After the Dynamo's first double training session of the year, midfielder Lovel Palmer took some time to chat with
HoustonDynamo.com about the offseason.
We haven’t had a chance to talk to you since the Caribbean Cup in early December. How was your experience playing for Jamaica?
It was great. We qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is going to be here in the United States in June. That’s good for us, because we need to get back into competitive games, because we didn’t make the last one. It was good for the country. We climbed in the rankings, so it was good.
The schedule for that tournament was really compact – Jamaica played five games in nine days. How did you deal with squad rotation and keeping yourself fresh for games?
I don’t know about the other guys, but for myself it wasn’t anything new. As you probably know, we played eight games in a month a couple of times last year, so I was ready for it. I knew that we had to win the championship – everyone was coming to beat us – so I was always ready for a game.
Did you enjoy seeing Dominic Kinnear down there for the semifinals and finals?
It was a bit motivating for me, because I said, ‘Hey, that’s my coach, and I’m going to go back to him in the preseason, so I have to put on a pretty good show.’ We shared a couple of laughs, and it was good for me to see him and Nick [Kowba]. We talked after the game and had a few jokes, so it was good.
Now, you spent most of your offseason in Martinique for the Gold Cup or at home in Jamaica. Did you miss Houston at all or is Jamaica too nice this time of year?
I did miss Houston. I kept myself occupied talking to some of the guys and got feedback on what was going on in Houston. But I missed Houston a lot. I wanted to come back a bit earlier, but when I heard that it was cold here, I was like, ‘I’m not missing that. I’m going to wait a bit more. Jamaica is pretty cool right now.’ But I was anxious to get back here and start working with the guys again – seeing the old faces and the new guys.
Everything’s still too much in flux to really talk about the lineup, but what’s it like in training with everybody competing for spots?
Well, Dom knows what he wants to do. He has an idea of the guys he wants to play, but everybody is really gunning for a position. No one is guaranteed a position. It’s up to you to work as hard as you can and, whatever position the coach puts you in, you just try to play to the best of your ability and help the team.