Match Preview: Dynamo vs. Seattle

Dynamo looking for first win at Qwest Field

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Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The Basics
Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders
Friday, March 25, 9 p.m. CT
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

All-time record: Seattle leads 3-2-2 (all competitions)

Broadcast Info
8:30 p.m. FOX Soccer (English)
8:30 p.m. FOX Deportes (Spanish)
8:30 p.m. KPRC 950 (English)
8:30 p.m. La Ranchera 850 (Spanish)

Game Guide - downloadable PDF

A pair of clubs who have developed a healthy rivalry meet when the Seattle Sounders host the Houston Dynamo on Friday night. The clubs met in the 2009 conference semifinals while Houston was still in the Western Conference, and that year also played a heated U.S. Open Cup semifinal match. Both clubs are looking for their first win this year. Seattle dropped its first two, while the Dynamo lost their opener at home.

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica)

SUSPENDED: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Sounders 2 wins, 6 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
AT QWEST FIELD (2 meetings): Sounders FC 2 wins, 4 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
RETURN MATCH: 7/30: Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders, 7:30 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
8/8: SEA 2, HOU 0 (Montero 64; Fernandez 88)
10/23: HOU 2, SEA 1 (Cameron 27; Weaver 46 – Riley 12)

The Sounders have won both league meetings all-time at Qwest Field. The Dynamo have never won in Seattle, including a draw in the 2009 Western Conference semifinals and a Seattle win in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal in 2009.

The Sounders have never won at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have won twice, including in the 2009 conference semifinals, with one draw.

Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. HOU: P10 W3 L3 D4 … Dominic Kinnear v SEA: P4 W1 L2 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo weren’t able to kick off their move to the Eastern Conference with a result, falling 1-0 to the Philadelphia on Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium.

The only goal of the game came after just five minutes. A long throw into the box from Sheanon Williams was turned onto the crossbar by Sebastien Le Toux, but Danny Califf was there to prod home the rebound.

With Brian Ching injured, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear started rookie Will Bruin in attack alongside newcomer Jason Garey. Jermaine Taylor was given the start in central defense.

TEAM NEWS
The Dynamo suffered a loss in their season opener at home for the first time, falling 1-0 to Philadelphia Union.

“We talked about goals for the season, and one of them was to have a better home record than last year because it gives you a good chance to make the playoffs,” said Kinnear. “We’re not satisfied with what happened tonight, and we’re not brushing it off just saying ‘it’s the start of the season.’ Believe me, I want to win this game, and so do they. Yes, there’s urgency.”

A year ago, the Dynamo were 6-6-3 at Robertson Stadium, one of four teams in MLS with a home record at .500 or below.

“You try not to think about it, but it does have a little bit of feeling of (2010),” Andre Hainault said to the Houston Chronicle. “You know we learn from it. It was a long season last year. Already I’m thinking, ‘OK, let’s not get down on ourselves so early.’ Dom (Kinnear) said right away that (there are) 33 games left in the season, lots of time to turn it around because we’re not in a hole right now.”

Striker Will Bruin, starting in place of the injured Brian Ching, became the first rookie to start a season opener for the Dynamo in their six-year history.

Kinnear made substitutions for both strikers before the midway point of the second half, Cam Weaver coming on for Bruin in the 57th minute and Dominic Oduro for Jason Garey in the 61st.

“We had one really good chance that you can all probably be shaking your heads because I think we can all know what it was,” Kinnear said. “When you don’t score chances like that, you’re not going to win the game if you’re losing 1-0.”

Ching returned to full training at the start of the week in hopes of overcoming the strained right hamstring that kept him out.

"On Saturday I came in early and ran really, really hard," Ching said. "I felt great. So I'll be in full training this week. I haven't had any problems so far, and I expect to be healthy with the hamstring for the weekend."

On Wednesday, the Dynamo traded Oduro to the Chicago Fire for striker Calen Carr. Carr had 9 goals in 82 league appearances in Chicago, scoring 3 goals in 14 games (4 starts) in an injury-plagued 2010.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

The Seattle Sounders went down to defeat for the second time on the young season, again falling by a 1-0 scoreline in a loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.

The game’s lone goal came with 20 minutes remaining. Juan Agudelo ran on to a long ball played out of midfield by Teemu Tainio, and the teenager held off a defender before curling a shot past Kasey Keller.

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that lost 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy the previous Tuesday at Qwest Field. With Steve Zakuani out due to injury, Servando Carrasco made his MLS debut.

TEAM NEWS

The Sounders come into the match off of back-to-back 1-0 losses to start the season. Seattle last lost consecutive matches from June 10-July 4, 2010, dropping three in a row.

"Two 1-nil losses are nothing to panic about — a couple (butt)-whoopings maybe, but it wasn't that bad," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller to the Seattle Times. "Bottom line is it's no points in two games and it doesn't matter if you get your (butt) kicked 6-nil or lose 1-nil. It's still no points."

Keller saved a penalty kick from New York’s Thierry Henry in the ninth minute, his second penalty save in MLS. He denied Real Salt Lake’s Robbie Findley last Sept. 9.

"It was tremendous," coach Sigi Schmid said. "It was a great save; it kept us in the game at a very key point. Him saving that PK is what gave us the opportunity to tie or win this game."

A starter in the opening match, midfielder Steve Zakuani did not make the trip to New York to rest a strained adductor. Schmid said he should be available for the Houston match.

In his place, rookie Servando Carrasco made the start in the center of midfield alongside Osvaldo Alonso, with Erik Friberg moving into a wider attacking role.

30-year-old Argentinean midfielder Mauro Rosales made his debut for the club, coming on as a 67th-minute substitute. Rosales started wide on the right, but moved into a central midfield role after a later substitution.