The Houston Dynamo won a spirited scrimmage 2-0 against Houston Baptist University Saturday at Sorrels Field. While scrimmages are often used to build fitness for veterans and get rookies time on the pitch, the presence of four trialists provided a different twist to the match. Saturday’s scrimmage gave the players a chance to impress the Dynamo coaching staff in a match environment.
“We wanted to see the trialists today,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “No point in seeing them in a bubble [where the team practiced Thursday and Friday due to weather]. We wanted to see them out here and play and give them an extended run on the field.”
The first goal of the match was scored on a long-range effort from trialist Lester Peltier, who is getting comfortable after a full week of training with the Dynamo.
“I’m feeling like I’m home, not only because of the weather, but … I am feeling confident around the players, and I am coming out and giving 100 percent,” said Peltier after the match.
The second goal of the match was also scored by a trialist. Francois Swaby, the second top scorer at the moment in the Jamaican Premier League, said Kinnear asked the players to push forward and show good movement off the ball. That’s exactly what he did, finding some space to tuck away an assist from fellow trialist and Jamaican leading scorer Steven Morrissey.
[inline_node:327778]While the trialists were looking to impress, the Dynamo veterans used the scrimmage as an opportunity to build match fitness.
“For me, personally, it was finding my feet again at center back along with working on the passing and communication,” said Dynamo defender Andrew Hainault, who played the first half at center back.
For HBU, the match was a step in the right direction. After losing last year’s scrimmage 6-0, Saturday's 2-0 scoreline provided head coach Steve Jones with positives heading into next season.
“I’m proud of the boys,” said Jones. “Last year, the boys were pretty intimidated playing guys they watch on TV. For us, we were able to find some success at times and create some scoring opportunities and string some passes together, something we were not able to do last year.”
- Senior HBU goalkeeper Chirs Dodd made eight saves in the match. He is currently looking to land a trial with a professional club and was impressed with the passing of the Dynamo. “Their vision is amazing, and they see [openings] a lot more, a lot quicker,” said Dodd. “Anywhere from 40 or 50 yards, they can put a dangerous ball in, so you have to be on your toes.”
- Will Bruin made several nice runs to create some scoring chances while playing with Cam Weaver in the second half. “He works well with a partner up front. He combined pretty well, and he should have scored a couple of goals,” said Kinnear of Bruin’s play. “The opportunity of finishing is there, and he just has to work on putting in that last bit.”
- Danny Cruz and Kofi Sarkodie paired on the right side of the field in the first half and showed quite a bit of speed. The pair made numerous attacking runs and worked well covering for each other defensively
- The Dynamo will play their first preseason match against another MLS team next Saturday, when they take on FC Dallas in Corpus Christi at Whataburger Field at 2 p.m..
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.