GOFUNDME. You can also read the Union Tribune article on Danny’s condition by clicking here. Thank you.







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To purchase tickets or if you have any questions please contact:

 Jessica Escobedo