After training on Tuesday, Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer answered a few questions from HoustonDynamo.com about his life, on and off the field.
HD: You are now in your second year with the Dynamo and living in Houston; do you feel you have fully adjusted to life here?
LP: I think I’m getting more and more comfortable every day. I've gotten to know the guys on a one-on-one basis. I hang out with them and go to lunch with them on occasion. I’m really settling in and liking the city. The weather is somewhat similar to Jamaica. It’s very nice right now, but in the summer it’s kind of hot, although I would much rather have it hot than cold. At times I go sight-seeing, including trips to the zoo and the Galleria, and I'm starting to feel like this is home. With Jermaine [Taylor] being here now, I feel even more comfortable. We live together and get to speak our dialect and cook our Jamaican food, so it definitely feels like home.
HD: You, Jermaine, and Evan Newton share a house together. How does that living arrangement work out?
LP: Evan likes it. At times even at practice he will say, "Hey Love, you need to go make some Jamaican food for me because practice is really hard,” because I’ll tell him if he eats Jamaican food, then he’ll get strong. He also cooks his own food as well, including chicken Alfredo, which is very good for me. Before games I ask him to cook it, and it’s very good. We are comfortable with each other, we do things together but also do things individually. Whenever we are in the house, [Jermaine and I] try to speak so [Evan] can understand what we are saying. At times, him and Jermaine will be having a conversation, and I’ll be the translator. In the end, we are having fun. It’s not like it’s two Jamaican guys and Evan; it’s three Houston Dynamo players living together.
HD: What are some typical Jamaican dishes that you cook?
LP: Curry chicken and steamed fish are two dishes but we also add our Jamaican spices. Dumpling is another one, although not a lot of people know what that is. It’s like flour with corn meal and you add water to get it hard. We also cook a lot of corned beef and pasta.
HD: How does it feel to see more Jamaican players being scouted and signed by MLS teams?
LP: It makes me feel as if I’m doing something good. It's not just me, but guys such as [Colorado Rapids defender] Tyrone Marshall and [Real Salt Lake midfielder] Andy Williams, because if they weren’t doing well, then maybe no one would be really looking to Jamaica. Every time a guy comes here and plays well, it opens more doors for players to come in. With me and Jermaine being here in Houston, we just try to perform at the best of our ability, help the team win championships, and hopefully get new guys to come here.
HD: Do you keep in touch with other Jamaican players around the league?
LP: All the guys here talk. The only guy I haven’t spoken with a lot is Andy Williams, because he is married with kids, living in Utah. But guys like Tyrone, [Colorado Rapids forward] Omar [Cummings], [Sporting KC defender] Shavar [Thomas], we all play with the national team together. [New York Red Bulls forward] Dane [Richards] messaged me before the game when we came to New York asking how I was doing. When I go to Colorado, Omar and I go to dinner together. When we’re on the pitch, it’s rivalry for 90 minutes, but off it we are friends for life.
HD: In the last two weeks, the Dynamo have played two tough road matches and come away with two draws. What is the mentality of the team right now?
LP: Before the Seattle game, Corey [Ashe] said to me, "Hey Love, it’s going to be two tough games and if we can get a point, or two, or three, it would be a great job, mission accomplished." When I went to Seattle I realized what he was talking about, and then I thought about the game at New York. I think this team, we have a never-say-die attitude right now. Our defense has been solid, and Tally Hall has been having a great season so far. I think it’s more of an overall team performance as oposed to one individual, and I think if we continue this way, we’ll do great stuff this season.