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New state, new tournament, new trialists
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
After pasting local universities to the tune of 14-1 in their first 3 scrimmages, the Dynamo heads to Florida this week in the hopes of raising the level of competition.

[Editor's Note: The Dynamo defeated the University of Central Florida (4-1) on Feb. 23.] Houston and three other MLS teams will participate in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, Florida. The Dynamo will start the two-game tournament against the New York Red Bulls on Feb. 25 and finish with Toronto FC or in-state rivals FC Dallas on Feb. 27.

04.11.09 Dynamo v. NYRB

The pre-season tournament provides Coach Kinnear and his staff with the opportunity to assess the teamís fitness and ability against league competition as they prepare for the beginning of the MLS season.

Going into the tournament, few changes have been made to the roster, though a few players wonít get the opportunity to rack up frequent flyer miles. Of the four trialists brought into camp earlier this month, only Frenchman Leandre Griffit remains as Kinnear ended the trials of Khadim Diouf, Peter Maciel and Blessing Kaku.

Judging by their performance against SMU, canít blame the coach. While their skills werenít completely shocking, each player showed deficiencies which could be exposed against higher caliber competition and none proved they could be the midfield starter that Houston is looking for.

According to reports, the three trialists were replaced with Jamaican striker Navion Boyd, 23, and utility player Lovel Palmer, 25. Also getting a look is Tigres midfielder Jonathan De Leon, 22, and Canadian midfielder Shaun Saiko, 21. However, no confirmation of the trials has been made by the team.

The Men in Orange also should see the return of starters Brian Ching, Geoff Cameron and Brad Davis from their time with the US Menís National Team.