The Dynamo were back on the training field Tuesday under sunny skies and under the familiar direction of head coach Dominic Kinnear, recently returned from his scouting trip to Brazil. The club will train through Friday of this week before taking the weekend off and building up toward its first official scrimmage, against local college program HBU on February 5.
After some of the team's traditional warmup and ball exercises on Tuesday, Dynamo field players participated in a half-field possession scrimmage. Players rotated through two teams of eight - wearing blue and orange pinnies - with three players in yellow pinnies designated as options for whichever team had the ball. The game involved a mix of long, cross-field passes and short runs off the ball and helped introduce several Dynamo rookies to some of the touch and pass limitations frequently included in training exercises.
The training session closed with a split squad - a mix of veterans and some newcomers - doing crossing and finishing exercises. Since they were not called on to participate, former University of North Carolina teammates Corey Ashe, Alex Dixon, and Jordan Graye used the time to do some passing drills of their own and catch up on old times. For head coach Kinnear, meanwhile, it was his first session of the year after missing Monday while on a scouting trip.
"Walking into the locker room and seeing everybody again was nice, both to see the people you know and the new faces," Kinnear said. "We got them running around a little bit, and as the week goes on we'll push them hard, but not too hard."
Kinnear said the weekend trip to Brazil was productive and could eventually lead to the Dynamo signing their first player from the soccer hotbed.
"We saw two good games, and there was one player we've identified and want to have a look at again," Kinnear said. "We're in the process of seeing if we can bring that player here, and it's just a matter of reaching an agreement."
Dynamo president Chris Canetti and Greenstar Recycling CEO Matt Delnick stopped by to observe part of the training session.
Much has been made of the Dynamo adding to their team speed in the offseason, but the club still has plenty of size. Of the 23 players in camp, 14 stand at least 6 feet tall, led by Tally Hall and Cam Weaver (6-foot-4) and Geoff Cameron and Tyler Deric (6-foot-3).
Midfielder Colin Clark continues to train indoors while rehabbing his ACL but was in good spirits and hopes to be on the field at some point in February.
HoustonDynamo.com talked to midfielder Danny Cruz about his offseason and expectations for 2011; expect that video to be available later Tuesday afternoon.