With inclement weather taking hold throughout the week at Houston Sports Park, Dynamo interim head coach Davy Arnaud was forced to take a different approach on practicing Tuesday morning.
Instead of working on tactics or set pieces for this weekend’s crucial match against Orlando City, the Dynamo ending up participating in a 5 v 5 soccer tennis tournament to get their competitive juices flowing while lightening the mood after a tough loss on the weekend.
“Listen, you have to go find the moments to do that because this is so supposed to be fun. What we’re doing is a privilege,” Arnaud said. “I feel as players, you play at your best when you’re enjoying yourself, when you’re playing with joy, when you’re playing with confidence, I think that’s how you get the best out of people.”
Divided into four squads, the Dynamo players competed in two round-robin games before the two undefeated sides squared off. Not surprisingly, captain DaMarcus Beasley's team won the "championship." The title-winning squad was comprised of Beasley, Tommy McNamara, Maynor Figueroa, Memo Rodriguez and Mauro Manotas.
“You know obviously, it’s not ideal weather, it changed our plans a little bit today. We would’ve been outside, and it could be the situation all week for us," Arnaud said. "It’s not good weather, but we talked about it this morning and said, 'Listen, we have to be flexible in what we’re going to do this week.'”
Though the Dynamo are vying for a spot in the MLS playoffs with four matches to play, the mood today was light. Coming off a tough 2-1 loss on the road at Vancouver, the players weren’t dwelling on what could’ve been. Even as the weather threw a wrench in their plans to get out on the pitch, they were competing, diving for loose balls and challenging every point - adapting to the situation at hand.
“You have to keep reiterating, believing in the process, and believing in what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to build,” Arnaud said. “The planning and the mentality, and the approach it doesn’t change. It needs to be tweaked based on if we’re on the grass or the turf. It’s not an easy situation, but we’ll approach it the same way and get ready for Orlando.”
The Dynamo are back in action this Saturday night at 7:30 PM when Orlando City comes to BBVA Stadium for Soccer Kicks Cancer Night.