Last Saturday’s season opener against Seattle Sounders FC wasn’t just Adolfo Machado’s Houston Dynamo debut, it was also his Major League Soccer debut.
The 32-year-old Panamanian defender was announced as a reinforcement for the 2017 season in December, a move that saw him migrate his game to the United States after playing his entire career all over Central America.
The transition was seamless.
Machado generated a tackle, a defensive block, an interception, four recoveries, and a team-leading eight clearances in the 2-1 win against the defending MLS Cup champions. The night could be considered a great starting point, but a poised veteran like Machado knows there is plenty of room to improve and is already thinking about corrections for the next game.
“In the second half [against Seattle], we lost the rhythm of the match, the ball, how we like to play, and I think that we were able to organize ourselves and then go on the counterattack against the rival team and hopefully this weekend we will control the match well,” said Machado.
Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera, a key figure in recruiting Machado in the offseason, was pleased with the way his defense responded and how they implemented his in-game adjustments into practice.
“To hold a team like Seattle, with the type of players they have, is a big challenge, an important one,” said Cabrera. “We accomplished it, so we are happy in that regard. We must keep getting better.”
The next challenge for the Machado and company comes Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium (7:30 p.m. CT, TICKETS) in the form of a tricky Columbus Crew SC front composed of Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram and Ola Kamara. Machado is ready for the Black & Gold, and the challenges that await the rest of the season.
“I have been following all the teams, I have seen each of the games of the teams I will face later on,” said Machado. “Either way, I have to prepare the best way possible and fix the mistakes made last week in order to get better and be ready for the game next weekend.”