Palmer makes debut, eyes start for Houston

Recent Dynamo signing hopes to make impact at new club

HOU_20100401_Lovel_Palmer

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Last Thursday, Lovel Palmer — one of the Dynamo's newest signings — made
his debut in Houston's defeat of reigning league champions Real Salt
Lake.

However, having spent a couple of weeks wrangling to
formalize the necessary paperwork, the midfielder was just happy to
finally be in town.

“It was nice making my debut and making it with a victory at home," Palmer said. "I’m elated.”

Palmer’s
paperwork issues stemmed from difficulties getting an appointment with
the embassy in Jamaica. The Dynamo front office assisted Palmer in
obtaining an emergency appointment, and he was happy to have made it to
Houston in time for Thursday’s game.

The Jamaican midfielder
had been with former club Harbour View for 12 years, including six with
the senior team. While Palmer is ecstatic to be moving on to greener
pastures, he speaks fondly of his time with his old club.

“I’ve
been there since I was 13, and it’s like family to me,” said
Palmer, who has 12 caps for the Jamaica national team. “A lot of people
were disappointed I was leaving, but they were happy I was moving on to
better things. It was great, and I’m sure they were watching [Thursday]
and were rooting for the Houston Dynamo.”

While the paperwork
may have taken longer than expected, it did not take Palmer long to
feel welcome in Houston during the preseason. His new Dynamo teammates
helped make the transition easy.

“The first day on the pitch, I felt like I was here forever,” Palmer said. “The players welcomed me with open arms.”

As for those teammates, they are excited to have the Jamaican midfielder on the team.

“Lovel’s
that guy that came in, didn’t say a whole lot, put his head down and
worked hard,” fellow midfielder Brad Davis said. “I think he had some
good games and scored a fantastic goal in Orlando, and he’s just 25,
but if you give him a little time with this team, he will fit in quite
well.”

Prior to the start of the season, head coach Dominic Kinnear discussed what had made the team sign Palmer.

“We
liked him, and we feel there was a need in that position for one or two
guys that can play in there,” Kinnear said. “I thought the way he
played with us, he did alright. We saw enough of him that we did feel
that if he comes in, he will get better.

"He covers good
ground, he’s pretty strong in the tackle, a good athlete, and makes
decent decisions on the ball. The one thing that stands out is that he
strikes the ball from distance with both feet, so I think he will be a
good addition for us.”

Now that Palmer is finally with the team,
Kinnear will get more time to figure out if Palmer can play at any
other position. Kinnear originally envisioned Palmer as a holding
midfielder, but he said he will let Palmer’s abilities speak for
themselves.

"He does play a couple of positions for Jamaica, so
we’ll find out more as we go along,” Kinnear said. “The main reason we
brought him here was the holding midfield position, but he could see
some time in other positions as well.”