HOUSTON – The last time the Houston Dynamo played an MLS match, coach Dominic Kinnear was forced to make three injury substitutions in one game. As they prepare to return to league play after an 18-day layoff, they look to have turned those fortunes around.
Since that last league game, a 1-1 road draw with the Columbus Crew on June 1, the Dynamo have welcomed back Omar Cummings from a knee injury and Bobby Boswell – who missed two games due to suspension – in Reserve League and US Open Cup action.
Their returns were buoyed by the inclusion of previously injured players Adam Moffat, Eric Brunner, Cam Weaver, Giles Barnes and Jermaine Taylor on the travel roster for their return to MLS action Wednesday at Eastern Conference-leading Montreal (8 pm ET, watch on MLS Live).
“They’ve been cleared to practice and that means they’re a step closer to playing,” Kinnear said. “They’ve gotten through a couple of practices so we’ll see as we get closer to the game.”
The most high-profile returns are those of Barnes, Taylor and Boswell. Boswell missed two games due to a suspension for his headbutt on New England Revolution forward Dimitry Imbongo. Barnes and Taylor are coming back off ankle and shoulder injuries, respectively, that limited them in past weeks.
“Ankle’s a little bit swollen but that’s just part of it,” Barnes told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ve got a full week of training under my belt and I’m ready to go.”
Battling injuries, suspensions and international call-ups, Houston has run out the same starting group in back-to-back games just twice this season, and used 11 different lineup combinations in 16 games.
So Houston may be getting their injured core back, but will likely still have to do without influential midfielders Brad Davis and Boniek García in Montreal. Both are in Sandy, Utah, for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier between the USA and Honduras (9 pm ET, ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
Garcia picked up a hamstring injury in Honduras’ last game and is likely to miss the US match. But Kinnear did not conclusively rule out the possibility that Davis – depending on what type of role he plays for the USMNT – might be able to jet into Montreal in time to play a part on Wednesday.
“We haven’t talked about it. It all depends on his inclusion [with the US],” Kinnear said of Davis. “We don’t bother him with anything because we want him to concentrate on where he’s at. When that’s finished, then we’ll talk to him.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.