HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo could get a boost to their struggling defense with the possible return of Corey Ashe.
The starting left back has missed the past two games, including last weekend’s 4-2 defeat to Toronto FC, with injuries to his left knee. Head coach Dominic Kinnear said he’s feeling good about Ashe’s ability to play Saturday, also against Toronto (9 pm ET; MLS Live).
“Anytime you can get veteran guy back there and back on your backline,” said left midfielder and captain Brad Davis, “me and him playing together with the partnership we have and all our guys back in their right positions, is a good thing for our team.”
Last week it looked as if Ashe would come off the injured list after being involved in training throughout the week. But he said it was a bought with swelling that ruled him out of last week’s game.
In his place was an out-of-position Warren Creavalle, who was part of a defensive effort that saw Houston give up four unanswered goals after taking an early two-goal lead.
The hope is that getting back Ashe’s experience will help stem some of those bad habits.
“Hopefully it’s just some experience and leadership,” Ashe said when asked what he is hoping to add. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had the team together. Just getting Brad and I back going together and Jermaine [Taylor, center back] and I going back there together.”
Having Ashe back will reunite him with Davis, who he has spent the past three seasons playing behind. The pair has a well-known chemistry and has enjoyed good seasons on the same side of the field.
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“Corey and I have a very good partnership, a very good understanding and I think the team’s excited to have him back,” Davis said. “He’s a huge part of [the team] and has been for a long time. I think once we get him back we’ll have a full squad back. It’s good.”
If Ashe does in fact return to the starting XI on Saturday it will be the closest the club’s been to their opening day unit in the past Since April 5.
“He’s played many games at left back for us, and he’s a good left back,” Kinnear said. “Having him available makes us a better team for Saturday.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.