Weaver’s tap-in that contributed the Houston Dynamo’s part of a 1-1 draw with the Fire was his first MLS goal since May 28, 2011. It’s been a long wait that’s been complete with a number of shots off the post in the south end of BBVA Compass Stadium along with injuries that crop up just in time to circumvent his opportunities to play.
Saturday, however, there was nothing to stop him as he finally got his reward for the hard work his teammates see every day.
“I thought he was due for a goal,” head coach Dominic Kinnear remarked after Saturday’s draw. “I’m sure he’s frustrated at times but he was a big part of what we were trying to do tonight. He works hard every day. He wants to be on the field. He wants to make a positive impact, and tonight I’m happy for him.”
Weaver’s filled in up top as the Dynamo deal with the absences of Will Bruin, who’s been part of the Gold Cup-winning U.S. squad, and injuries to Omar Cummings and Brian Ching. While he’s not flashy, he’s put together the type of performances you’d expect. He’s held the ball up, taken the punishment – delivered his fair share – and worked to help Houston’s attack go.
For a player that personifies the team focus, it’s fitting that his tally came on a quintessential team goal where five players touched the ball in less than 20 seconds.
It started with Boniek Garcia tracking back and winning just inside the Dynamo's half. Adam Moffat then switched the ball to Corey Ashe who released the returning Brad Davis who found a streaking Weaver for the long-awaited goal.
“That’s great play from us, just wish it was the winning goal,” Moffat said. “[Weaver] would’ve been starting this year, he had a great preseason, but he got injured. It’s great for him because he works so hard in training. He just grinds away. Glad he scored and hopefully he can get plenty more.”
Weaver’s role going forward isn’t clear as Bruin is due back and Cummings is getting healthy. Having a goal under his belt, however, will serve as a confidence boost going forward. And if this season’s shown anything, it’s that, for one reason or another, his hard work will be needed on the pitch again.
“I told him when I congratulated him ‘I’m one of the most happy guys out here for you because I know how hard you work,’” center back Bobby Boswell said. “He’s a silent type. Just goes out there and does his work and goes home. He’s just ready to roll and tonight he got his goal.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.