MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
08/01/2014 2:46 PM
08/01/2014 2:50 PM
D.C. United (11-5-4) at Houston (5-11-4), 8 p.m.
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Dynamo is in desperate need of a shot in the arm on Sunday when the club hosts an in-form D.C. United side at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Luckily for Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear, United States international DaMarcus Beasley may just be the man for the job.
The 32-year-old became the latest Designated Player for the Dynamo earlier this month, and now that his paperwork has been completed, Beasley is ready to make his debut.
"I'm hungry, period. I'm hungry for Sunday, I'm not even talking about the playoffs. I'm talking about Sunday, getting my feet wet back in MLS, playing with these guys. I'm excited," Beasley said.
Beasley's last appearance in MLS came with the Chicago Fire in 2004, while he last took part in a competitive game on July 1 as the U.S. national team bowed out of the World Cup in the round of 16 against Belgium.
But Beasley feels he can contribute on Sunday, and is hopeful of earning a place in Kinnear's starting 11 against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
"I'm looking at Sunday as a very important game in front of our fans and we're here to get three points and hopefully climb up the table. I've been off for three weeks but I don't really get unfit, I'm a pretty fit guy," Beasley said. "The coach makes the decision. If he sees I need another week of training, I need another week of training. If he sees that I'm fit to play, I'm fit to play. It just depends on how he sees it."
Kinnear will be eager to see something change with his team as the side is in the midst of a terrible run of form that has seen just two points earned from the last eight league matches.
United, however, figures to be a tough side to face at the moment as Ben Olsen's men are riding a four-game winning streak to separate themselves, along with Sporting Kansas City, from the rest of the East.
Wednesday's 3-0 victory over Toronto FC moved United 11 points clear of the rest of the conference and just behind Sporting at the top of the table.
And midfielder Chris Rolfe believes that this group has come together nicely and that everything is working at the moment regardless of who is in the team.
"You know, there are teams that I have been on, that throughout the whole season we don't ever jell," Rolfe said of his past experiences. "This year we can continue to put new guys in and take guys out, and everybody has been doing a great job and the combination of players we have has been fantastic."
The biggest obstacle on Sunday figures to be the quick turnaround for Olsen's team, and the coach acknowledged that the depth in his side will be tested in the coming weeks after his men expended a lot of energy in Wednesday's victory.
"It was end to end, and when you play this team, from an energy level standpoint it's always taxing," Olsen said of the matchup with TFC. "The quick turnaround, going to Houston, will be tough, but we're going to be tested at some point with our depth. We're going to rely on guys in the next month or two that haven't seen a lot of minutes so that's a good thing. I'm looking forward to getting those guys in, to test them in real games and that might start with Houston."
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