Dynamo Begin Pre-Season With Questions To Answer

The Houston Dynamo held their first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday against Houston Baptist University -- a side from the NCAA's mighty Great West Conference. Any Huskies fans out there hoping for a David versus Goliath scenario were sadly mistaken. This was more of a man versus boy confrontation, as the Orange put a modest 6-0 shellacking on HBU.

I see now why Big 12 football teams like to schedule non-conference games against smaller schools.

The six-goal barrage did show some early, promising signs. Luis Angel Landin, who was acquired midseason last year, scored the second goal of the game. He also made good decisions with the ball, especially when it came to holding the ball. That's not to say he had a great game, but what do you want after the first week of training?

What else was promising were some of the young players.

Midfielder Danny Cruz looked solid on the right wing, even scoring a goal. Newcomers Francisco Navas and Samuel Appiah also looked pretty solid. Of course, this was against a NCAA Division 2 program.

This 2010 campaign for the Dynamo is going to be an interesting one. The defense for the Orange should be solid, as always. The ageless Pat Onstad will once again resume his spot between the posts. And for the first time in a while, the Dynamo seemed to be stacked at the forward position.

However, unlike any of the Dynamo teams of the past, this squad has questions at midfield. The departures of Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden really hurt -- both players were MLS All-Stars and both expect to rep the Red, White, and Blue at this summer's FIFA World Cup. Clark is now applying his trade with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, while Holden bolted to the Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League.

The Dynamo still have veterans like Brad Davis and Brain Mullan, and have the option of moving Geoff Cameron to play in Clark's old spot at defensive midfield. Almost everyone else is very young and inexperienced.

There's going to be a learning curve with this young crop of midfielders, but that's what seven weeks of preseason are for.

The next scheduled scrimmage on the Dynamo's unofficial "Back-to-School Tour" is against the Southern Methodist Mustangs (the Dynamo must have it out for Christian schools). That game is scheduled for next Saturday, February 13. This game, however, is a private engagement for season ticket holders -- the perks just keep coming. Better call your Dynamo rep and sign up if you wish to get in on this one.

Seriously, watching the Dynamo beat up on Dallas teams is always a good ticket.


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