When asked if Calen Carr's injury changed the Houston Dynamo’s offseason plans, head coach Dominic Kinnear replied, “No, not at all.”
Instead, Kinnear offered his encouragement to a player who is well-liked by the staff and players with an emphasis on health.
“For us, we have a good medical staff and training staff that will give him a good amount of time and care. For me, all it is now is about his recovery,” the Dynamo boss explained to MLSsoccer.com by phone on Wednesday. “I feel bad for him. There’s not much more you can say than that. He’s a good person and a good player for us.”
And he's been a guy who cannot catch a break.
Carr tore the ACL in his left knee after a challenge on LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez in the second half of this past weekend's MLS Cup final. The collision took Carr, who scored Houston’s only goal in the 44th minute, out of the game and has now ruled him out for the foreseeable future.
It’s his second ACL tear in the last four years. In between, he also missed most of 2011 with post-concussion symptoms.
“You never want to see anybody injured, especially when they play for your team,” Kinnear tsaid. “He’s been through something like this before, so he knows what it takes to come back from it.
“For me, as far as the coach of this team, he has my backing and 100 percent support for him trying to get back on the field for as long as it takes. He’s a valuable member of our team.”
The injury cut short a Cup final that was a representation of the impact Carr had on the Dynamo in 2012. His slashing runs, speed and ability both with and without the ball were causing problems for the Galaxy backline before his exit. The Dynamo were up 1-0 heading into the final half hour, but with Carr off the field, LA came back for the 3-1 final.
That game-changing ability set Carr apart during the season, and have him as one of the first in line for a spot next to Will Bruin once he makes a full recovery.
“I thought the partnership him and Will were forming in the playoffs was a real good one and a real effective and productive one,” Kinnear offered. “If you look at last year’s playoff run, he was a big part of that as well. He’s a smart player and picked up a couple of assists.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.