With Carr questionable, Dynamo show confidence in depth
HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo could have a different look at the top of their formation Sunday afternoon.
For the second straight day the Dynamo were without Calen Carr at training. The versatile Carr, who was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, was having a fantastic playoff run before a hamstring strain cut his Wednesday night outing against Sporting Kansas City short.
With the forward still working back from his injury, the Dynamo are prepared to move forward against D.C. United in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship Sunday (4 pm ET, NBCSN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com) and are confident in their options.
“[Mac Kandji’s] been starting and Brian [Ching] and Cam [Weaver] can do it,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said after Saturday’s training. “It’s been good to have five forwards and it depends on the situation and the type of game we’re playing.”
While who starts at forward is not clear, sure-fire starter Will Bruin has no lack of confidence in his fellow strikers.
“If Calen can’t go we have multiple guys that can go up top with me and the level doesn’t drop off any,” Bruin said. “It’s tough when you have to go play with a different partner and try and feel it out when you haven‘t played together in a while. We have different types of players and it just depends on what Dom is gonna do and he’ll let us know tomorrow.”
Wednesday’s replacement for Carr was Kandji, who spent most of his time on the left side of a 4-5-1. The Senegalese speedster has rebooted his career this season in Houston, spending time as a starter both on the wing and up top.
If Kandji is called upon to replace Carr his experience up top working with Bruin as part of a three-man frontline this season will come in handy.
“Me and Will have played in the position plenty of times so we have that connection,” Kandji said. “There shouldn’t be a problem running off each other or him going behind or vice versa. It doesn’t matter what formation we play we should be good to go.”
Joining Carr on Friday’s injury report were Ricardo Clark (adductor strain) and Jermaine Taylor (left knee sprain). With the possibility that injuries could force more changes, the Dynamo are pulling together with the confidence everyone on the roster can get it done.
“We always talk about it’s a group effort. We’d love to have those guys if available but in reality we may not,” Brad Davis told MLSsoccer.com. “Whatever personnel steps in we expect them to come in with the right attitude put in a good effort and keep the level high.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.