Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders

Dynamo welcome Clint Dempsey back to Texas in key battle between playoff contenders

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders
Saturday, August 17, 8:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Plus - 8:00 p.m. (7:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 8:00 p.m. (7:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 8:00 p.m. (7:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

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.

REFEREES

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

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- Omar Cummings – Left knee MCL sprain; Tyler Deric – Right thumb fracture; QUESTIONABLE: Calen Carr – Left knee; Andrew Driver &ndash Right Achilles tendonitis; Boniek Garcia – Right abdominal strain; Alex Dixon – Left hamstring strain

SEATTLE SOUNDERS -- OUT: Alex Caskey – Right ankle impingement; Josh Ford – Right patella fracture; Philip Lund – Right plantar fasciitis; Steve Zakuani – Athletic pubalgia QUESTIONABLE: Obafemi Martins – Left ankle sprain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • 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
  • 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

HOUSTON DYNAMO

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.

LAST MATCH

  • 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).

TEAM NEWS

  • 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 Montréal, 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 García 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.”