The Dynamo will face an English Premier League team for the first time in club history Wednesday night against visiting Bolton Wanderers (7:30 p.m., SportsTalk 790, La Ranchera 850), and there’s plenty at stake for a Houston club trying to sort out who will help the team make a playoff push.
With the Dynamo in the midst of a playoff battle — they're currently fourth in the Eastern Conference and ninth in the overall table — the midweek Dynamo Charities Cup match provides a chance for both reserves and trialists to show what they can do.
“[Bolton’s] a good team coming in, and it’ll be hot, and it’ll be a good exercise for guys to out there and show the coach that they want to be playing,” forward Brian Ching said.
Houston has a mix of experienced veterans and young players that make up the depth of its squad. Along with exploring the team’s depth, head coach Dominic Kinnear will use the match to get a long look at three trialists: midfielders Björn Lindemann and Álvaro Sánchez and forward Miler Castillo.
Kinnear and his staff are looking at Wednesday’s friendly as a potential showcase for all three players. With the busy July schedule and the Dynamo spending recent training sessions preparing for league matches, the friendly provides these players with their best chance to show what they can do in a big-game setting.
“It’s a big chance for me,” Lindemann said. “I think I have to control what I can. I had good play last season, so I will just have a little bit of fun tomorrow night. It will be a speed game … but it will be good.”
Added Kinnear, “We have some trialists in town … and some of our guys are going to play that haven’t played in a little while. Mostly we’ll look at guys individually and see where they are at this point of the season, and if they take the game well, which I know they will.”
Proceeds from the match will go to support youth soccer in Houston’s East End.
“It’s a big game, and we’re looking forward to an entertaining friendly for our fans,” said Chris Canetti, Dynamo president of business operations. “We’ve gone from Monterrey to Águila to Bolton, so it’s a big jump, and it adds a variety, and next year, we hope to create a trend in the new stadium.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.