Houston’s Moffat gives the lowdown on fellow Scot Boyd

Adam Moffat has been receiving more than a few long-distance calls lately with people back home in Scotland wanting the latest scoop. Namely, what’s up with Kris Boyd?

It was a big story that the Scottish Premier League’s all-time leading scorer was pursuing a contract in MLS, first being courted by Moffat’s Houston Dynamo before he eventually signed as a Designated Player with the Portland Timbers.

Moffat, who was born in Scotland and played there for Ross County and Elgin City, may not have had the chance to speak to his compatriot during his visit to Houston, but he knows what Boyd is all about.

“Inside the box, he’s a predator,” Moffat told MLSsoccer.com about the former Rangers hit man. “He can finish. Nothing too flashy, but he puts the ball in the back of the net. He’s an old-fashioned striker.”

For all of Boyd’s scoring exploits in Scotland – he scored 164 goals with Rangers and Kilmarnock – it would be a notable achievement to break through in MLS. Few Scotsmen have succeeded outside their own country, and Moffat recognizes it’s an issue in the Scottish game.

“We definitely realize that a lot of players, even going down to England, a lot of guys get homesick,” Moffat said. “We have a few Scots playing down there [in England] but a lot of guys go down there and want to go back to Scotland. It’s a nice country, but I don’t have that feeling. We [Scots] don’t do well playing in different countries.

“It’ll be interesting to see how [Boyd] does with that. He had the opportunity to come to Houston and didn’t want to do that. For a Scot, Portland is a little bit more like back home.”

Boyd hasn’t been in the spotlight in recent years since leaving Rangers, slowed down by injuries and a move to Turkish club Eskisehirspor that didn’t pan out. Moffat, who was a Timbers player last season, is just as curious as Portland fans to see how he responds to the challenges of MLS.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he gets on in this league and playing up there in Portland on a smaller field,” Moffat said. “He’s a guy that for a club gets the ball in the back of the net given good service. If they’re pinging balls in the box, it’ll be interesting to see.”