Dynamo excited for first test of preseason
The Houston Dynamo will get their first test of the
preseason on Saturday when they travel to Corpus Christi to take on intra-state rival FC
Dallas at Whataburger Field, home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, minor league baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros. After successful scrimmages against the Dynamo Academy
and Houston Baptist University, Saturday's match will be the Dynamo's first against MLS competition and will be a true measure of where Houston stands after three weeks of training.
“It’s a good test for us,” Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell
said. “It’s against an in-state rival, so there is a little more on the line
than a regular preseason game. The guys are definitely excited to play on Saturday, because the better you show in preseason, the more likely you are
to play in the season.”
This is the second consecutive season the Dynamo have played at
Whataburger Field. Last June, Houston
defeated the Laredo Heat, 2-1, in front of 6,111 fans. Boswell is excited to
return to a city that gave the Dynamo a warm welcome the first time around.
“The crowd came out last year, and I imagine they will come
out again,” he said. “Any time you play a preseason game in front of a lot of
people, there is always a little more on the line. They always seem to take care
of us down in Corpus, and I don’t see it being any different this time.”
Since the San Jose Earthquakes relocated to Houston before the 2006 season, Dallas and
Houston have contested one of the pre-eminent rivalries in Major League Soccer. The
Dynamo hold a 9-4-6 all-time advantage over Dallas but
lost the battle for El Capitán last
year after they tied Dallas
1-1 in Frisco but fell 1-0 in the return match at Robertson Stadium. With Houston moving to the Eastern Conference this
season, the two teams might not be fighting for a conference title, but each
game is still very important.
“I think the fact that we are playing Dallas will make it a big game,” Boswell
said. "We always seem to have some great games with them, and our fans have a lot of
pride in the Texas
With six players currently on trial, head coach Dominic Kinnear
will have multiple lineup options as he looks to prepare the team for the
coming season. Kinnear will balance the need to see the trialists
perform against MLS competition and to continue molding his team ahead of the
March 19 season opener against Philadelphia.
“We’ll probably see two different teams on Saturday,”
Kinnear said. “We will try and mix and match, because it’s not fair to clump all
the trialists on one team. I think it’s good to see how they play with the
other guys, and we want to make sure everyone has a fair chance and everyone
gets playing time.”
Saturday’s match is another example of the Dynamo continuing to build their brand outside of the Houston
area. Kinnear appreciates the support Corpus
Christi gave the Dynamo last year and is looking forward
to the crowd for Saturday's match.
“We had a good crowd last year for that game,” he said. “I think
it’s always a good idea to go outside your market and realize you have fans and
people who enjoy the game as much as the people in your market. I know some
people down there who said they drive up to Houston for every game, and it blew me away
because I didn’t realize how far away it was until we made the drive down there.
That for me was pretty impressive.”
Tickets for Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 2 p.m., are
still available and can be purchased at www.corpuschristihooks.com.