Much has been made of the Houston Dynamo’s situation at forward. With just three strikers returning from the MLS Cup 2011 finalist squad, there looks to be an impending battle for time at the position. For incumbent Cam Weaver, jumping into the fray is going to require some patience.
Weaver is still rehabbing a hip injury that kept him out of commission all of October and throughout the Dynamo’s playoff run. With camp just days away – Houston open their preseason on Jan. 23 – Weaver is still battling to return to full fitness three months after the surgery that ended his season.
And while the possibility of open minutes intrigues him, Weaver, who has battled injuries in the past, is determined to hold off until he is ready to resume full workouts before he starts to make his case for playing time.
“Coming back from that type of surgery, there’s no need to push it to be ready on [Jan. 23],” Weaver told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “The goal is to be able to play in some of the preseason games and be 100 percent by the season opener.”
The 6-foot-3 forward logged 16 starts in 2011, most coming while Brian Ching was out injured early in the year, and was productive. The tall striker tallied four times for the Dynamo but saw his playing time wane as Ching returned and Carlo Costly and then Calen Carr took the spot next to the former US international.
With Ching currently donning a blue Montreal Impact kit, there looks to be a spot open for a target forward in the Dynamo attack. It is a role that Weaver fills well with his ability to play with his back to the goal.
While the roster turnover may present more opportunities, Weaver is taking a rational approach into preseason camp. It is one centered on what he can control, which is his own performance, and making sure he is fit and letting the rest of the situation play out.
“There’s always motivation, regardless of who’s on the squad, to make your case to start,” Weaver said. “But guys are always coming and going. Brian leaves and it opens a vacancy that they’ll end up bringing in someone to take his spot. You have to just focus on yourself and try and perform the best you can and hopefully it all works out.”
Preseason schedule announced
The Dynamo revealed their preseason schedule earlier this week. The club will spend time in Houston; Carson, Calif.; and Orlando, Fla., during this preseason.
Along the way, the Dynamo will play seven games against MLS competition and another four games at the Houston Amatuer Sports Park – their training home – against the Dynamo Academy (Jan. 28), San Jacinto College (Feb. 1), Houston Baptist University (Feb. 4) and Southern Methodist University (Feb. 18).
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.