Colin Clark’s play over the past few weeks demonstrates why the Houston Dynamo front office was so excited about bringing the midfielder into the fold. Trading for Clark last September, the Houston brass made the move with an eye toward the future, believing that when the one-time U.S. international got healthy, he would provide a boost to the midfield.
“We knew when we made the trade that he’s one of the more talented guys in the league that can play on the right or left,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He’s been scoring some goals for us, which is a positive for his confidence. The better his confidence is, the better his play is and the more he’s going to help us.”
Since his debut in Week 4 against Vancouver, the 27-year-old has worked his way into the starting lineup. With two goals under his belt, he is showing that he has the ability to change the game with a moment’s notice.
Having battled back from a knee injury that shelved him for the second half of last season while he was a Colorado Rapids player, Clark knew he would have to build his fitness back — and knock off some rust. Luckily for Clark, Kinnear showed confidence in the midfielder by giving him enough game time to sharpen up his play.
Clark’s recent performances — punctuated with an exciting 87th-minute goal that gave the Dynamo, with 10 men, a 2-2 result against FC Dallas on Saturday — is evidence the midfielder is doing just that.
Clark is becoming a fixture on the right side and has shown ability as a scoring option from the wing by getting off quick and accurate shots with his left foot. His recent success aside, the unassuming Clark is focused on getting better and working towards regaining his old form.
“The biggest thing for me is gaining confidence and my lungs improving so I can get game-fit,” Clark said. “The team’s got great support, and that helps with confidence. Whether it’s as a starter or from the bench, I’m just doing what I can to help the team win.”
Clark and the Dynamo know his return to his pre-injury form is not yet complete. He’s closing in on regaining his full fitness and is still working to gain confidence on the field, but the excitement and ability the midfielder is bringing to the pitch has coaches, teammates, and fans thrilled for what the finished product will look like on the flank.
“He’s got a good touch, provides great service, and his movement off the ball is really good,” Geoff Cameron said. “I like combining with him, and he’s starting to find his groove, and that’s resulted in two good goals, which is good for us.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.