The Dynamo's Newest Import Adapts To A New League
Photo courtesy houstondynamo.com
The Houston Dynamo are in the business of importing forwards these days. Currently, they employ forwards from the African nations of Ghana and Sierra Leone, and even their U.S. International hails from the far off island of Hawaii.
The Dynamo's newest signee, forward Luis Angel Landin, comes from just south of the border. Team owner Oscar De La Hoya has apparently made good on his promise to bring a Mexican national to the Dynamo. I guess the Dynamo don't buy American.
The Dynamo first set their eyes on the futbol player when he was a member of Mexican club Pachuca. Pachuca eliminated Houston in the semifinal round of the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup. It was then that Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear got a glimpse of Landin's talents.
"He's good in front of goal, good two feet, decent balance, all-in-all good forward," the Dynamo boss tells Hair Balls.
The U.S. National Team has done wonders to improve the image of American soccer, most notably their second-place finish in last July's FIFA Confederations Cup. Unfortunately that hasn't translated to the club level, where MLS clubs not named Dynamo continue to show poor form.
You would think Landin was wondering what the hell he got himself into. He left a storied club like Cruz Azul to play in a country where soccer isn't high on the menu. Au contraire.
"I think [Mexicans] see MLS as an inferior league," Landin told us. "But once you're down here, you find out that MLS has advanced and is getting better."
Landin has yet to score a goal in three short appearances in MLS play. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that he isn't in game shape, since the Mexican regular season just got underway. Also, Landin got thrust into a team that is competing for playoff positioning, as well as the CONCACAF Champions League's group stage. The Dynamo's busy schedule has provided few opportunities for Landin to fully train with his new teammates.
He knows he'll only get better as time progresses. "I'm gradually learning the system." Landin said. "I'm going to continue to work hard because they gave me this opportunity [to play] that is important to me.
"I know I need to adapt to the team more, so I can show my football skills 100 percent and keep getting better."
The 24-year-old knows he also has to adjust to the physical play of MLS. Landin is ready to contribute to a team looking to win its third championship in four years
"The entire team is strong, this is a winning team. That's why I came [to Houston] to play," he says.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.