Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
Aug. 10, 2014 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #210)
7:30 p.m. PT (ESPN2/Deportes)

One-time pitched cup foes, Seattle Sounders FC and the Houston Dynamo will meet for the only time this season when the clubs face off Sunday evening at CenturyLink Field before an ESPN2 audience. Sounders FC have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season and now no longer lead the MLS overall table, following their 1-0 defeat at San Jose last weekend. The Dynamo put an end to their eight-game winless run last weekend, leaving it very late before getting the game’s only goal in a win against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 56 games; FC/gm: 23.1; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 16; pens: 18

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda … HOU: Will Bruin, Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 11 goals … Ties 2
AT SEATTLE (4 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 7 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1

LAST YEAR (MLS):

  • 8/17: HOU 3, SEA 1 (Barnes 17, 21; Bruin 74 – Joseph 65)
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Neither team has won on the other’s home ground in the all-time series. The Dynamo have won three of four league matches all-time in Houston, including a 3-1 win last year at BBVA Compass Stadium in the only meeting, while Sounders FC have won three of the four encounters at CenturyLink Field.
  • The teams also set in a pitched quarterfinal in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs when the Dynamo were in the Western Conference, the Dynamo scoring the only goal of the series in extra time in the second leg.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. SEA: P8 W3 L3 D2 … Sigi Schmid vs. HOU: P14 W4 L5 D5

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC dropped their second consecutive match, falling 1-0 to San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Levi’s Stadium. Sounders FC are still in first place in the Western Conference with 38 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 42nd minute. A nifty first-time ball from Shea Salinas on the left wing found Chris Wondolowski near the halfway line, and his cultured lead pass put Yannick Djalo in alone behind the Sounders back line. With Stefan Frei caught in no-man’s-land, Djalo used the outside of his right foot to knock his initial touch past the Seattle goalkeeper and inside the far post.
  • Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was credited with eight saves in keeping the clean sheet, and was helped in the 85th minute when Wondolowski headed a clear header from Chad Barrett back off the line.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that fell 3-0 to the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. Leo Gonzalez came into the back four in place of Dylan Remick, and Brad Evans started in midfield for Lamar Neagle.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba, Leo Gonzalez (Chad Barrett 83) - Brad Evans, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Kenny Cooper 65) - Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC have lost back-to-back games in league play for the first time this season and have lost three times in their last four matches. They have fallen out of the top spot in the race for the Supporters’ Shield for the first time in two months.
  • “It’s a streaky league and we’ve been on pretty good streaks,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “We haven’t really had a bad streak yet. For us right now, maybe this is our bad streak and we just have to make sure we get out of it quickly, and I think we have the talent and the ability to get out of it.”
  • Said Brad Evans: “There is definitely some positive stuff we can take away. Each loss can feel different. Sometimes you can get a win and feel like you stole it, but this loss feels like we obviously progressed from last game and this next game becomes a must-win for us at home.”
  • After missing two games to injury, Evans returned to the Sounders FC lineup, playing the full 90 minutes in a wide-right midfield role.
  • “I wasn’t on the field last week, but I felt as though we created a lot more chances on our end. Our forwards were moving their defenders out of position and we got some guys in behind, but we just couldn’t get that last pass to complete the comeback,” Evans said.
  • Leo Gonzalez also returned to the back four, at left back, after missing back-to-back matches to injury. Chad Marshall missed a second consecutive match to back spasms suffered in a minor auto accident.
  • Lamar Neagle did not feature in a league game for the first time since May 24, after coming off at halftime of the LA Galaxy. Kenny Cooper did come on as a second-half substitute, his first appearance since starting July 5 vs. Vancouver.
  • “I thought we created chances in the second half,” Schmid said, “especially when we switched to 3-5-2, but even before that, we had some good looks off corner kicks. I can’t be displeased, I thought we played much better than we played [vs. LA].”
  • Sounders FC have also been shut out at the attacking end in consecutive games for the first time this season, and have gone 184 minutes since scoring last in MLS.
  • "It's tough. Obviously, teams are concentrating on Clint and Obafemi in the middle, and when we do get half-turns and looks, we get fouled and sometimes the foul gets called and sometimes it doesnít get called. It disrupts your rhythm and makes it harder to play," Schmid said.

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo put an end to their winless run after eight games, defeating D.C. United 1-0 on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came after the regulation 90 minutes were complete. After the ball came off a United defender in the area with goalkeeper Bill Hamid out of the play, substitute forward Omar Cummings got to the ball first and set up Will Bruin for an easy tap-in and the game-winner.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with two saves in recording the shutout.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jermaine Taylor and DaMarcus Beasley came into the back four in place of Eric Brunner and Corey Ashe, and Luis Garrido started in midfield for the departed Warren Creavalle.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, DaMarcus Beasley - Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido (Brian Ownby 76), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 88) - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 88).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo put an end to their winless run after eight games, their first victory since a 1-0 win vs. the LA Galaxy on May 17 at home. The Dynamo were 0-6-2 over their winless run.
  • “That’s two months without a win,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “It gets frustrating because it’s all June and all of July. I think in the end we deserved to win the game. Sometimes it’s just a funny play that gets you.”
  • It was also the Dynamo’s first defensive shutout since that last victory, after conceding 21 goals over their eight-game winless run.
  • “Everything finally came together,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We’ve had it for bits and pieces throughout the season, but that was a 90-minute performance. It’s taken us far too long to get that, and better late than never.”
  • Will Bruin scored a goal for a second consecutive game, his first goals since May 7. Bruin now has eight goals for the season, tied for eighth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • “If I miss that there I probably retire,” Bruin said. “[I was thinking] get in front of goal and hoping what happens and happened. Just waiting there ready to poach and ready for it to bounce to me. Omar [Cummings] busted his (butt) to get there.”
  • US international DaMarcus Beasley made his Dynamo debut, playing the full 90 minutes at left back.
  • “It was good to get back on the field after about a month off I felt good to be back. I still need to get my fitness back,” Beasley said. “It’s somewhat a preseason but I can’t say that because we need results. I need to get fit and 100 percent very quickly. As a first game, it was OK.”
  • Honduras national team midfielder Luis Garrido also made his Dynamo and MLS debut, playing 76 minutes in a deep-lying midfield role.
  • “Great guy to have,” Beasley said of Garrido. “Good player, calm on the ball. He moved it from side-to-side. When he needed to be an enforcer he was an enforcer. … It’s great to see he has that knowledge of the game at such a young age and he’s going to do well for us the last couple of months.”
  • Said Kinnear: “I thought Luis held his position well, won some tackles, kept it simple and I thought DaMarcus got better and better as the game went on. The first 20 minutes I was giddy with the way we were playing.”
  • Added Brad Davis: “When you also start to bring in competition for some spots it also raises some eyebrows. It gets competition going and some blood boiling. You start to peek over your shoulder as well all the time now. It’s always a good thing, competition in training, competitions for spots on the weekend.”