Combine Day 3: Full-field scrimmage recap
The pressure increased on Friday for the eclectic group participating
in the Dynamo potential player combine, as the players spent almost the entire
training session in a virtually full-field game.
Head coach Dominic Kinnear split the group into two squads
and pitted them against each other in three periods totaling about 55 minutes,
with slight modifications to the teams between games. Afterward, Kinnear said the
level of play was competitive, although he did not single out any individuals.
The orange squad was active throughout, taking a 3-1 win
behind two goals from Dynamo Academy forward Chance Bergen (Cy Woods ’10) and
the active flank play of Francisco Navas Cobo on the right and Gherland
McDonald on the left. Tyler Deric, in goal for the white team, had to make two
saves in the first four minutes on close-range chances, and he was let off the
hook in the ninth minute when Bergen
headed wide from a Yordany Alvarez long ball.
At the other end, Risto Lakic forced a save out of Tally
Hall in the 10th minute, and hard work from Jhonatan da Silva and Yedi Zahiri
almost led to a penalty kick in the 11th minute, but Kinnear – serving as referee
for the first two periods – waved play on.
The orange squad went ahead in the 12th minute when Navas
Cobo snuck behind Mike Chabala at the halfway line on the right, then made a surging
run forward. At the edge of the penalty area, he cut to his right past one
defender, then squared the ball across the face of goal as Deric slid at him,
flicked a roller past a defender into an empty net.
Both Deric and Tally Hall made saves on attempted chips over the
final eight minutes of the 20-minute opening period, and the orange team led
1-0 at the first intermission.
In the second period, Alvarez – the Cuban who has played for
the Austin Aztex over the last two years, shifted from midfield to right back,
pushing Brandon Poltronieri from right back to left back and McDonald from left
back to left midfield. After Hall saved an early chance from da Silva, the move
paid off in the sixth minute when McDonald stepped up to the edge of the penalty
area and ripped a left-footed one-bouncer inside the far post.
The orange team made it 3-0 just three minutes later when Bergen won the ball in
traffic on the right and dribbled into the penalty area before laying the ball
off. Deric made an initial save, but Bergen
continued his run to tap into an empty net.
The only other good chance of the second period saw da Silva
play a good cross to Jade George (Langham Creek ’10), who headed wide.
In the third period, Alvarez switched teams with Lakic and
played on the white team back line with Nelson Akwari before switching into
midfield and allowing Geoff Cameron to play at the back. The best early chance
of the period came when Chabala bent in a right-footed cross, and George
glanced a close-range header on frame, but Hall reacted quickly to tip the ball
over the crossbar.
The only goal of the final stanza came 12 minutes in when da
Silva, full of skill on his left foot, found himself on the right side of the
penalty area. Flat-footed, he improvised a left-footed toe-poke to the top
Capping off the day, Deric dove full-length to his left to
save an Emmanuel Gaytan header after a strong driven corner from McDonald.
Afterward, Kinnear told the players they would have one more
session tomorrow, but they will likely be down in numbers, as the Dynamo
Academy players head to Colorado for two games over the weekend and first-team
players Cameron and Chabala leave town on vacation. That will likely leave just
12 field players for Saturday’s session.
ORANGE: Tyler Deric, Brandon Poltronieri, Pablo Salazar, Gherland McDonald, Francisco Navas Cobo, Emmanuel Gaytan, Omar Gomez Galicia, Yordany Alvarez, Chance Bergen, Jorge Carrasco.
WHITE: Tally Hall, Risto Lakic, Nelson Akwari, Mike Chabala, Yedi Zahiri, Geoff Cameron, Diego Velazquez, Pablo Brenes, Jhonatan da Silva, Jade George.