Trades are a big part of the professional sports landscape. Players move between teams and inevitably those players traded want to show their former clubs what they are made of whenever they get a chance.
Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala were traded away from the Houston Dynamo on July 21 to Sunday’s visitors, the Portland Timbers. Under the leadership of former Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer, Houston are expecting a motivated performance from the trio this weekend (8 p.m. CT, Galavisión, Get your tickets).
“I’ve been traded a few times and I know what it’s like coming back to play your old team, but it's part of your job,” said Dynamo defender Hunter Freeman, who has been traded twice during his time in MLS. “While it’s not the easiest game, we understand what they have to do.”
Palmer and Chabala were consistent contributors on the field for the Dynamo over the past two years. Palmer played 45 games with the Dynamo in his year-and-a-half with the club and Chabala spent the entirety of his pro career with the club before the trade.
Both players have become fixtures in the Timbers lineup and are sure to feature this weekend.
“I expect those guys are going to have the best games of their seasons,” said Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. “They’re going to be flying around and they’re going to want it, so we’ll have to match them because this is an important game coming down the stretch.”
Ching taking precaution
Veteran striker Brian Ching sat out Friday’s training with a tender groin. The Dynamo captain did some running on the side but was held out of team drills as a precautionary measure. With three games coming up in the next week, Ching and the club thought it was better to play it safe.
“He’s feeling a little bit of an injury,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I think he wanted to do more, but to take precaution we decided to have him take it easy today.”
Carr officially cleared to play
While Ching is taking it easy, forward Calen Carr has seen his time steadily increase in training. His hard work has finally paid off: Carr is officially off the injured list for the first time since coming to Houston in March and is available for selection.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.