Nigel Brooks

A year later, Elliot looking to impress Dynamo

HOUSTON – It may be a year after originally thought, but Calum Elliot is ready to explore a future with the Houston Dynamo.

A target before the 2012 season, the now 25-year-old Scottish forward turned down a chance to train with club in favor of a move to Lithuania. Out of contract, Elliot is in Houston to see if a chance he once turned down can lead to the next step in his young career.

“Speaking with people over in Scotland they spoke highly of him,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We tried to bring him in last year but he went to Lithuania instead. When his name came up we thought we’d invite him in and take a look and so far he’s looked pretty good.”

Elliot has a track record as a goal scorer throughout his career. The Scottish striker joined Hearts of Midlothian as a teenager in 2004 and scored 26 goals during his time with Hearts and on loan to Motherwell, Livingston and Dundee before a right knee injury derailed his career in 2011. Last year, however, Elliot returned from injury and was back at it, scoring 17 goals for Zalgris Vilnius.

Now he is trying his luck with a team and league that has been on his radar for some time.

“I know quite a lot because I watched quite a few games last year,” Elliot said about his knowledge of Major League Soccer. “Obviously, I know the situation with the team here and they were obviously unlucky in the last game last season. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to be part of the team.”

His first chance to do that in a game setting will be Thursday when the Dynamo take on the U-18 Academy team in the first scrimmage of the preseason.

If he can impress, he could be the next in a line of Scottish players to try and stake their claim to playing time in MLS, including the Dynamo’s own Adam Moffat.

“Obviously, there’re quite a few Scottish boys over here,” Elliot said. “I think it’s the life style and the weather and obviously it’s a thriving league. If you think you’ve got enough about you to try a new experience it’s definitely worth the opportunity.”

Taylor to join Jamaica

Dynamo center back Jermaine Taylor has been called up by the Jamaican Football Federation for the squad's Feb. 6 World Cup qualifier against Mexico.

Taylor will leave for camp after Thursday’s scrimmage and joins Honduran Boniek Garcia as players who will miss time in camp due to qualifying efforts.  The U.S. roster for their match against Honduras, which could feature Brad Davis, Will Bruin or Tally Hall, will not be announced until early February.

“[National team absences] seem to be a regular theme for us, which is wonderful itself because we do have a good squad of players,” Kinnear said.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.