Size can be deceiving with Dynamo's Obodai

Despite his smaller build, Ghanaian boosts Houston midfield

While the rest of the league was busy adding Designated Players, the cap-restricted Houston Dynamo made one lower-profile acquisition in the most recent
transfer window, acquiring midfielder Anthony Obodai. 

Against New England last Saturday, that acquisition began to pay some dividends as Obodai put in his best performance
of the year in helping Houston keep a lion’s share of the possession
and control the center of the pitch. Head coach Dominic Kinnear was pleased with the performance of Obodai, whose
addition to the roster seems to have helped stabilize a struggling Dynamo
midfield.    

“I thought he looked good in the first
half, sharp and quick with the ball,” Kinnear said. “I think at the end, he was a
little weary and a little legged, but in the beginning, [Shalrie] Joseph and
[Pat] Phelan had a hard time dealing with his quickness and his distribution of the ball. If he can do that for
longer periods of time, it makes us a better team.”

While the Ghanian midfielder seemed
to settle in quickly with solid performances in SuperLiga, Obodai struggled
in his MLS debut against the New York Red Bulls. However, the midfielder is slowly growing
more and more comfortable in MLS.

“It’s a different situation, and I am
trying to adjust to the system here,” noted Obodai. “It was going to take a couple of games to
learn everything here, but now I am finding myself comfortable with the team,
and I think it will go well for me.”

The former Ajax player has already
caught on to some of the style differences between MLS and the Dutch
league. 

“Here it is hard soccer, aggressive,
more running, it’s not [as much] about the football,” explained Obodai. “If you come here, it’s a hard game and a
tough game, and you have to be ready to play.”

Obodai
is not the most physically imposing player, as he stands at only 5-foot-8. As a result, 6-foot-3 Joseph may have thought he
could impose his will on Obodai, but the Dynamo midfielder was having no part
of it. 

“In football, when I have the ball, they
think I am small, so they think it’s easy to take the ball,” said Obodai of his
battle with Joseph. “But I’m trying to
tell him, no, it’s not the way to think.”

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