Midfielder Obodai returns for second trial
Ghanaian midfielder Anthony Obodai returned to practice with the Houston Dynamo on Thursday for the first time since his two-week trial ended on June 19.
“Obviously we’re having another look at him,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He impressed when he was here, and we will see him again. We will see where it goes from here.”
Should Obodai sign with the Dynamo, he could not be cleared to play until next week, as the domestic transfer window does not open until July 15, and the club would still need to receive his International Transfer Certificate from his former club, RKC Waalwijk in the Netherlands.
As a result, both Obodai and Kinnear referred to the Ghanaian midfielder's return solely as a "second trial." However, after impressing in his first stint, a signing appears more than likely.
“I am hoping [for a contract],” Obodai said. “They asked me to come back again and train with the team. Maybe in two or three weeks we will see, but I hope to sign a contract here.”
The 27-year-old's initial two-week trial allowed him to play in Houston’s two exhibitions during the World Cup break against the Laredo Heat and CD Águila in the Dynamo Charities Cup. Against Águila, Obodai played as a defensive midfielder and looked very comfortable on the ball, and he did a good job disrupting the limited Águila attack.
Clearly his performance in those two matches, and in practice, impressed the coaching staff enough to have him back.
“I enjoyed playing with the team, and everything went well for me,” said Obodai of his initial trial.
Obodai admitted during the two-week trial that Houston’s heat and humidity were difficult to adjust to after spending his entire career in Holland and Belgium. However, he still enjoyed his time here.
“It’s a very different experience for me,” Obodai said. “In Holland, there are fewer people in the cities, and here there are a lot more people and a lot of big buildings [here].”
Regardless of the Ghanaian's difficulty adjusting to life in the big city, Kinnear has a good feeling that Obodai can contribute to the team and hopes to have an official decision shortly.
“He knows the position,” Kinnear said. “He is good on the ball, he doesn’t get rattled under pressure, and he knows his way around the field. So we will take another look at him and decide really soon.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or comments can be sent via email to email@example.com.