In the first 15 minutes of last week’s game against Chivas USA, the Houston Dynamo had two chances on goal. The first came agonizingly close; the second resulted in a goal.
On both plays, the duo of Geoff Cameron and Corey Ashe fed perfect passes to each other. It’s a sign of something for the two friends, who hope their off-the-field connection continues to translate on the field.
“He and I have a great relationship,” Ashe said. “We go home and discuss the game. He looks for me, and I look for him. He’s a great player. He knows I like to run at guys one-on-one, and if he sees that opportunity, he plays me and I look for him. He’s the quarterback of the team at central mid; good touches, give him the ball, and let him do the work.”
In finishing drills, the duo seems to find each other more than most. Even though it is likely subconscious, Cameron agrees they both know each other’s game almost better than they know their own games.
“We have that little connection,” Cameron said. “I know how he likes the ball and if he’s trucking and he’s running behind the defense.”
Coach Dominic Kinnear credited both players with making good reads on both plays from last Saturday and downplayed any significance to the two playing together.
“I think the guys just played what they saw,” said Kinnear. “We're making good runs off the ball and finding ourselves in good position, and we had time, and we’re picking the right pass. Whether it was Corey to Geoff or Geoff to Corey, I don’t think it had much to do with it other than they both just picked the right pass."
With forwards Cam Weaver and Brian Ching out injured for this weekend’s game against the Chicago Fire, Ashe may once again be chosen to start at right midfield, pushing Brian Mullan up to forward again. If so, Ashe will have the responsibility of having to work against the Fire’s talismanic midfielder Marco Pappa, something the Dynamo midfielder notes will not be easy.
“He’s a good player, predominantly left-footed, and it’s going to be a tough match,” Ashe said. “But I can’t really focus on him. I am more trying to focus on what I can do to them and see how it goes.”
Regardless of whether Ashe or Mullan starts on the right flank, Kinnear has faith in his team’s depth to overcome the team’s early injuries and, in particular, faith in Ashe.
“I just think when something bad happens to somebody, that opens the door or an opportunity for the other guy,” Kinnear said. “We talked to Corey about playing on the right, and he’s done it before. He’s out there for a number of reasons, and one of the reasons is that we have confidence in him.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.