HOUSTON – Corey Ashe may play in Ohio this week after all.
After missing a trip to Cleveland for what would have been his first US national team camp with a groin injury, Ashe was back on the training pitch Friday as the Houston Dynamo prepare for a trip to face the Columbus Crew Saturday evening (7:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live).
“Having him back on the training field is a good thing,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He seems to feel pretty good, good enough to train. We’ll find out more as we get closer to the game.”
The training session is less than a week after Ashe left last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at halftime with the injury and did not train earlier this week, but it’s not a guarantee that he will play the game. Veteran Mike Chabala took Ashe’s place for the last 45 minutes to help the team to their fourth straight road result.
Ashe training is a good sign for the Dynamo who may in fact need his pace and strength on the left side if the speedy Dominic Oduro takes the injured Eddie Gaven’s place on the Crew’s right side.
Left back is not the only position where Kinnear will have a decision to make.
Houston seems settled without Jermaine Taylor, who is out with a left shoulder injury, and the suspended Bobby Boswell. Eric Brunner and Ricardo Clark – who trained Friday for the first time this week – showed well last week.
However, the question comes in midfield as the Dynamo will be without wingers Boniek García and Brad Davis, who are currently serving with their respective national teams.
With some important decisions to make, the Dynamo will have to find a way to create service against a team they have not beaten since 2008 and not beaten at Crew Stadium since their championship season of 2007.
“We’re still bouncing around some ideas in the locker room,” Kinnear said. “It depends on the health of both Corey and Rico as we head closer to the game. I think both guys should be good and we’ll have a better idea of who’ll be in the eleven.”
Added Will Bruin: “They’re good and it’s always a good game against Columbus. We went two games without scoring and then scored in Kansas City. We need to score more. Some guys are going to have to step up but I think our team is deep and we’re confident guys can step in and provide service.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.