By Cory Ritzau
Much has been made about the Houston Dynamo’s addition in Oscar Boniek Garcia, and how his threat down the right wing has given them a more balanced attack opposite Brad Davis and rightly so. Garcia has given the Dynamo and element in attack that was missing for much of the past 18 months.
We caught up with Galaxy player who will be charged with slowing down the Honduran, left back Todd Dunivant, to get his thoughts on the match-up that could be key to deciding Saturday’s outcome.When asked about the change in the Dynamo personnel, Dunivant responded:
They got some more dynamic pieces. They’ve got Boniek Garcia, they’ve got Clark and Sarkodie who is dangerous out of the back, and they have some new pieces and if Carr is healthy he’s good at getting in behind and Bruin is good at getting on the end of things and is a big target forward kind of in the Brian Ching mold. So they’re a dangerous team and they’re playing with confidence right now which is probably their biggest thing.
We quizzed him about his match-up with Garcia and what he saw that made the Honduran so dangerous:
He’s unpredictable. He’s not a true winger. He is not just going to stay in one position so he becomes easy to mark. He’s all over the field, he’s coming inside, he’s got that air of unpredictability which is hard to pin down. Honestly, you just have to be honest with him and at times I have to pass him on because I can’t be chasing him back into the midfield and leaving my space open for their forwards.
He went on to note that not only will be matching up with Garcia, but that he likes to tuck inside at times leaving Kofi Sarkodie available on the overlap and is someone that Dunivant and Magee must communicate about when he decides to get forward. Here was his scouting report on Sarkodie:
Most outside backs in the league now are guys who like to overlap and get forward, and he is certainly one of them. He’s good on the ball, I think he was a midfielder before he was a defender, so he’s a reluctant defender like most of us are. But he’s a good player and he has combined well with Boniek Garcia.
Beyond the X’s and O’s of the game, we asked Dunivant if there was anything in the drinking water at the Home Depot Center that had two of his high profile teammates looking at retirement of the next stage. Dunivant, a Major League Soccer veteran of ten years now, responded what a player goes through in looking at that potential next step in their lives beyond their playing careers:
Well, I think that is different for every player. As the last couple years have gone on I’ve felt better actually. I feel like I’ve become a better pro, I’ve learned how to take care of myself better and I think each player is different. Through my career I’ve talked with some of the older guys, guys I’ve played with for a long time, guys like Jeff Agoos, Robin Fraser, Gregg Berhalter and guys that have done that and it has helped me a lot. But you know everyone is different and I want to keep playing as long as I can and if I can continue to play at this level, there is not better job.
Dunivant has beenin some of the best form of his career the past two years, especially in 2011 when he picked up MLS Best XI honors. Despite some minor injuries this year, Dunivant has played well when healthy and looks to still have a bright future going forward. But perhaps most important, he hopes he plays well Saturday as his play could be the key to lifting another piece of silverware for the Los Angeles Galaxy.