The Houston Dynamo extended invitations this week to three players to join the club on a trial basis ahead of this week's Dynamo Charities Cup. The second edition of the Charities Cup (2009's featured Mexican club Pachuca) is expected to showcase all three players as they hope to earn a contract with the Dynamo.
Ghanaian midfielder Anthony Obodai will be joined by Argentine midfielder Juan Manuel Quevedo and Costa Rican defender Kendall Watson in training with Houston. All three should feature in some way on Saturday night when the Dynamo play Salvadoran powerhouse Aguila.
Obodai, 27, began training with the Dynamo last week and played 61 minutes on Thursday in the victory over PDL-side Laredo Heat. The defensive midfielder had a solid showing and fired a game-high five shots. Obodai's professional resume includes a relatively long spell in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Quevedo, 26, holds dual Italian-Argentine citizenship but has played exclusively in South America. Quevado's has played in Argentina for San Lorenzo and Estudiantes de Buenos Aires, in Chile with Palestno (where he scored 8 goals in 23 games), and in Uruguay with Rampla Juniors this past spring. Most of Quevado's time has been spent in an attacking midfielder role.
Kendall Watson, 22, could bring some versatility to the Dynamo squad. The young Costa Rican has the ability to play both forward and central defense, and his 6-foot-5 frame would be valuable at both ends of the pitch. Watson has played for a number of clubs, namely Costa Rican power Saprissa. The attacker/defender also has national team experience and played for Costa Rica in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, helping the Ticos to a 2-1 win over Scotland in his only appearance.
This group of trialists is a bit interesting based on the Dynamo's current needs. The team has certainly been porous in defense, and a tall, mobile defender could be a great addition. But, the back line combination of Chabala, Robinson, Boswell, and Hainault was fantastic last season and could still be good this season. Bringing in a new defender cannot hurt, especially given that some of Houston's defensive back-ups are aging, but anyone who comes in most likely will not start any time soon.
Taking a look at a true center-attacking midfielder is a smart move by the Dynamo coaching staff. Brad Davis has done a decent job filling in for the injured Geoff Cameron (who was filling in for the departed Stuart Holden, prior to injuring his knee), but his skills and positioning are still best suited out on the left wing. If Quevedo can take control of the CAM spot, then Davis could return to the wing, hopefully building some consistency in attack.
The inclusion of a central-defensive midfielder with this group of trialists is the most curious move by the Dynamo. Right now the club has Lovel Palmer starting in the role with some success, with Adrian Serioux and Sammy Appiah as back-ups for the position. As we discussed earlier in the week, Adrian Serioux appears to be on his way out, and the coaching staff must feel that bringing in a more experienced defensive midfielder to back up Palmer is a good idea.
All of the trialists are expected to play some role in this weekend's Dynamo Charities Cup against Aguila of El Salvador.