Carr making most of reserve minutes

Speedy forward plays 90 minutes in reserve victory on Sunday

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Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Speed kills and, for the first time since arriving in Houston since
March 23, Calen Carr showed the Dynamo coaching staff he has plenty of
it over 90 minutes.

The veteran forward played his first full shift in Dynamo orange on
Sunday morning, helping the reserves defeat their Real Salt Lake
counterparts 1-0 a day after Houston’s first team pulled a dramatic
3-2 win over RSL.

Carr played the full match at the head of the Dynamo attack and showed
off the speed that caught the Dynamo’s attention, making a number of
penetrating runs. In a win that moved the reserves up to second place in
their division, Carr found satisfaction in showing that he can be
effective for a full 90 minutes after a long layoff following a
concussion.

“It’s another level of experience that’s closer to the games at night
with the first team,” Carr told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “The 90
today is exactly what I need, and I tried to make it as game like as
possible. This is the sort of test I need, physically and mentally.”

Carr’s showing on Sunday caps off a week that saw the forward get his
first regular season action, starting with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against
New England and continuing in Saturday night 3-2 win over RSL. Logging minutes in two crucial matches shows the faith the Dynamo coaching staff has in their speedy forward.

“He’s been around and is an experienced player,” said goalkeepers coach
Tim Hanley. “We know if we put him in there, he won’t be overwhelmed,
because he’s been around in this league.”

Now Carr is out to provide a payoff for that confidence, and his work
in the reserve game is an example of that. With the forward working to
get back into game shape, the reserve matches offer him the opportunity
to work in a game setting, something that training cannot duplicate.

Sunday’s game showed that Carr still has a knack for finding space
behind the defense and causing problems for opponents. With the current
Dynamo roster filled with forwards who are more physical than they are
fast, Carr could provide an element
the club has missed all season.

“Any time the coach puts you in the game and trusts you to do a job is
great, and my job is to reward that confidence,” Carr said. “I have a
responsibility to the team to do my best and be a part of it, and I’m
trying to hold myself accountable.”

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