With players under contract and the expansion draft still to come, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear has been understandably reluctant to discuss specifics of potential changes to his roster for next year.
However, some specific candidates for next year's roster will be in town this week, as 11 experienced players will join three Dynamo Academy players and three first-team players for a training camp in Dynamo orange, under the direction of the Dynamo coaching staff.
While it will be difficult to discern much in just four days, Kinnear and company will hope to establish a relationship with some players who may be invited back in February as part of the team’s preseason. Original plans called for more players, but several issues, including rescheduled games in other leagues and visa issues, reduced the number of outside players in camp.
Dynamo first team goalkeepers Tyler Deric and Tally Hall will step in as backstops, with 18-year-old Francisco Navas Cobo also joining the training camp to stay sharp. Dynamo Academy players Chance Bergen (Cy Woods), Jade George (Langham Creek), and Diego Velazquez (San Antonio Johnson) - all 18-year-olds who graduated high school last spring - will also compete.
The athletic Bergen has been the Dynamo's leading scorer with three goals and one assist in league play at the U-18 level early in 2010. Bergen has a knack for winning headers up front and impressed the Houston coaching staff with his performance in the Dynamo Trials showcase match Oct. 28. The speedy George had several big moments for the Dynamo on their European trip in August 2009, netting a hat trick against Rangers, but has been inconsistent since. Velazquez has one goal in seven league appearances for the U-18s this year.
Cuban midfielder Yordany Alvarez, who trained with the Dynamo during the final week of the regular season, will also be part of the combine. Alvarez played the last two years for the Austin Aztex, who are moving to Orlando for 2011. Other participants are expected to come from abroad, including players from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil.
Training sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, November 10-Saturday, November 13, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex. HoustonDynamo.com will have coverage of the combine throughout the week.