HOUSTON – The Scottish media have taken notice.
The Glasgow Evening Times and the Scottish Daily Record have done the stories about one of their own, Houston Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat, making the MLS Cup final. The writer from the Scottish Sun texts him directly.
And amid all the questions from back home, there’s one in particular that keeps recurring: What will it be like to go up against the LA Galaxy’s David Beckham in the MLS Cup final?
“We’ve really never directly went head-to-head, which I think we will be more so here now,” Moffat told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday after practice. “When I played with Columbus, we played different positions, so I think we’ll be more directly matched up and people have been asking me questions about facing him.”
Moffat, the Dynamo’s holding midfielder, has settled in nicely into the position in front of the back four, and is expected to cross paths with Beckham, who has taken more of an attacking midfield role in the center of the Galaxy midfield this year.
The two have shared the same MLS field just once in their careers, for 20 minutes in a 3-1 Galaxy victory at The Home Depot Center in September 2010.
“He’s a great player,” Moffat said of Beckham. “He’s got great quality. … He’s a hard worker and he’s got the right attitude. That’s good for me. I want to play against the best possible and I’m looking forward to it.”
Although Beckham likes to find gaps by drifting to the left and right, making it hard for other players to mark him, Moffat is convinced it will take a team effort to close him down whenever he receives the ball.
“We’ll get pressure on him,” Moffat assured. “Obviously, his delivery is world-class. We’ll have guys preventing him from getting that in.”
Moffat has become a regular since his trade from the Portland Timbers on July 21, and the team has gone 6-2-4 in the matches he’s started down the final stretch. The 25-year-old Scotsman has contributed two long-distance bombs during his time in Houston, earning him the nickname of “Hot Shot Hamish” from his Scottish-born head coach Dominic Kinnear. The name comes from the 1970s comic-strip character Hamish Balfour, the man with the most powerful shot in the world, which often caused the net to burst.
So maybe becoming a larger-than-life figure back home in Scotland is not so far fetched. Pick up Thursday’s Scottish Sun and you’ll read about how Moffat hopes to parlay his success in MLS to a Scottish national team call-up. Only Beckham and the Galaxy stand in his way of making that interest a little harder to ignore.
“They work hard, but we have guys who work harder,” Moffat said with conviction at the Dynamo pep rally held at City Hall on Wednesday night. “Teams don’t like playing against us. They’re not going to have things their own way. We just plan to keep that going.”