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The more things change, the more they stay the same
Tuesday, 09 March 2010
In the past few months, the MLS Players Union and the league have gone back and forth on the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Union wanted changes to stringent league transfer policies and increased salaries. MLS claimed to be willing to modify certain aspects but was hesitant to acquiesce to all of the unionís demands.

But when the clock struck midnight and the CBA finally expired, nothing changed. While no agreement has been reached, the union has agreed not to strike and delay the start of the season while the league has agreed not to lockout the players--meaning the terms of the now expired CBA is still in effect.

With March well underway, the Dynamo will play five games in less than two weeks before their season opener in Frisco on March 27.

Dynamo v. Austin Aztex
Game One was against the Austin Aztex and while the Dynamo scored two goals, one was in their own net leading to a 1-1 draw. Both goals came in the second half as a mix-up between center back Bobby Boswell and backup goalie Tally Hall turned a fairly innocuous ball into an Austin goal.

The Dynamo would strike back when substitute Erik Ustruck took advantage of a scramble in the box to slide a goal into an empty net from an extremely tight angle. While fans may be disappointed with the result, and the level of the teamís play at times, itís important to remember that individual performances are much more important than results in games like this. As such, this game was extra important for three players not formally offered contracts with the team as of yet:

Lovel Palmer
The Jamaican international is currently contracted to Harbour View FC of the Jamaican Premier League; however, the league is actively looking to raise money through the transfer of some of its players. This has paved the way for Palmerís trial with the Dynamo. Having impressed Coach Kinnear against MLS competition in Florida, Palmerís trial has been extended. Palmer seems most likely to fit in Ricardo Clarkís old role as he offers a lot of defensive grit, a powerful long-distance shot, but not a lot of creativity or vision going forward. The upcoming game against Chicago will be much a better test for the midfielder.

Samuel Appiah
Appiah is not only the only draft pick left in camp, heís the only player left from the original training camp roster who doesnít have a permanent contract. He plays a similar position to Palmer and still has the ability to make the final roster. The fact that he has made it this far suggests that the coaching staff think relatively highly of him. The Ghanaian replaced Palmer in the second half and filled the defensive mid role well.

Francisco Navas
The Academy product is a fan-favorite and according to tweets from the Dynamo FO, his signing to the first team is imminent. If so, he will become the second player from the Academy to sign a contract with the Dynamo first team. He did not play in the friendly against Austin.

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic results:
In its first game, the Dynamo faced the NY Red Bulls and while neither team was able to score during the 90 minutes, NYRB was more proficient from the penalty spot winning the shootout 6-5.

In the final game, the Dynamo was paired against in-state rivals FC Dallas where it proved its dominance over its rivals once again. After going down a goal early, goals from Palmer and forward Cam Weaver ensured the team would end their February in style with a 2-1 win.

Upcoming Matches
The Dynamo has one more home preseason game against Chicago on Thursday, March 11 before heading on a three-game road trip. The Dynamo will return the favor and visit Austin to play the Aztex on March 14 before flying to southern California where they will play the San Jose Earthquakes and Chivas USA on March 17 and 20 respectively.