For most Dynamo players, Friday night’s match against D.C. United is just another match against a new Eastern Conference rival, but for Bobby Boswell, Friday’s match is an opportunity to see old friends when he lines up against the team that gave him the start to his professional career. After graduating from Florida International University but going undrafted, Boswell was signed by D.C. United during the 2005 preseason and quickly earned his place in the starting rotation.
“I’m really thankful for that organization and the opportunity they gave me,” Boswell said of his time with United. “The fans were great, and it was a great organization to play for.”
In his rookie season, Boswell started 26 games and tallied three goals and an assist from his center back position. Boswell followed up his rookie campaign with a stellar sophomore season, earning 2006 MLS Defender of the Year honors and being named to the MLS All-Star and Best XI teams. The defender credits much of his success to the veterans he played with during his tenure in D.C. One of those veterans, Ben Olsen, will be sitting on the opposite bench Friday night, as head coach of D.C. United.
“Ben is great,” Boswell said. “He’s got a charisma that you can’t really explain. He is great at knowing when a player needs to be knocked down and knowing when he needs to be picked up. If everyone else was yelling at you, he would always be there to give you a pick up to make you play better.”
After the 2007 season, Boswell was traded to Houston for Zach Wells and continued his dominance along the backline. He started 29 league games for the Dynamo in 2008 and aided a defense that ranked first in MLS. Having never won at Robertson Stadium as a member of United, Boswell understood the challenges that visiting teams faced when coming to Houston.
“Houston has always been a tough place to play,” he said. “When you come here as a player, all you can focus on was how hot it was going to be and you don’t look forward to it. It stinks when you get into town and you realize how humid it is and you go on your team walk and you are just sweating. It’s a mental thing. When you finally get to the stadium, you are still hot, and with the fans getting all over you, it's a tough place to play.”
The Dynamo have continued their success over D.C. United since the arrival of Boswell. Houston is 5-0-1 at home in all competitions against United, and with the Dynamo’s move to the Eastern Conference, every match has more significance for the men in orange.
“When Houston had a lot of success, it was because they were winning all the home games,” Boswell said. “Any time you take care of business at home, you set yourself up for a good situation come playoff time. We have also been getting these ties on the road, and if we can keep winning at home, we are going to pick up a lot of points, which sets us up well for playoff contention.”