Hey, did you hear that the Houston Dynamo have been struggling? If you read this blog on a regular basis, you may have heard enough. Kyle Bonn offered his thoughts last week, while I gave my own perspective after Houston’s 2-0 loss in New Jersey on Sunday. Fifth place in the East, the team many thought would compete for their conference’s title has struggled, with goals having dried up in the Texas heat.
There are a number of theories as to how Houston can correct their problem. The issues may work themselves out once Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia get right. Some would suggest adding a more attacking presence to a midfield currently occupied by Ricardo Clark and Adam Moffat. Other smight hope for Will Bruin’s return to form, while a true Chicken Little may need all three.
There is another possible solution, one that returned to practice today. Calen Carr, injured in last year’s MLS Cup final, has resumed training as part of his recovery from knee surgery. While there is no set date for his full return (he only participated in non-contact activity today), Wednesday marked a big step for a player who hasn’t seen action since early December.
Carr, from the league’s web site:
“It’s just nice to come outside at the same time as the guys … I think I definitely need a couple of more weeks to work on my physicality as far as fitness and strength … and then integrate into full training. From there, I hope will be another couple of weeks to get in the groove to be available for selection.”
Carr on his own is not an answer to Houston’s attacking problems, but slid into a team that needs some energy, he may end up being the perfect fit. While Giles Barnes may be the overall more talented player, Carr’s versatility and willingness to do the legwork both in defense and attack provide a nice complement to Bruin. Barnes, who has four goals, two assists in 1352 career regular season minutes, has produced smilar numbers, though he’s been unable to help pull Dominic Kinnear’s team out of their slump.
By the time Carr’s ready to return, Davis and Garcia may be back to pull strength. And once Will Bruin returns from the Gold Cup, Houston will have last year’s MLS Cup finalist XI in place.
That should be enough to claim at least a fifth place finish, and as the Dynamo showed last year, all they need is MLS’s proverbial chip and a chair to have a chance.