Observations: Feb. 25, 2012

Written by Ian Thomson

KISSIMMEE, Fla. —

Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear with players at pre-season training (Photo: Ian Thomson)Houston Need To Hit The Road Running In 2012

Houston Need To Hit The Road Running In 2012

Houston Dynamo’s 2011 Major League Soccer campaign began solidly, if unspectacularly, and traipsed along for most of the season until a 1-0 win at F.C. Dallas on Sept. 24 spurred an unforeseen title challenge.

Geoff Cameron’s 87th-minute goal at Pizza Hut Park gave Dominic Kinnear’s side its first road win of the year at the 16th attempt. Houston followed up with successive wins at Portland Timbers, Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City to progress to the MLS Cup Final.

“We hope we can continue the momentum from last year,” midfielder Adam Moffat told The Soccer Observer after last night’s 0-0 tie with Sporting KC at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.

“It’s a little bit different this year with the fact that our first seven games are away from home,” Moffat said. “But hopefully we’ll get that first away win sooner.

Houston will have to wait until May 12 against D.C. United to enjoy the backing of their home support at the new 22,000-seat BBVA Compass Stadium.

Kinnear Sees Long-Term U.S. Future For Cameron

Speaking of Geoff Cameron, Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear reckons the change of U.S. national team leadership has opened the door for the versatile defender.

“Jurgen Klinsmann’s seen something in him that he’s liked,” Kinnear said. “He went to camp, had a good camp and he’s been called in again. Hopefully he’s a pretty solid figure in that camp for many years to come.”

Moffat Enjoying Pre-Season Dust-Ups

Adam Moffat had a few tetchy moments during Houston’s stalemate with Sporting KC, particularly one spat with Sporting defender Aurelien Collin.

The combative Scottish midfielder puts it down to everybody’s desire to win, even if it is just a pre-season warm-up tournament.

“The season starts in two weeks, so there’s no better time to get that feistiness going,” Moffat said. “It’s good to compete against guys like that. A little feistiness is good.”

Ching Back Where He Belongs

“It was a weird off-season with that whole thing hanging over everybody’s heads,” said Dominic Kinnear of Brian Ching’s selection by Montreal Impact in the expansion draft and subsequent return to the Dynamo.

Ching suited up for Montreal against Houston in a 2-0 loss in California earlier this month. The two teams meet again this Wednesday in Kissimmee with Ching back in familiar colors.

“Luckily it’s worked out,” Kinnear said. “We’re really pleased he can spend the rest of his career at Houston.”