Because the entrants were so worthy and their essays so appealing, the Dynamos Select Committee this year awarded seven scholarships, as follows:
Two awards of $1,000--Maddie Saucedo and Colette LaCour
Two awards of $500--Brooke VandeMotter and Ernesto Sandoval
Three awards of $250--Alyssa Cisneros, Bailey Peschel, and Oli Delaune.
“All of you deserve awards!” exclaimed Director of Training Olivier Finidori, “I congratulate each and every one of you for outstanding careers in our program, and wish you all the best in the future. We know you will always be part of the Dynamos family.”
The Coaches Memo will publish a selection of essays, starting with the words of Maddie Saucedo. Next week: Colette LaCour.

CoachesMemo June 21 19 Maddie Saucedo
Maddie Saucedo, a Dynamos Scholarship Winner

By Maddie Saucedo
Every time I step onto the pitch, all my troubles go away, the only thing that matters on the field, is the beautiful game.
Growing up, soccer was just another thing I was involved in and had to do. I had to go to practice, I had to go to games, I just had to. When I came to play for the Dynamos, my love for the game simply began to grow. I wanted to practice, I wanted to play in the game, I wanted to be the best I could be and more. I look at it like this, I can light a match and the flame won't get any bigger than it is already, but if I take that match and I begin to slowly light things on fire, then the flame grows. The love I have for soccer is like a wildfire that can't be put out, it just keeps consuming me. Soccer for me is merely a distraction from the world outside the field. I would go to practice and soak up every minute I had on the field because that was how I escaped the world. For the hour and a half that I practiced, nothing else mattered, and nothing got in the way. I had never realized how much soccer helped me with my life on, and off, the field. On the field, I learned to communicate, I learned to lead, I learned there will be losses and there will be victories; but most of all, I learned there is no “I” in “team.” To be a successful team, everyone has to play their part--forwards have to score, midfielders have to distribute, defenders have to clear, and the keeper has to save. There is no “I”, because the roles of being part of a team are much bigger than one person alone. Off the field, I learned how to be disciplined, I learned how to respect, and just like on the field, I learned there will be losses and there will be victories. Wearing the jersey of blue and white, for us it was stepping onto the field, and pushing everything else aside. This is what it means to be part of the Dynamos, to focus on nothing else while on the field, to live in the moment, and to give one hundred percent all the time. We don't step off the field with heads hung low after a loss, but we step off knowing we gave it our all--blood, sweat and tears, we poured our hearts and souls into every game. When we look back, we think of things we can improve on, things needing the most work, things we know we can do better next time. For most people, soccer is just a game, but for me, it was more, it was an opportunity to grow, it was an opportunity to shape me into the person that I am today, and it was an opportunity to do the things that others never dared to do. I have gotten to be a part of great memories while playing for the Dynamos. As a team, we have traveled quite a bit, we have won some and lost some, but it's only because of the losses that we are able to grow and mature as a team. In 2018, my team made it to Nationals in Aurora, Colorado. We didn't finish with the outcome we hoped for, but were honored to be a part of something great, we were honored to represent our club, and to live out the ways of everything we stand for. Being able to be called a player for the Dynamos is one of the greatest honors I could ask for. I have been coached by the best, only the best, and that’s more than I could ask for and deserve. My coaches dedicated their lives to making me and my team the best possible. They never turned us away if we messed up a drill or did something wrong in a game; instead they kept on pursuing us with all that they had and more. They taught us what it meant to be a part of a team, but even greater than that, they taught us what it meant to be a part of a family. They raised us up to be not only great soccer players, but for each to be the best version of ourselves. They taught us how to get back up and to fight for first, they taught us how to give it our all in everything we do, they taught us how to learn from our mistakes and to improve our skills. They taught us the Dynamos Bible, which mainly consists of “String five passes in a row and you’re most likely to score.” Our coach has been the root, the solid foundation of our team, he has given everything to make us great.

The Super Staff of the Summer Conditioning and Technical Program—Director Mark Hunter, Trainer Stephen Gonzalez, Assistants Kylie Austin, Jade Dewbre, Michelle MacIntyre, and Cameron Townes, and guest instructor Johnny Klander welcomed the soccer ball, along with 37 trainees this week. Lots of running, no walking, and much stretching of muscles, as one past participant described, “that I didn’t even know I had.” Soccer ball is recognized because the first week was conducted with no ball, all body work. “It has all been great fun!” observed Coach Mark.
On The Mark: Words of Wisdom from Summer Fitness
“There are players in the camp who are naturally-gifted athletes and it is important that other players do not look at them and be disheartened. Players should set achievable goals and increase their workload progressively over the duration of the camp, for example by adding 50-75 yards every time we run the mile could equate to a 1000 yards over the course of the camp and a fully-completed run. Do not evaluate your performance by looking at others. Simply be the best that you can be.”—Mark Hunter

