HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo's goals heading down the preseason home stretch are simple: Stay healthy, stay fit and stay sharp.
Monday's 5-0 scrimmage win over San Jacinto College at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex accomplished all three goals, as well as gave a few players involved in position battles a chance to shine.
Veteran forward Cam Weaver made the most of the opportunity, scoring a brace in the first half. His first goal came off a through-ball from Dominic Oduro in the 19th minute, and the 6-foot-4 forward headed home a cross from Brad Davis in the 31st minute.
“The second goal was definitely a Cam Weaver-type of goal where the ball went wide and he attacked it in the box,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "And the first was a good play by Dominic and he converted."
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One of five forwards in camp, Weaver finds himself jostling for position on the depth chart. It’s a tough battle in which all the participants have shown well throughout the preseason.
“I’m just trying to focus on myself and do whatever I can to help the team,” Weaver said. “You want to work on staying sharp on the ball and creating chances as much as possible.”
Joining Weaver in the scoring column were fellow forward Will Bruin, Brad Davis and Alex Dixon. Davis started the scoring, converting on a third-minute penalty kick given for a San Jacinto hand ball in the box.
Bruin scored for the second straight match, notching a goal in the 62nd minute. The rookie forward started the play by releasing Danny Cruz down the right flank. Cruz then returned the ball to Bruin, who finished in the box for his fourth preseason goal.
Dixon, a Home Grown signing out of the University of North Carolina, scored his first Dynamo goal from Francisco Navas Cobo's corner kick in 64th minute. Dixon played forward at UNC but has shown his versatility for Houston by playing central midfield a majority of the time.
“Alex has played a lot of positions for us this preseason,” Kinnear said. “I was happy for him to get a goal. … We’ve been encouraging him to go forward more because he has explosive speed.”
The club will be in Atlanta later this week looking to continue building momentum ahead of opening day with their final two preseason matches against Columbus on Friday and New England on Sunday.
“Right now we’re focusing on how we play,” Weaver said. “It’s about working as hard as you can and keeping that level of play as high as possible.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter @Dynamoexaminer.