Honduras’ loss could be Houston’s gain. With Los Catrachos out of the World Cup, Boniek García is set to return to the Dynamo and could even be in contention to play a part in Sunday’s MLS clash away to the Montreal Impact (6:30 p.m. CT; CSN).
The attacking midfielder has missed the past six Dynamo matches in all competitions while with his country. Honduras endured a tough time in Brazil, losing to France, Ecuador and finally Switzerland.
Boniek logged 204 minutes overall, coming off the bench at half time against France then starting Honduras’ next two Group E matches. He featured for 77 minutes in Wednesday’s 3-0 loss in the Amazon heat and humidity of Manaus.
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said on Friday that he is optimistic the 29-year-old will be able to join his teammates in Quebec as MLS action resumes for the club after a pause during the group stage of the World Cup.
“We’re hoping to have him available for Sunday. We’ve been in contact with him and hopefully he’ll meet us in Montreal and then what part he plays, we’ll take it from there. We’re going to see how he feels physically,” Kinnear told reporters.
In more good news for the injury-ravaged Dynamo, Ricardo Clark, Corey Ashe and David Horst are making progress in their recoveries. “It’s not only the game and the availability of players but also the preparation that makes practice better. We’ve said it all along, it’s not going to be an overnight fix to have these guys, they’ve still got to work their way in, but to see their presence on the [training] field is a positive,” Kinnear said.
Another welcome sight was Dynamo captain Brad Davis suiting up for the United States on Thursday as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side set up a second-round meeting with Belgium on July 1 despite a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Germany in rain-soaked Recife. The midfielder saw his first taste of game action in Brazil, starting and playing for almost an hour. He was replaced in a 59th-minute tactical substitution.
“It was just great to see him start; most importantly the U.S. advance,” Kinnear said. “So any time you have a guy from your team that’s playing a part in the team progressing into the next round, it’s wonderful. For them to get out of that group and go on to the next round is a huge accomplishment so congratulations to the coach and all the players.”
Ashe echoed those sentiments. “Definitely happy for him. His hard work has paid off. He’s been really good for us so to see that finally pay off and see him living a dream of his, it’s awesome,” the left back told reporters.
“We’re very proud of him,” midfielder Servando Carrasco told reporters. “He’s a guy that we see on a daily basis training really hard and it’s good to see a player be rewarded for all of his hard work over the past couple of years here in Houston. I thought he did pretty well.”
The Dynamo went down 3-2 after extra time at home to FC Dallas on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup, though Carrasco took positives from the display. “Whenever we go on the road it’s going to be a tough game but I think we played pretty well against Dallas, it’s one of those games that we kept possession of the ball, we made enough goalscoring opportunities, so maybe take that performance and try to replicate it against Montreal,” he said.
Will Bruin’s 40th-minute goal was enough to give the Dynamo victory when the sides met at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 15, while Houston knocked the Impact out of last year’s post-season with a convincing 3-0 home victory. But Montreal have the upper hand on home turf, with three wins out of three against Houston.
Frank Klopas’ team tied 0-0 away to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday and presently sit last in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 14 matches. The Dynamo are also seeking an upturn in form and Carrasco believes that the days off have helped the team mentally as well as physically.
“Training’s been sharp in the past couple of days and we’re really looking forward to getting back on the field,” he said. “[The rest] kind of allows you to recharge the batteries, to get away from the game a little bit and I think the guys have taken advantage of that opportunity, we all came back fresh and we’re ready to play.”
Tom Dart is a contributing writer to HoustonDynamo.com and HoustonDashSoccer.com. Former editor and reporter for The Times of London and reporter for SI.com, Dart currently freelances for The Guardian.