After a couple weeks playing shorthanded, the Houston Dynamo look to have a full complement of players available as they host Toronto FC at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night (7:45 p.m.).
The team has had a short bench the last two matches—even with recalling players from loan—but fresh reinforcements arriving from the transfer window and training room should allow for more options for interim head coach Wade Barrett.
“We’ve got decisions to make now, which is what we’ve been looking for,” he said. “We’ve been pretty shorthanded over the last couple of weeks. It’s great now that we have these guys on board and that they’ve been getting involved in training.”
Among those in training have been new arrivals Keyner Brown, José Escalante, and Yair Arboleda, all of whom now have all of their transfer paperwork cleared. Brown and Escalante will be available for selection on Saturday, while Arboleda will go on loan for a second straight game to RGV FC.
“Yair is really coming along, he’s shown some really good things when he’s been with us,” Barrett said. “I still think the opportunity is there for him to get some game minutes just to get game sharp, so that when he’s with us he has the best possible chance to succeed. I want to make sure that the guys we brought in, we bring in at the right pace and we put them in in the best chance for them to succeed.”
Alex Lima also re-joins the selection process after serving a one-game suspension, and defender Agus is listed as probable for Saturday since suffering a left knee sprain in the Open Cup match against FC Dallas. Barrett said the Spaniard looked “sharp” after a full week of training.
The availability of Brown and Agus is important this week as regular starter David Horst will be suspended for the match and Raúl Rodríguez is still listed as questionable (alongside Ricardo Clark, who strained his adductor last week in Montreal). Either would be options to step into the starting lineup, or both if Barrett decided to move Jalil Anibaba back to his regular outside back position.
Erick “Cubo” Torres will also miss Saturday’s match as he returns to Houston from the Olympics in Brazil. After playing 90 minutes in Mexico’s finale against South Korea on Wednesday, Torres is expected back in Dynamo camp next week.