Dynamo relish experience from Bolton match

Despite 2-0 loss, Dynamo gain confidence for MLS second half

The Houston Dynamo dropped a 2-0 result to Bolton Wanderers in
the Dynamo Charities Cup on Wednesday, but it was a match that provided a
valuable opportunity for the club to see how much depth it has at this
point in the season. 

With the match sandwiched in between weekend MLS matches, head coach
Dominic Kinnear took the opportunity to get his reserves and younger
players a chance to get experience against a talented English side.
Coming away from the match, the Dynamo showed their squad is in a good
place as the team navigates the back half of the MLS schedule.  

GAME NIGHT:
DYNAMO 0, BOLTON 2

“We had some really good moments, and then we had some moments where we
let ourselves down,” Kinnear said. “The attitude was good, and we
pressed forward with some of the young guys coming on and giving some
good energy.”

The Dynamo starting lineup included just three players who started
against Sporting Kansas City last week. The remaining spots were
allocated to players who have pitched in as part-time starters, key
reserves, trialists, and young players.

And while a number of the Dynamo reserves put in positive shifts,
certain young players, including Alex Dixon and Tyler Deric,
took advantage of their opportunity by putting in good shifts against
the EPL side.

“It’s a good experience for some guys like Tyler and Alex,” Kinnear
said. “Alex was playing against Duke and Wake Forest last year, and now
he’s playing against Bolton. It’s a great experience for them, and it
was good for Tyler to get another game under his belt.”

Getting an up-close look at what it takes to play against top-level
European competition can serve as an eye-opener for some younger
players. Seeing the speed of the game and the skill level can provide
them with a barometer for their skills. One player that stood out to rookie forward Will Bruin was Bolton
captain Kevin Davies, who notched a goal and an assist on the night. The
English international displayed the toughness that has defined his
career in England.

“He’s a big, physical forward who holds the ball up well,” Bruin said.
“I noticed that he doesn’t turn the ball over, and he’s really good in
the air.”

Even though the scoreboard was not in their favor at the end of the
match — the club’s first defeat in the three-year history of the
Charities Cup — the Dynamo are hoping to capitalize on the
experience going forward.

“It was fun getting in to play against some guys that I grew up
watching on TV,” Bruin added. “Seeing these guys and playing against
them gives you confidence.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.