With the Dynamo struggling to push themselves into the playoff race, head coach Dominic Kinnear now has some unexpected selection issues in this weekend's match with the San Jose Earthquakes. First is the absence of midfielder Lovel Palmer, who annoyed Kinnear by deciding not to reject a call-up to the Jamaican national team for two friendlies.
“It’s unfortunate that he’s made the decision to go away,” said Kinnear. “That’s the decision he’s made, and it’s put us in a bit of a spot because we spoke last week about having the squad together and healthy for the first time, and now it’s going to be changed for the next two [games].”
Palmer will also miss the September 18 match against Toronto FC while he serves a suspension for the red card he received against Colorado last week. Houston may also have to contend with a second midfield absence. Anthony Obodai took a hard hit at practice on Friday and sat out the remainder of training with what appeared to be an ankle injury. As a result, Houston may be very thin in midfield.
“It’s something that we have had to deal with the entire season,” said midfielder Danny Cruz. “It’s going to be a bit of a hit, but we have plenty of guys that can step in and make a difference.”
Following Palmer’s ejection against the Rapids, Kinnear pushed Geoff Cameron from defense into the midfield. Cameron’s solid performance against the Rapids makes him a likely option to fill in for Palmer again this week.
“Lovel is a good player, and [his absence] will hurt us, but you have to deal with it,” said Cameron. “I will do whatever. Everybody has to work together and cover each other’s backs, and we all have the same goal: We want to win and get three points.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.