CoachesMemo June 21 19 France
Adventure in France: Dynamos' players (left to right) Maison Bell, Sam Nichols, Abbie Bridges, and Ayden Bridges, who along with the club's Man on the Go, Andrew Bridges, this week visited the boyhood home of Director of Training Olivier Finidori at 3 Rue Guigonis in the heart of old Nice. Olivier left home when he was 19 and not long after began training players and teams in the U. S., starting with the Cy-Fair Youth Soccer Club in 1988. "Not sure how he learned to play soccer on these streets," commented Andrew. "One thing for sure he got used to playing in tight spaces."#dynamosdifference

Talk about Special Delivery! Andrew Bridges, the man who is everywhere, and four Dynamos players made certain on their current trip to France that the well-traveled Dynamos Scarf, symbol of #dynamosdifferencereached the front door of the boyhood home of Director of Training Olivier Finidori (see photo). It was a surprise to Oli, whose own trip to France got side-tracked. Andrew noted: “Oli left France at age 19, so now he’s been in the United States longer than he was in France.” But, countered The Buzz, you can’t take France out that lad. . .During her visit to Paris, goalkeeper Samantha Nichols, wearing a Dynamos hoodie, attracted the attention of another young lady as they stood on the summit of the Eiffel Tower. It was former Dynamos player Emily Ellis (05), also touring the heights. “What a crazy coincidence!” exclaimed Sam’s Mom, Karen. Sam, of course, also delivered the Dynamos Scarf to France, scene of this year’s World Cup. . .More on Sam—while in France, the hard-working goalkeeper got the opportunity to train multi-times with Roy Carroll, former Manchester United and Northern Ireland keeper currently the keeper coach at Man U. . . .To stay updated on all the soccer news—local, national and international—and even join in the conversation if you desire, tune in “Soccer Matters” on ESPN97.1FM where the host is Glenn Davis, who by the way also is busy calling play-by-play for Women’s World Cup matches. Call-in number: 713-780-3776. . .If you have items or photos for the Coaches Memo, please email to jwalker332@aol.com. Deadline for each issue is midnight Wednesday.

CoachesMemo June 21 19 Sam Nichols
Dynamos Scarf helps our 04G goalkeeper Samantha Nichols decorate the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“In the last eight years or so of Maddie (Saucedo) being in the club, I think she has spoken two words. Maddie just smiles, listens, and will do anything, everything you ask her to do, and then some. She has never voiced a complaint and never gotten in trouble, despite several attempts from myself to get her in trouble just for fun. She is outstanding, an incredible goalkeeper. Maddie is always calm, and one of the most disciplined, consistent players I have had the pleasure to coach. I am going to miss that smile, as that is basically the response I have always gotten from her rather than words.”—Olivier Finidori

”The ‘Dynamos Difference’ motto to me means that even when things don’t go on as planned, we never quit. We stick together as a team even during the losses. We remain as one team always and pick our teammates up. The first year I joined Dynamos many decided to leave and join rivals Texans. Therefore, the U-13 team had only one team that year instead of two or three as before. My first season with Dynamos was great, we had a good team and a great coach in Roli. Soon after, more players decided to flock to other teams such as Texans or Texas United. We struggled for a couple of seasons as we failed to manage to get wins as we were used to in the first season I came to Dynamos. I watched how others left the club and never once did it cross my mind to quit soccer or join another club, I decided to remain loyal, through the good and bad times, I was always going to continue to play for Dynamos. I used to joke to my older brother that I was like Ryan Giggs was as to Manchester United or as Steven Gerrard was to Liverpool, a one-club man but that was how I truly felt. Eventually, things started to cook up for us as new players came in to the team. It wasn’t until my junior of high school that things started to really get going. We had new players and a good team. I was reunited with Alex Meyers, Kevin Fernandez, and Walter Lehman all whom which I played with for Battlefield Houston. I will never forget when we won the Austin Labor Day tournament that year.”—Excerpt from the Dynamos scholarship-winning essay by Ernesto Sandoval

“I have been playing soccer for as long as I can remember. I started my journey on a ‘lollipop’ team, but quickly knew I wanted to play the sport I loved on a more challenging team. That’s when I not only found the Dynamos, but a ‘soccer family’ that I would be a part of for the next nine years of my club experience. More importantly, I found out more about myself, and the ‘Dynamos Difference’, that I will carry forward for the rest of my life.”—Colette LaCour, ‘winner of $1,000 Dynamos Scholarship.

I would be unstoppable, gloated Coach Cy Fair, if I could just get started. Coach Flo lives in her own little world, but she says it’s okay, they know her there.