Houston finally secures Ngwenya's ITC

Dynamo forward will be available for Saturday's game

On
Thursday, the Houston Dynamo finally got some good news, as they officially
received clearance from FIFA for forward Joseph Ngwenya to play for Houston once again. The
Dynamo forward had been signed well over a month ago and will now officially be
allowed to join Houston
and will be available for selection this weekend against D.C. United.

“I’m
excited to be back,” Ngwenya said after Thursday's training session. “Hopefully I can come in and help the team.”

“We’re
glad to have Joe back,” said Coach Dominic Kinnear. “We think he can help us
and contribute to what we hope will be a successful season.”

The former Dynamo forward last
played for Houston
in the 2007 MLS Cup final, where he scored a goal and helped the Dynamo win their second
consecutive championship. After that season, Ngwenya left Houston
and spent time in both Germany
and Turkey.

When
Ngwenya was signed on April 13, the hope was that the forward would be
able to step in and contribute immediately. At the time, Houston had already suffered several injuries to
its forwards. However, Ngwenya’s former Turkish club Antalyaspor withheld his
international transfer certificate, delaying Houston’s
ability to register and play the forward.

While forward Brian Ching is still
away with the U.S. national team, forward Cam Weaver is on the brink of
returning from his injury, and Luis Landin has returned to training. As a result, Kinnear may go from
having only one healthy forward - Dominic Oduro - available on the roster to possibly having
three or four for Saturday's match.

 “[Having too many forwards] would be a nice
[problem] to have,” noted Kinnear. “Not only that, but you have guys getting
beat up and logging a lot of miles on the field. So to know you have guys
available and you can look left or right at any particular moment and put guys
in, it makes it more comforting.”

Since his signing, Ngwenya has been
practicing regularly with the team. The month of practice has been good for the
forward, as he has gotten some of the rust off. However, it was frustrating
for Ngwenya to prepare each week knowing he could not help his team.

“It’s
been frustrating,” said Ngwenya. “The Dynamo have been very patient with me.”

Now
that he is officially able to return to the team, one might think there would
be pressure on Ngwenya to perform, as the other forward options return to
health, but he said just getting to play is excitement enough.

“There
is no pressure,” explained Ngwenya. “Whenever you step on the field there is an
expectation, but I am just looking forward to getting out there again.”

Dwain Capodice is a
contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to
dwaincapodice@gmail.com.