Wednesday night was the roster compliance deadline for MLS teams and the Dynamo were busy making the final tweaks to its squad.
Defender Wade Barrett retired to join the coaching staff while Eric Ustruck was released.
The team also signed third round pick Sammy Appiah to fill one of the four non-senior spots on the roster, joining Tyler Deric, Francisco Navas Cobo and Danny Cruz, who is the team’s only Generation Adidas player.
The move to release Ustruck created an open senior spot on the team.
“It’s always hard to do something like that [releasing Ustruck]. You prefer to trade guys to keep them in the league, but sometime it doesn’t come to that,” said Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear. “He’s been with us for a long time and he has some good friends in the locker room, but one eye looking ahead, sometimes you have to be ready.”
While leaving a vacant roster spot to start the season may seem unconventional, the move provides the team with maximum flexibility as the year progresses.
“We have to look out for the team down the road,” Kinnear said. “June’s right around the corner and sometimes you need some money around to make sure if something comes your way you can jump on that.”
That “something” may very well be a central midfielder. For now, Geoff Cameron, Lovell Palmer, Richard Mulrooney and others will be provided an opportunity to prove that they can fill the void left by Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark.
It has been reported that the Dynamo are interested in Ghanaian central midfielder Anthony Obodai who becomes available after the Dutch Eredivisie season with RKC Waalwijk.
It will not be easy to replace Holden and probably more difficult to make up for Clark. However, the same sentiment applied last year when the club lost Dwayne De Rosario. The team had success relying on a young promising player (Holden) to fill De Rosario’s role. The team is hoping that the same formula will work in the case of Cameron, who adapted successfully to playing as a defender last year.
INJURY UPDATE: The only injury to report is that Cam Weaver, who will not play against FC Dallas. Weaver’s injury will be a disappointment, given he had been playing well in the preseason.
Kinnear will have to choose between Dominic Oduro and Luis Landin to partner Brian Ching up top. Oduro may be the more effective player of the two off the bench, but he has also had a very strong preseason and may have earned a starting nod.
LOCAL SOCCER: The High School 4A and 5A playoffs continue. The Houston Football Association Memorial Cup takes place on March 27-28 at Bear Creek Park.
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