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Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program

Q.  What is the Houston Dynamo - Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program?

A. The Houston Dynamo Academy is the professional youth academy of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. The Houston Dynamo Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program is designed to bring an elite level development program and pathway to young players throughout Greater Houston.

“We believe strongly in the potential of the young players throughout Houston.  In coordination with the Dynamo / Dash Youth Soccer Club, and Total Football Club, our partners in development, we wanted to develop a program that truly put player development and learning as the top priority. The Houston Dynamo - Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program will be a transformational program for both player and coach development.” 

“Houston’s large geographic size and population requires us to provide logistical solutions for families of young, motivated players. In the model of other top professional academies around the world, geographic training and development centers will help greatly reduce travel time and expense for our families.  It would provide a capacity for motivated and talented players to experience an elite and professional player pathway through a team of coaching staff with a proven development curriculum and programming. We couldn’t be more excited for the program.” Paul Holocher, Houston Dynamo, Academy Director.

“The development of the Catalyst Program is fundamental to our mission at the Houston Dynamo / Dash Youth Soccer Club. We believe in creating a true pathway from the grassroots to the professional game. This program will provide players from all over Houston an unparalleled level of opportunities! The Catalyst Program clearly demonstrates the level of collaboration between our Development Academy programs for the betterment of the game in Houston.  Last week both academies had two players, Cesar Cordova (Pictured aboved; Humble, TX) and Hans Leza (Houston, TX) represent our country and city with the U-15 United States Youth National Team.  This program will be the first step for the next generation!” Dave Dengerink, Dynamo Dash Youth Academy Director.

"We are extremely proud of the relationship that we’ve built with the Dynamo/Dash Youth club – and are both committed to working together to grow the game in our community.  The Catalyst Program is one of many initiatives we’ve partnered on – and we look forward to collaborating with DDY on many other initiatives in the coming years.” John Walker, Houston Dynamo FC and Houston Dash – President of Business Operations. 

Q. What are the age-categories of the Houston Dynamo FC - Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program?

The Foundation Phase is an important “golden age” of learning and the largest developmental phase in youth soccer. There are three age-categories in the Foundation Phase: U10, U11 , U12. 

Q. How will players be selected for the Houston Dynamo FC - Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program?

  • Talent Identification dates will be conducted for evaluations and placements of motivated and talented young players in the U10, U11, and U12 age groups. 
  • Players should attend the Talent Identification dates nearest to where they live.
  • Click HERE for more information on upcoming Talent ID nights and to register. 

"The expansion of the Houston Dynamo Academy to north and west Houston is a terrific development for our club and city. By enhancing the technical relationship between the Houston Dynamo Academy and the Dynamo | Dash Youth and Total Football Club we will be able to work and collaborate together on a day to day basis to better identify, develop and promote the most motivated and talented young players."  Paul Holocher, Houston Dynamo FC, Academy Director

Q. Where are the Houston Dynamo FC- Academy Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program Campuses located?

Northwest Houston: 
Concordia Lutheran High School (700 E. Main, Tomball, 77375)

Bear Branch Soccer Complex (5205 Research Forest Dr. The Woodlands, Texas, 77381)

Holy Trinity Episcopal School (11810 Lockwood Road, Houston Texas, 77044)
XCEL Soccer Academy (4641 FM 1960 East, Humble, TX 77346)

Hickory Slough Sportsplex (7600 Hughes Ranch Rd., Pearland, Tx 77581) 

Energy Cooridor:
Dalecrest Fields (9500 Dalecrest Dr, Houston, TX 77080)

West: Memorial Hermann Sports Park (23900 Katy Fwy. Katy, Tx. 77493)                                                                                              

New Dynamo Catalyst Foundation campus coming to Katy.

"Having a Catalyst Program campus in Katy will provide the opportunity for local players to experience the elite programming provided by the Houston Dynamo Academy. We aim to attract the most motivated and talented young players in our area and to help them develop and maximize their abilities. This is a huge first step in expanding a full development pathway to professional soccer through Dynamo Dash Youth and the Houston Dynamo Academy in Katy and we are looking forward to the Talent Identification nights and working with the motivated and talented U10, U11, and U12 players in Katy and building the Dynamo Catalyst teams for the future." Radojica Ristic, Director- Dynamo Dash Youth West 

Q. What are the team and training fee costs associated with the program?

Each Foundation Phase Campus operates under a similar registration model to keep fees low. There will also be opportunities for need-based scholarships.

Q.  What league will this program compete in?

  • Texas Pre-Academy U12 League 
  • The league is an elite player development program and competition that is conducted and administered by USSSA on behalf of the 12 Texas Member Clubs.  This league has been created in order to provide a competitive programming schedule that is reflective of the needs of the players and clubs participating. 
  • South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) - Dynamo | Dash League (U10 & U11)

Q. Who will be staffing the Programs?

Paul Holocher (Houston Dynamo Academy Director) Dave Dengerink (Dynamo | Dash Academy Director), and Nelson Ballesteros will select and oversee the technical staff as well as oversee the annual programming, along with an excellent 'team of coaches' including Tanner Chassman (Dynamo Academy Skills Coach and U13 Head Coach)

 Q.  What are the Key Learning Objectives for the Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program?

  • Cultivate a growth mindset and love of learning
  • Teach the game in a positive and instructive way
  • Teach the players to fall in love with the ball and be skillful
  • Introduce and teach the club's game model 
  • Implement our Methodology to the coaching staff and players
  • Develop video learning 
  • Inspire players to become "Students of the game."
  • Inspire players to dream big and aspire to achieve high goals.

Q.  What are the benefits of the Houston Dynamo Foundation Phase - Catalyst Program?

  • Each Foundation campus will help to greatly reduce travel time and expense for families while providing the capacity for motivated young players to experience an elite and professional player pathway of the Houston Dynamo
  • The Foundation Program will provide insightful, enthusiastic and systematic development, guided by a proven developmental philosophy and curriculum of the Houston Dynamo Academy
  • Special futsal and ball mastery-  SKILL BUILDER training will also be emphasized and utilized throughout the year
  • Unique developmental opportunities to train at the Houston Sports Park (HSP), home of the Houston Dynamo first team.   This will include film learn and Pro-Time mentoring with current and former Houston Dynamo professional players.
  • A full-time staff and ‘Team of Coaches’ working collaboratively to provide top-level training and learning environments
  • Players also have the opportunity to attend MLS only events such as the Generation Adidas and other national and international opportunities that are part of the Houston Dynamo Academy development plan.

Q.  How often will players train at the Foundation Phase Campus?

  • Each Foundation Phase campus will operate on similar developmental calendars and will typically train 3-4 days per week with weekend matches throughout the year

Q.  How much interaction will there be between the Foundation Phase Campuses?

  • In addition to normal geographic campus training, special ‘combined sessions’ and ‘matches’ will be organized on a monthly basis.
  • These specially designed training sessions will bring players together from each Foundation Phase campus to train and develop collectively with our coaching staff
  • Other opportunities to train, develop and educate collectively will also take place throughout the year.


If you have any further questions about this new and exciting program, please contact the following Academy Directors:

Paul Holocher, Houston Dynamo Academy Director at  

Dave Dengerink, Houston Dynamo | Dash Academy Director at