Houston tests newbies but Oduro shines

[MLS] A few trialists came into the Houston Dynamo camp last week, yet Coach Dominic Kinnear sent out some other auditioning players in a 4-1 scrimmage victory over the University of Central Florida Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.

Returning veteran striker Dominic Oduro stole the show in the second half by racking up a hat trick in 13 minutes, after newbies Navion Boyd (Jamaica) and Jonathan De Leon (Mexico) teamed up for the first goal. Also getting their first run-outs with the Dynamo were Lovel Palmer (Jamaica) and Shaun Saiko (Canada).

Last week, trialists Khadim Diouf and Léandre Griffit, both of French origin, were on hand for evaluation and Kinnear had also arranged a visit by Blessing Kaku of Nigeria.

Pending completion or extension of collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the Dynamo is scheduled to open preseason play against MLS competition Thursday against New York in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. The deadline for a CBA agreement is Thursday and the Dynamo player representative, goalie Pat Onstad, has been quoted that the two sides are “far apart.”

Boyd scored in the 28th minute on a ball laid back by De León. UCF equalized eight minutes later when Kevin George tucked away Eduardo Jimenez’s free kick.

Brian Mullan earned an assist on Oduro’s first goal with a cross; the other two goals came when Oduro converted a breakaway and got onto the end of a deflected serve by Corey Ashe. Oduro has scored seven goals in his last three preseason games.

Feb. 23 in Orlando
Houston 4, Central Florida 1.

Goals: Boyd (De Leon, Cruz) 28, Oduro (Mullan) 61, Oduro 64, 74; George (Jimenez) 36.

Houston (first half) -- Tally Hall, Ryan Cochrane, Bobby Boswell, Wade Barrett, Danny Cruz, Lovel Palmer, Jonathan De León, Shaun Saiko, Francisco Navas, Navion Boyd, David Walker.
Houston (second half) -- Tyler Deric, Erik Ustruck, Eddie Robinson, Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan, Sammy Appiah, Peter Maciel, Léandre Griffit, Corey Ashe, Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro.

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