HOUSTON – It looks like the Houston Dynamo’s time without their starting left back will be limited to one week.
Corey Ashe sat out last Saturday’s 1-0 win over San Jose due to a hamstring strain he picked up against Chivas USA, but he does not expect that to limit him when Houston travels to Seattle on Friday for a nationally televised game on the NBC Sports Network (9 pm CT).
“I didn’t want to do anymore damage to it, so I figured I’d sit out,” Ashe said about the decision to hold off on a return this past weekend. “I’ll be fine, ready for the game [Friday].”
The 2011 MLS All-Star was back at training Monday and worked with the team during warm-ups and a short-field game, making it through the session without issue. Although Ashe was back on the field and looking to Friday’s match for a return, his replacement from last Saturday was missing.
Jamaican defender Jermaine Taylor started in place of Ashe, showing Houston’s depth on the backline and proving there is little drop off from one player to another. Taylor and Je-Vaughn Watson left San Francisco after both went the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s win to be part of the Jamaican national team squad that will face Costa Rica Wednesday in Kingston.
“They’re two great defenders,” midfielder Brad Davis said about Taylor and Ashe. “Corey switched from left midfield to left back, and he understands the position I’m in and I think we have a good partnership. On the other hand, I think Jermaine had a great game and we played well together.
“I have total confidence in both those guys, and whatever the game brings you have to adapt, and I think we did a good job of that.”
After Monday’s training, head coach Dominic Kinnear, who is a proponent of giving guys opportunities with their respective national teams, said he expects the Jamaican internationals to join the club in Seattle Thursday night ahead of Friday’s road clash against the Sounders.
But with midweek duty and both coming off starts last Saturday, fitness could be an issue.
If Watson, who started in central midfield the first two matches, cannot make the start, there is an opportunity for the depth in midfield to show its worth. According to Kinnear, that group includes, but is not limited to, 2011 starter Luiz Camargo.
“It’s not just Luiz, but everybody,” Kinnear said. “It’s Alex Dixon, Brian Ownby, Warren [Creavalle] and [Nathan] Sturgis, some guys that can all play in there. The lineup’s not set. I’d like to keep the same 11 but you never know and it’s a quick week turnaround. But Luiz has got to fast track the fitness.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com, he can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.