Integration into a team can make or break the impact of a Designated Player. And while some internationals have struggled to find their feet, things could not be going better for the Houston Dynamo’s newest addition, Boniek Garcia.
When he signed, the winger was expected to bring a dynamic presence to Houston’s right side once he got acclimated. Garcia, however, has been ahead of schedule, making an easy transition into the Dynamo ranks with a good work ethic and an exciting style of play, traits that will endear a player to any team.
“All in all it’s been a seamless transition for him and he’s playing very well for us,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said after Friday’s rain-soaked training session. “One thing that’s been great about him, watching him, is that he plays on both sides of the ball. He’s played in a number of big games over the years so I don’t think the situation's gotten to him.”
WATCH: Boniek Garcia helps set up opener
Garcia was thrown straight into the fire, playing three games in a week after just two training sessions. He responded with three 90-minute shifts, providing just the type of play the Dynamo thought he would: an up and down presence that can shred a defense when he gets going forward.
“It gets you going,” said striker Will Bruin about Garcia’s style of play. “Sometimes I find myself just watching him because of how he goes at guys. He creates opportunities and makes things easy on the forwards.
“He’s adapted really well,” the forward continued. “He’s skillful and is really good going at guys. Sometimes there’s a transition phase but he’s jumped right in and caught on to things right off the bat.”
While the beginning of his integration into the club has gone as well as possible, the Honduran international knows there is still work to do. He is still in the beginning stages of picking up English and is getting used to the congested, fast-paced style of MLS – Garcia and the Dynamo face another three matches in seven day stretch, starting with the visit of D.C. United on Sunday evening (8 pm CT, Galavision, BUY TICKETS).
But with his willingness to work and ability to learn on the fly, there is no reason to the think his integration into the Dynamo side will not continue to go well.
“Once you’re on the field you start understanding what they are going to do and they understand what you do,” Garcia told MLSsoccer.com through a translator. “They’ve given me the ability and liberty to play. I’m still trying to adapt and get used to things but I’m very happy with the opportunity and I’m trying to do things well.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.