When the Houston Dynamo square off Saturday night against the LA Galaxy, they will do so with one hand tied behind their backs. The Dynamo will have only five defenders available for selection including the recently acquired Sheanon Williams. As a result, Williams is likely to jump straight into the starting lineup despite just picking up his luggage from baggage claim.
“I’ve not picked my team yet, but it’s fair to say that we are very limited,” said Dynamo Head Coach Owen Coyle. “I think its fair to say that Sheanon Williams may start the game.”
Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido are both suspended. Jermaine Taylor is out with a quad tear. Corey Ashe was offloaded last week to Orlando City and Demarcus Beasley returned from international retirement to earn a front row seat to watch the US Men’s National Team lose in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. While Nathan Sturgis has experience in defense and could provide cover, Garrido’s absence likely means Sturgis will be starting in the midfield.
Where Williams lines up is anyone’s guess. Both Owen Coyle and Dynamo General Manager Matt Jordan spoke highly of the flexibility provided by Williams’ acquisition. “Sheanon can play a number of positions across the backline and is very flexible,” noted Coyle. “[Williams] has been in the league for a number of years and he’s only 25; he is young and talented.”
While it is not ideal for Houston to start someone acquired in the last twenty-four hours, Williams looks forward to getting thrown to the wolves. “I’m excited to get started with the new team,” said Williams. “I will take the day and get to know the players I’ll be playing with and try to form a relationship in the quick amount of time that we have.”
The wolves are played by Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, and the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy enter the match at BBVA Stadium as the most potent offensive team in MLS, but do not expect Williams to be star-struck.
“[The Galaxy] are a successful team,” noted the defender. “A big key is to neutralize their big players. It’s not easy to do, but to have success, they are a key part of it.”
It may take him a little time to settle into his new surroundings, but Williams looks forward to the challenge. “It’s strange to put on a new uniform and wear a new crest, but I am excited,” said the new Dynamo defender. “It’s a good opportunity for me….This is a franchise that has done a lot of winning and hopefully we can continue that.”
Dwain Capodice is a freelance writer covering the Houston Dynamo and the US National Team for Keeper Notes and also serves as the Fan Blogger covering soccer at Chron.com. He can be reached on twitter @dcapodice or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.