JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, May 3, 2013
Óscar Boniek García returned from injury in last week's draw for the Dynamo and the Honduran midfielder starred despite playing out of position and still working to regain his fitness.
Boniek missed three games for Houston because of an Achilles injury, but the 28 year old's performance last weekend was deeply needed by Dominic Kinnear's club.
Houston's midfield was hobbled in their draw with Toronto FC a couple week's ago, as Brad Davis hurt his groin while Adam Moffat injured his hamstring.
Davis was able to play against Colorado, however Moffat could not go, forcing Kinnear to shuffle his lineup like he has had to do throughout the season.
Despite Boniek's lack of play lately because of his injury, Kinnear opted to start the Honduran midfielder to give Houston its best chance in the offensive third.
Boniek however was asked to play slightly out of position, as he lined up as an attacking midfielder and not in his regular wing position.
"I have played there (central midfield), however I am characterized as a winger. But, if the coach needs me to play in the middle, logically I have to do it and I'll adjust," explained Boniek.
Houston and Boniek had trouble in the first half against Colorado, as they could never hold possession for long periods of time and eventually went down a goal.
"Yeah, in the first half we had trouble getting a hold of the ball, but in the second half we plugged in, took control of the ball, and because of that we even had chances to win the game," added Boniek.
Houston and Boniek improved as the game went on and tied the game in the 66th minute with a goal from Giles Barnes.
However, as the game went on Boniek's lack of fitness because of his injury began to weigh on the Honduran. Kinnear though kept the 28 year old on the field for the distance.
"Around the end of the game, the last 15 minutes, I felt a bit tired, because physically I still have a ways to go," explained Boniek.
"I don't know if the coach had the same idea, but in my mind I thought I was going to play the whole game. I know that the last 10 to 15 minutes were going to be tough though, because I had heavy legs.
Houston will have to deal with plenty more injuries, suspensions, and national team call ups as the season continues, but Kinnear can be happy to have not only a talented player, but a versatile one in Boniek.
The Dynamo take the field once again this coming Sunday when they play the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, and Houston will be happy to have their Honduran star contributing once again.