Jonathan Yardley / HoustonDynamo.com

After disappointing 2010, Boswell ups game

Bobby Boswell went through his first real experience with failure in 2010, and he’s not about to endure it again this time around.

Boswell and the rest of the Houston Dynamo missed the postseason for the first time since 2006, and the six-year veteran is taking some major personal steps to ensure that he can help the club avoid another disappointing year in Texas. The 27-year-old defender has focused more this offseason on an improved diet and some interesting workout routines, even incorporating mixed martial arts into his new fitness regimen.

“Everyone always makes a big deal of that stuff, and any time you throw boxing or Thai boxing in there, people think you're doing something crazy,” Boswell told MLSsoccer.com.

But the most important change has come in the lunch line and at the dinner table.

“The biggest thing I've done is change my diet," Boswell said. "This offseason, I made a conscious effort to eat better."

Before matches, Boswell eats food like pasta and steak to help with endurance, but he has not traditionally paid much attention to his eating habits overall.

[inline_node:295644]“I always prepared days before a game," he said, "but I have always eaten what I wanted and snacked when I wanted, and been lucky with my metabolism."

Will it all work? Boswell hopes so. The Dynamo conceded 49 goals in 2010, second worst in the league. And Boswell knows that regardless of individual play, players are judged in the end by the team’s success.

“When you look at lists of the best defenders, they're usually from the best teams in the league,” Boswell said. “Despite what some people think, no matter how well you do, if your team doesn't do well, people think you had a bad year.”

Boswell says he’s eager to see how the team’s new crop of defenders work in 2011, including former IK Start stalwart Hunter Freeman, youngster Jordan Graye, and highly touted Generation adidas member Kofi Sarkodie.

“It's pretty obvious with the moves we made that we got a ton of guys defensively. and that will be good with some new guys fighting for spots and pushing the guys that are already here,” Boswell said. “Not to say it wasn't like that last year, but we've always been known as one of the best team defenses, and we have to get back to it. Whether it was a mental or physical thing, as a professional athlete, you have to correct that or you won’t find yourself playing on the weekend.”