HOUSTON – Bobby Boswell is trying his best to make lemonade out of a batch of lemons.
The veteran center back is currently serving a two-game suspension from play in Major League Soccer and won’t return until June 19, but he’ll likely feature in the team’s US Open Cup opener against FC Tucson on Wednesday night (8:30 pm ET; Live Stream on houstondynamo.com).
“Open Cup’s important and you get to contribute when I normally wouldn’t play in these games,” Boswell told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s a tournament I’ve never won and I don’t think we’ve won it. It’s an opportunity to go out and try and set us off on the right foot.”
Boswell will likely be the most familiar face on the field Wednesday for the Dynamo, who are expected to field mostly players who do not receive regular playing time. Having a field general in that situation is an offshoot of Boswell making the most of his unexpected, and unwanted, vacation from MLS play.
“It’s good to have some veteran leadership back there,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Most of the time it’s an opportunity for guys who haven’t played in a while, but this is good for Bobby to be able to take the back four as he normally does and help guys out.”
Boswell has been a mainstay for the Dynamo the past year and a half starting 51 of the last 52 regular-season games. With that consistency comes a leadership role the center back has embraced.
Now Boswell is faced with time and opportunity where instead of working towards weekly regular-season games, he is a bystander and cheerleader as his teammates prepare to go into MLS action.
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While his weekly involvement has dwindled during the suspension, Boswell’s making the most of his time by putting in some work that he would not be able to do if participating in the week-in, week-out battles.
“If there is a silver lining to being an idiot and getting suspended, it’s that I’ll get to play and get some game fitness on top of some of the other fitness,” Boswell said. “I wouldn’t do some of the off the field workouts and I would taper that stuff down a little more for the regular season games.
"I get to work a little harder than I would with a regular-season game, because you want to be ready.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.