HOUSTON – Boniek García has been touted as a great fit for the Houston Dynamo for more than a year, and he validated those claims in Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.
The Dynamo’s new Designated Player put in a buzzing performance that gave the near-capacity crowd and his new teammates a taste of the type of spark he can bring to the squad. For a city and franchise that has always celebrated high-energy players like former stalwarts Brian Mullan and Stuart Holden, the Honduran international is exactly what the club expected when they signed him last month.
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“Fantastic,” striker Brian Ching said. “I think he adds a dimension to our team in the sense that he runs at guys, takes guys on, creates numerous advantages for us in the final third. He fits well into our system and I think he’s going to have a huge impact for us this season."
While he was seemingly everywhere on the field and provided a helpful hand in both Dynamo goal sequences, his decision before the match will do as much to endear him to his new home. Just days after arriving in Houston, García wasted no time in showing that he’s willing to put in the work by taking a starting assignment on short notice and making the most of it.
“I thought he was energetic, smart on the ball and he’s confident,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I think for a guy to come in and to play like he did just shows you that he’s a confident player and he’s a good player. I think that it was a good debut for him and I hope he continues to play that way for us.”
Ching makes the most of sub appearance
Scoring the winning goal is not new territory for Ching, but the manner in which he made his impact Saturday was certainly different. Ching put his imprint on the match as a 74th-minute sub for Will Bruin before scoring the winning goal.
“A lot of teams [tire] when they come in the last 15 to 20 minutes, in every single game so far this year,” Ching said. “Probably that’s because of the heat. So coming off the bench you’re running at tired defenders, chasing around tired defenders. Obviously it’s an advantage.”
Ching pounced on that advantage in the 83rd minute by nailing a penalty kick, his first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium. He set up the PK opportunity by drawing a foul from Gabriel Farfan.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.