As expected, the Houston Dynamo added two more trialists — Costa Rican Álvaro Sánchez and German midfielder Björn Lindemann — to their ranks Friday morning. Both players are slated to be on trial with the club for one week and could see time in Wednesday's Dynamo Charities Cup.
Despite Houston preparing for an important match against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the pair participated in crossing drills and a short-field possession game as a first audition with the club.
“It’s tough, because we’re preparing for the game tomorrow, but it’s a chance for them to come in and interact with the team,” said assistant coach Wade Barrett, who worked with the pair. “You can get a sense of the type of player they are. Things like seeing if they bring energy and talk with the other players and if they can influence practice.”
For Sánchez, this is his second experience in MLS. The current San Carlos midfielder came to the league on loan with FC Dallas in 2009, but a nagging ankle injury led to his return to Costa Rica. Now healthy and displaying a nose for goal, the midfielder is in Houston looking to take advantage of his latest opportunity.
“I’m very grateful to the club for the opportunity,” Sánchez said through a translator. “I feel I’m fast and I have a good technical ability. I plan to take maximum advantage and hopefully stay with the club.”
News of Sánchez’s arrival surfaced Thursday, but Lindemann’s identity was a mystery coming into the day. Lindemann has been with VfL Osnabrück — who were relegated from the German second division this past season while being coached by American former pro Joe Enochs — since 2009, mostly playing as a central midfielder with a knack for going forward. The 27-year-old tallied five goals and three assists in all competitions for Osnabrück last season and is open to continuing his career in the U.S.
“I think I have a good head for passing and a good shot, and I have good conditioning,” Lindemann said. “It’s a new situation here, coming in the middle of the season. I just hope I can bring some technique and passing to help the club.”
Barrett remarked on some of the positives he saw in the newcomers.
“We were playing a possession game, and while we weren’t doing a whole lot, it was hot and we saw them putting in the effort to get on the ball and fight through the heat,” Barrett said. “With the travel, that’s a positive sign.”
Both Sánchez and Lindemann will get a chance to show their skills against quality competition when Houston host Bolton Wanderers on July 20 in the Dynamo Charities Cup. The pair’s time in Houston gives both them and the club a chance to see if the fit is right.
“They can come in and we can put them on trial and they can put us on trial and see if this is somewhere they want to be,” Barrett said. “We don’t want players here who don’t want to be here and [dont want to] commit to getting this team to our goals.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.