HOUSTON — Tuesday’s 1-0 reserve league win could serve as a springboard for Houston Dynamo rookie Kofi Sarkodie.
After showing well in his first league start in week two against Seattle, the seventh overall pick has not had much time on the pitch. Part of that is his own fault: Sarkodie was given two yellow cards and sent off the next time he saw the pitch after that Seattle game, in the Texas derby against FC Dallas.
Coming off the tough performance vs. FCD, his effort on Tuesday in a reserve win over Colorado could be what the rookie defender needs to get things going in the right direction. Sarkodie had the only goal of the game and played well on both sides of the ball.
“Any time you take the field, you can go up or stay the same,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We talked to him after the Dallas game and pointed out a few things, and it’s good that he came out here and had a good game.”
Sarkodie was happy with his performance.
“It was good because after the red card against Dallas, I’ve been working a lot on what to do in certain situations, especially when I get the ball,” Sarkodie said. “It was important to use that in the game today, and fortunately I got inside and got a goal.”
Sarkodie’s goal came off an impressive individual effort that saw the fleet-footed rookie dribble around two defenders and beat the ‘keeper for the game-winner. It showed the attacking ability that put him on top on the Dynamo’s wish list in the 2011 SuperDraft.
Since coming to Houston, the rookie has not ventured forward much in his time with the team, as he’s gone through lengthy process of getting to know how his teammates play and when to pick his moments.
“It was good for Kofi to take a chance going forward and get a goal like he did,” said Kinnear. “One thing we really liked about him is the way he attacks, and we’ve been encouraging him to go forward because that’s a strong part of his game.”
Sarkodie wasn’t the only rookie to gain some momentum out of the match. Forward Will Bruin has not scored since his sensational hat trick on April 30 against D.C. United. He's struggled in recent weeks to generate chances, but against the Colorado reserves, the 6-foot-3 forward provided an energy boost as a second half sub, pressuring the defense and helping the Dynamo create chances late in the game.
“When Will came on late, it made a big difference,” Kinnear said. “We got a little deeper in attack and created more chances.”
Bruin’s hopeful it translates to the league game this weekend at home against Chivas USA.
“It was a good confidence boost to go out and get some good touches and create some chances on goal that I’ve been lacking lately, and hopefully it’ll help come Saturday,” Bruin said.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.