HOUSTON – The 2012 season has not gotten off to the start many envisioned for the Houston Dynamo’s Luiz Camargo.
After coming to the club as an August transfer, the Brazilian found the field quickly with his sharp passing and creative play. After making an impact on the club’s late season success, the playmaker was expected to pick up where he left off at the end of last year.
But visa issues surrounding his then pregnant wife delayed his arrival in camp and an offseason car accident further impacted Camargo’s ability to get his season started.
“[The accident] had an effect because I had a cut low in my leg,” Camargo told MLSsoccer.com through a translator on Thursday. “I couldn’t run, I couldn’t do anything. It really affected my fitness.”
Camargo, who will miss the trip to San Francisco to take on the San Jose Earthquakes this weekend to be with his wife who had their child on Wednesday, was relegated to fitness work when he arrived in Houston and it has been a slow process coming back.
The 24-year-old played in seven preseason matches and showed spells of the creative play he displayed last season. However, he is still working his way back and was an unused sub for Houston’s season-opening 1-0 win over Chivas USA.
While the former Clube Paraná man has been forced to watch from the sidelines during matches, there are positives to draw from early in the season – namely his continued integration into the club.
“It’s a huge advantage,” Camargo said about having a preseason with the club. “Now I know my teammates, the way they play and what they like to do on the field. I know my coach exactly the same way. It’s a great advantage to be able to come in and assimilate everything that’s being put on the field into what I can bring to the club.”
When that will happen in an MLS regular-season match is yet to be determined.
Camargo went the full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 1-0 reserve win over the Colorado Rapids. The increased work has him optimistic about getting back on the field. However, there is still some work to be done before he’s ready to contribute again.
“He looked OK [on Tuesday],” Head coach Dominic Kinnear said after Thursday’s training session. “He’s got some work to do and he’s got some stuff going on off the field with his wife just having a baby so a lot of stuff’s on his mind. On the field, I think he’s still a little bit away.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.