HOUSTON — The old saying goes “patience is a virtue,” but it can also be a burden.
For the Houston Dynamo’s newest midfielder, Luiz Camargo, that aphorism certainly applies. The 24-year-old central midfielder has bided his time since January to make a move to Houston while a number of obstacles stood in the way. The waiting finally paid off as the Brazilian arrived in Houston on Sunday and is ready to get his MLS career started.
“[Luiz] is a good professional and has a lot of enthusiasm to be here,” said Camargo’s agent, Nelson Sturmhoebel, who confirmed Camargo is signed at least through the end of the season. “It was not because of him that he’s not been here since January. The negotiations were difficult, but that’s normal in Brazil because of the amount of good players.”
Camargo and the Dynamo have danced around each other since head coach Dominic Kinnear first saw him on a scouting trip in January. Houston and Camargo’s former team, Clube Paraná, went through lengthy negotiations, culminating in a deal some seven months after the their initial interaction.
And once it looked like his path to Houston was clear, it turned out the midfielder had more waiting to do. Houston announced the deal August 9, but Camargo was again held up, this time by red tape regarding his P-1 visa and international transfer certificate.
He received his approval on both accounts last Friday, once and for all clearing the path to Houston.
“It was a long situation in Brazil, but I’m here and now,” Camargo said through a translator. "All that matters is what happens from here til the future."
Finally in Houston, Camargo is looking to jump right into the fray for the Dynamo. He joins a midfield that has become the team strength in recent weeks with stalwarts Brad Davis and Geoff Cameron stepping up and major contributions coming from Colin Clark, Adam Moffat and Alex Dixon. Houston are suddenly rife with quality in the center of the pitch, and have climbed the Eastern Conference standings as a result.
Camargo played mainly as a holding midfielder in the center of the pitch for Paraná, and is ready to take advantage of his opportunity to show why the Dynamo went to great lengths in bringing him to Houston.
When asked about his ability to come in and make an impact in the final eight regular-season games, he was clear about his role and view of his new club.
“I’m pretty sure this team has more than eight games left,” Camargo said. “I’m sure they’re going to qualify [for the playoffs] and I’m ready to help in this squad any way I can.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.