HOUSTON DYNAMO vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
August 17, 2013 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #226)
8 p.m. CT (KPRC-NBC; KONG/KOMO2)
One-time playoff foes, the Houston Dynamo and Seattle Sounders FC meet in an interconference clash on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo return home after seeing their four-game undefeated run come to an end last weekend in a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake. Sounders FC continue their road trip after extending their winning streak to three matches last weekend in a 2-1 victory at Toronto FC.
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REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Peter Balciunas; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 159 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 56; pens: 60
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford, Steve Zakuani
SUSPENDED: SEA: Eddie Johnson (caution accumulation; through August 18)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Andrew Driver, Corey Ashe, Boniek Garcia- SEA: Zach Scott
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 8 goals - Sounders FC 3 wins, 10 goals - Ties 2
AT HOUSTON (3 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 6 goals - Sounders FC 0 wins, 3 goals - Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/23: SEA 2, HOU 0 (Estrada 23; Evans 27)
* The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
* Neither team has won on the other's home ground in the all-time series. The Dynamo have won two of three league matches all-time in Houston, 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: P7 W2 L3 D2 - Sigi Schmid vs. HOU: P13 W4 L4 D5
The Houston Dynamo saw their undefeated run come to an end after four matches, dropping a 1-0 decision to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points from 22 matches.
* The game's lone goal came in the 37th minute that the scoreline changed. Houston's Adam Moffat undercut RSL's Olmes Garcia on an aerial challenge in the box and referee Jose Carlos Rivero immediately pointed to the spot. Alvaro Saborio stepped up and buried the penalty kick.
* Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando was credited with three saves in keeping the clean sheet for the MLS overall leaders.
* Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that took a 3-1 win against the Columbus Crew at BBVA Compass Stadium. Warren Creavalle came into the side in place of Boniek Garcia.
* HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Jason Johnson 65), Adam Moffat (Boniek Garcia 81), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 74).
* The Dynamo lost for the first time since June 30, which was a 2-0 loss at New York that ended a string of three consecutive attacking shutouts.
* "I thought we had a very good second half. We were a little more aggressive going forward," said head coach Dominic Kinnear. "I thought we had some chances and were good enough to get something out of the game tonight. We had some openings, but weren't able to take advantage of them."
* It was also the third match in the last four on the road where the Dynamo did not score a goal. After the visit by Seattle, the Dynamo hit the road for consecutive games at MontrÈal, Chicago and Columbus.
* "We had some moments where we were getting in, but our final pass was letting us down a little bit. We made a press towards the end of the game," Kinnear said. "I thought we put ourselves in some good positions, but we just couldn't put the finishing touch on it."
* Kinnear changed his tactical scheme for the trip to Real, running out Will Bruin and Giles Barnes as a strike pair, but Barnes dropped deeper into the midfield in a return to the scheme the Dynamo had used in their win vs. Columbus.
* "I think sometimes it re-negates itself. We went to a 4-3-3 after 20 minutes or so, and it's just about who takes care of the ball in the final third the most," said Kinnear. "Like I said, it was the deciding goal in the game."
* After four consecutive starts after his return from international duty and injury, Boniek Garc"a returned to the substitutes' bench, coming on for the final nine minutes.
* Warren Creavalle returned to the starting lineup in a wide midfield role after coming off the substitutes' bench for three consecutive games.
* "I think we created some good chances. We had some set pieces. We had some chances there at the end of the game," said midfielder Brad Davis. "They had a few, the one that hit the crossbar and the penalty, but I don't remember any clear cut chances that they had to be completely honest. It was a very choppy game."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC won for a third game on the trot, taking a 2-1 victory against Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field. Sounders FC are in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 34 points from 21 matches.
* Sounders FC took the lead in the 16th minute. A cross from Brad Evans found Eddie Johnson at the back post, and he headed back across the box to an unmarked Mauro Rosales, who easily put the ball home.
* Seattle doubled their lead in the 40th minute when TFC defender Doneil Henry redirected a cross by Lamar Neagle into the back of the net for an own goal.
* Toronto FC pulled a goal within the opening minute of the second half. Jonathan Osorio took a cross from the left flank, popped the ball back in front of goal and poked a shot that Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez just couldn't keep from crossing the line.
* Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made no changes to the team that strolled to a 3-0 victory against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
* SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Marcus Hahnemann - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Shalrie Joseph 72), Brad Evans (Marc Burch 89), Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle - Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey 34), Eddie Johnson.
* Sounders FC have won three consecutive league games for the second time this season, matching their winning streak from May 8-18. Sounders FC are now tied with defending champions LA Galaxy for fifth place in the Western Conference and the final playoff position.
* "This is the way that we wanted to be," said midfielder Mauro Rosales. "It's something that we have worked very hard to be here. Getting points at this part of the year is really, really important. We have a few games in hand and we need these points."
* Sounders FC also snapped a three-game road losing skid and scored their first goals away from CenturyLink Field since 2-0 win at Chivas USA on June 1.
* He came off the bench early in the first half, but Clint Dempsey made his Sounders FC debut in coming on for Obafemi Martins, who suffered an ankle injury.
* "We told him when he went in that the timing when it happened it was such that I didn't want to bring someone else on because then I would have to make another sub," Schmid said. "I just told Clint to manage his way through those 15 minutes, 'You didn't really get a proper warmup, make sure you don't pull anything,' and then right away he ended up having to make that 70-yard run where he gets in almost with Eddie [Johnson]. But he managed his way through, he's a veteran player and then he was fine for the second half."
* Said Dempsey: "I'm still working on my fitness. I've only played in two games and in those two games I played one 45 minute and one 60 minute so I'm still trying to get my fitness there. I'm not there yet but I was happy with the touches that I got tonight and the work that I put in, and the chances that I created and hopefully they will start falling for me in the games to come."
* Mauro Rosales scored his third goal of the season, his first since May 11. After going eight games without figuring in a goal, Rosales has a goal and two assists over the last three.
* Marcus Hahnemann started a second consecutive match in goal, both Seattle victories, his first appearances in an MLS league match in more than 14 years, since June 26, 1999.
* "We just think that Marcus has had two full weeks of training and Michael (Gspurning) has really only had one week of training and we felt that Marcus did all right last week so we wanted to come with him again and we wanted Michael to get another week of training in," Schmid said.
* Brad Evans also continued his run of form. Since an appearance off the substitutes' bench on July 20, Evans has started the last three games and figured in a goal in each, with two goals and two assists in that span.