When the Houston Dynamo signed Carlo Costly and Luiz Camargo to loan deals in August it was clear they were being brought in to help the club make a late season push. With just two games left in the season and Houston sitting in the 10th and final playoff berth, there is added – and unfamiliar – pressure for the pair to perform and get the Dynamo into the postseason.
“This is a new system for me," Costly told MLSsoccer.com through a translator Wednesday. "Even though we have playoffs in Mexico, I don’t know much about the way it’s done here.”
While Costly has some familiarity with a playoff system having played for Mexican club Atlas, for Camargo it is a new concept entirely.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this," he said through a translator. "In Brazil we go by points and that determines the champion. But for now, we’re just seeing how it is and I am trying to contribute and help us get the most points possible.”
While the playoffs are a different system, the goal remains the same. Both players will be counted on to play big roles in the coming weeks as Houston makes its push for a third championship.
Since the pair's arrival, the Dynamo have posted a 4-2-4 record. Camargo's composure in the midfield has allowed head coach Dominic Kinnear to slide Geoff Cameron into one of the center back roles. Costly has been a strong addition to the front-line, working hard to get himself into scoring opportunities. While the duo can share credit in the team’s improvement, they still need to play their part in getting the team over the hump.
“Pressure’s always there, especially for foreign players,” Costly said. “We’re brought here for specific reasons, and, at least for me, that’s to score. The pressure’s there and hopefully we can change things soon.”
Between the two of them, Camargo and Costly have two assists and no goals, but despite their underwhelming statistics, their contributions have caught the eye of their teammates.
“I think they’ve fit in well,” all-star midfielder Brad Davis said. “Luiz has come in and worked hard and played better each week. Carlo is another guy who has had to get used to it here. The games he has played in, yeah, he hasn’t gotten on the score sheet and we’d love for that to happen, but he’s played well and helped bring other guys into the game.”
Unfamiliarity aside, both the Brazilian Camargo and the Honduran Costly understands the basic idea going forward.
“The idea’s to be champions,” Costly said. “The idea’s to finish this season off well and be in good position for this new tournament, which is the playoffs, and win a championship.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.