New players, new faces, new styles, new tactics. Transfer season is always a fun time for speculation. Today, we got our first taste of what the transfer window offers in the form of defensive midfielder Lovel Palmer and defender Mike Chabala. But what do we really know about them? As somebody who's only ever been to Texas once, and never to Houston I honestly can't tell you much outside of what their Wikipedia pages tells us.
Luckily, being apart of this great big blogging network we call SB Nation has it's advantages as I was able to pry some information from Dynamo Theory blogger Zach Woosley concerning each player.
Here's what he had to say about each player:
Looks like Mike Chabala might be the better pick up from Zach's assessment, although Palmer has seen more minutes this season for Houston.
Mike Chabala is a speedy fullback capable of getting forward on the attack and recovering quickly. His crossing and delivery could use some improvement but good fullbacks are hard to find and he certainly qualifies as one of those. In addition, Mike is a tremendously nice young man who was heavily involved with charity work here in Houston and was always great to the fans.
Lovel Palmer is a defensive midfielder with the inclination to sneak forward on the attack when the opportunity presents itself. He's got a wicked shot but struggles with consistent accuracy on it. He's good at sitting in front of a back line and helping support when the fullbacks bomb forward. His distribution isn't the best, but he gets the job done.
I also inquired about Palmer's history at playing in the right back position and whether or not he ever fielded such a role in Houston... he did not.
I don't recall Palmer playing at the right back spot at any point. He was always in the center midfield, typically in a defensive role. He played in the CAM role a few times and wasn't too bad. In a pinch he could probably cover in the back but I as far as I know, his preferred role is in the midfield.
This leaves me wondering a little bit about just where Palmer will play. Our current midfield is a little compact with Diego Chara and Jack Jewsbury playing side by side consistently. One could argue that Palmer would take Marcelin's place, but with Marcelin on the upswing perhaps he'll just be a benchwarmer for now.
One thing is for sure, both players will be available for Saturday's game and, given that Steve Purdy and Jeremy Hall played in yesterday's friendly I'd say the possibility we'll see either Chabala or Palmer in the back right position is fairly high.