HOUSTON – When the Houston Dynamo signed Carlo Costly and Luiz Camargo to loan deals in August, it was clear they were being brought in to help the club make a late season push.
With just two games left in the season and Houston sitting in the 10th and final playoff berth, there is added – and unfamiliar – pressure for the pair to perform and get the Dynamo into the postseason.
“This is a new system for me, even though we have playoffs in Mexico, and I don’t know much about the way’s it’s done here,” Costly told MLSsoccer.com through a translator Wednesday.
While Costly has some familiarity with a playoff system having played for Mexican club Atlas, for Camargo it is a new concept entirely.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this," Camargo said through a translator. "In Brazil, we go by points and that determines the champion. But for now, we’re just seeing how it is and I am trying to contribute and help us get the most points possible.”
While the playoffs are a different system, the goal remains the same: win championships. And both players will be counted on to play big roles in Houston’s push for a third championship. The Dynamo have posted a good 4-2-4 record since the pair’s arrival, and while they can share credit in the team’s improvement, they still need to play their part in getting the team over the hump.
“Pressure’s always there, especially for foreign players,” Costly said. “We’re brought here for specific reasons, and, at least for me, that’s to score. The pressure’s there regardless and hopefully we can change things soon.”
Between the two of them, Camargo and Costly have two assists and no goals. But despite their underwhelming statistics, their contributions have caught the eye of their teammates.
“I think they’ve fit in well,” Brad Davis said. “Luiz has come in and worked hard and played better each week. Carlo’s another guy who’s had to get used to it here. The games he’s played in, yeah he hasn’t gotten on the score sheet and we’d love for that to happen, but he’s played well and helped bring other guys into the game.”
And unfamiliarity aside, Costly certainly understands the basic idea going forward.
“The idea’s to be champions,” Costly said. “The idea’s to finish this season off well and be in good position for this new tournament, which is the playoffs, and win a championship.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.