HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo searched throughout the entire offseason for a quick forward with a nose for score goals. The answer to that search could be Calen Carr, acquired on Wednesday in exchange for Dominic Oduro. The 28-year-old comes to Houston with a reputation for scoring the crucial moments of a match.
Carr’s first career goal came as a rookie in 2006 against New England, where he scored in the 91st minute to earn a draw at home against the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Among Carr’s nine career goals, two came against the Dynamo – one in 2008 as a starter and the other in 2010 as a substitute.
In addition to his ability to find the net when needed, Carr’s versatility provides an added dimension to the Dynamo attack. Carr can play both as a forward and wide midfielder, and has a track record of being effective in both a starter and substitute role.
[inline_node:316886]“The last time we saw him was here last year and he had a good game scoring a goal and creating another, so he’s a talented kid,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said after training on Wednesday.
Kinnear’s familiarity with Carr played a role in driving the trade. The speedy forward was at the University of California when Kinnear & Co. were still in San Jose.
With both in the Bay Area, Kinnear got to know Carr on a personal level, and the Houston boss is sure that the newcomer will have no problem fitting into the laid back Dynamo locker room.
While Carr brings a number of positives to the Dynamo, he also comes with a history of injuries. He spent much of the 2009 and 2010 seasons on the injured list, playing just 24 games in that span. Carr’s injury history has continued this season, when he missed the Fire’s season opener against FC Dallas because of a concussion.
“We’re talking to Calen today about the injury, but by all accounts, [his absence] should be anywhere from zero to two weeks,” Kinnear said.
Heading to Chicago will be Oduro, who returned to Houston just two weeks before the start of the season after finishing second on the Dynamo scoring chart in 2010 with five goals. The 25-year-old played 29 minutes in the season opening loss to Philadelphia, missing a late chance on an open net that would have given the Dynamo a result.
For a team that covets speed, the trade of Oduro wasn’t an easy decision.
“Sometimes you’ve got to give up something to get something, and Dominic was the person that equaled out the trade for Calen,” Kinnear said.
The Dynamo are confident Carr’s finishing ability and versatility will boost their ever-evolving roster.
“We are always seeking ways to improve the club, and we think this is a positive step forward,” said Dynamo president of business operations Chris Canetti in a team press release. “We are eager to benefit from the athleticism, skill and versatility that Calen brings to the team.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.