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Dynamo Notebook: Intensity ramps up during bye week

HOUSTON – With their next match to be played on April 15 at the Chicago Fire, the Houston Dynamo have another two weeks before they face live bullets. Considering they lost their last game – a 2-0 defeat away to the Seattle Sounders on March 23 – that’s much too long of a wait for players who can only work against, and sometimes take out their frustrations on, each other.

“I think everyone’s competitive and that’s the way it needs to be out here,” midfielder Brad Davis said about a 45-minute intra-squad scrimmage on Tuesday. “Nobody here likes to lose. … We don’t have a game on the weekend, so maybe [the intensity’s] ramped up a bit more but you like to see that out of the guys. I’m happy with it.”

After a rare three days off last weekend, the Dynamo have gotten the second of their three weeks off with an intense feel highlighted by Tuesday’s spirited scrimmage.

The game had a preseason feel to it with the club going the full length of the field and players – such as Brian Ownby, who got time at right back – playing different positions. But there was no shortage of bodies hitting the ground as the club looks to stay sharp during an unusually long layoff.

“It’s always good to get to play 11-a-side because that’s when you get to show your stuff and get experience of what game situations will be like,” defender Kofi Sarkodie said. “It was good playing 45 minutes and getting to build on the fitness and all the good stuff that comes with it.”

Preseason approach to Laredo Heat match

Houston will have an opportunity to blow off some steam against an outside opponent on Thursday when the take on the PDL Laredo Heat in a friendly. Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said Tuesday he will use the match to get everyone involved.

“I think we’ll mix it up,” the Dynamo boss said about his planned approach to Thursday’s match. “We’ll probably make a lot of changes like we’ve done in preseason.”

Sarkodie back in action

After sitting out in a walking boot last Thursday with a nagging injury to his right foot, Sarkodie was back in full training on Monday. The 21-year-old suffered the injury prior to the Olympic qualifying tournament.

“It was a little sore,” Sarkodie said. "I was doing maintenance work on it and now it feels good. I trained [Monday] and [Tuesday] and I feel good overall.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.

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