HOUSTON – Brad Davis and Calen Carr’s long wait to return to match action for the Houston Dynamo may soon be at an end.
The duo have sat out every preseason match so far due to injury – Davis due to a right quad tear suffered in the 2011 Eastern Conference Championship and Carr due to offseason knee surgery – but both were cleared earlier this week to return to full game action. With the club in Orlando for its final three preseason games at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, the impending action provides an opportunity, however brief, for the pair to get ready for the start of the season on March 11.
“I feel like I’m fit, but game fitness is a little different,” Davis said. “I have to build up strength in the muscles. The goal is to be ready for the season.”
Both Carr and Davis are hoping to get 15 or 20 minutes in Friday’s match against Sporting Kansas City to start what they hope is a quick road back.
“Playing in these games is valuable to get a rhythm,” Carr said. “So far, we’ve built a good chemistry, and that’s what you want to do coming to the end here because you want to be able to come out of the gates on March 11 well.”
One player battling injury that is less optimistic about seeing action in Florida is defender Andre Hainault, who is nursing a minor groin injury and was not sure Monday if he would see time in the final preseason matches.
“Every day it gets better and slowly we’re increasing stuff I can do,” Hainault said. “I just don’t want it to drag longer than it needs too.”
Final dress rehearsals
After playing their last two matches against Southern Methodist University and the Dynamo Academy, Houston are looking to use their final three games against MLS competition to round of the edges as they push to be ready Mar. 11. The Dynamo play Sporting KC on Friday, the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday and the Montreal Impact on Feb. 29. The matches represent their final opportunity to prepare for the season.
“We’re going to have three, maybe four, competitive games in a short amount of times so guys will get extended minutes and get fitter,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear, who said the club may look to add a match while in Florida. “We’re playing against good competition again so we’ll be able to test ourselves defensively and offensively.”
Last chance to impress
Five trialists – Eder Arreola, Warren Creavalle, Brian Ownby, Oscar Recio and Emerson Sato – are all in Orlando with the club without a contract. With three games against MLS competition left, the quintet has one last chance to make their case to stay with Houston entering the season.
“The intensity will be really high because this is the last chance to show I can help the team,” Arreola told MLSsoccer.com Monday. “I can understand there’s a process so the next three games I have to go all out and try and impress Dom.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.