Houston aims to end season on a streak
During the entire 2010 season and dating back to June of 2009 in regular season play, the Houston Dynamo have failed to win back-to-back games. Against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday however, Houston will have one final chance to pull off that feat.
Though a positive result will not overcome the overall disappointment in the 2010 season, finishing the season on a streak would certainly feel like a step in the right direction.
“I don’t know that we would be shouting from the rooftops about it, but it would be something we haven’t done all year,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “It would show that the guys haven’t been packing it in and looking forward to the offseason.”
Standing between the Dynamo and back-to-back wins is a Sounders team that has won its last five MLS contests and is possibly the hottest side in MLS going into the MLS Cup Playoffs, with a 10-1-3 record in league play since the halfway mark.
Seattle carries 10-goal scorers in Steve Zakuani and the suspended Fredy Montero, as well as former Switzerland international Blaise Nkufo, who has five strikes since joining the club after the World Cup.
Despite Seattle's firepower, Kinnear points to their two workhorses as the ones to watch on Saturday.
“A lot of people want to point to [Sanna] Nyassi or Montero or Zakuani — and rightfully so,” Kinnear said. “But the last month-and-a-half, Nate Sturgis and Osvaldo Alonso have been really good for them. They do a lot of work that people don’t appreciate but coaches love.”
Houston will be buoyed by the return of Geoff Cameron, who will likely partner with Lovel Palmer in the midfield. However, with Anthony Obodai healthy this week and Brad Davis coming off his best performance last week, Kinnear has options aplenty in the middle of the park. Regardless of who Kinnear selects, Houston hope to put on a good show for its fans, as Robertson Stadium is expected to be packed for the season finale.
“To have 25,000-plus in our last game when we are out of the playoffs shows the respect the fans have for us,” Davis said. “It’s something special.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.