HOUSTON – At this time last year, the play of Adam Moffat was being hailed as one of the reasons for the Houston Dynamo’s late season run. Things haven’t gone quite the same way in 2012.
Coming to Houston from the Portland Timbers in a July 2011 trade, Moffat helped rekindle the Dynamo's bite in the middle of the pitch while endearing himself to fans with his work ethic and now trademark Moffat Rocket, the moniker bestowed on his frequent long-range bombs.
Fast forward to this year and Moffat’s late season run has been slowed by an adductor strain that ruled him out of three matches earlier this month, making it tough for the midfielder to get into a rhythm.
Now back on the field full-time, the Scotsman is ready to put the same type of stamp on the end of 2012 that he did on 2011.
“I think back to this time last year and I was playing every week and we were really on a roll and personally I was feeling good,” Moffat told MLSsoccer.com. “This year’s been a bit frustrating, but I can start that up this week. Four games left, I want to give everything I have in those four games, and then hopefully when playoff time comes we’re going to be hard to beat.”
Moffat returned to action last week in a 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League win against El Salvador’s CD FAS. Playing in the middle of a 4-4-2, Moffat was his normal hard-nosed, steady self, helping break up attacks, linking play and never shying away from a tackle.
“I always say he provides that bit of steel in midfield,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “He’s always around, always available and is a good link between the back and the midfield. He’s been around long enough, he’s been injured and been in the team and out of the team. To know he keeps working hard and is a good person, he’s valuable to the team.”
With Moffat back in the fold full-time, the Dynamo have a stout pair of midfield options with Ricardo Clark joining him as an option to anchor the center of the pitch down the stretch. His return couldn’t come at a better time, as a recent swoon has Houston clinging to the fifth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference ahead of this Saturday's match vs. New England (7:30 pm CT, KPRC Local 2).
“We have four games left and just being able to stay fit for those games is a good feeling to hopefully get out there and make a difference,” Moffat said. “There’s no reason I can’t go there when I get the chance. If it’s Saturday, I can go out there and make a difference then and it can start from there.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.