Preview: Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders FC

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders FC
Saturday, April 4, 9:00 p.m. CT
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS (Alternate Channel) - 9:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 9:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 9:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Back together again in the Western Conference, Seattle Sounders FC and the Houston Dynamo renew their oncepitched rivalry when the clubs face off at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are looking to return to the winning column after games without a victory, their last result a scoreless draw at overall leader FC Dallas last weekend. The Dynamo have played to back-to-back draws of their own, reaching a scoreless result with the Colorado Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium last week.

REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 16 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 3; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Thursday, April 2)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – PROBABLE: Ricardo Clark – R costochondral fracture; DaMarcus Beasley – L hamstring strain

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – PROBABLE: Osvaldo Alonso – groin strain, Clint Dempsey – Right hamstring strain; Chad Marshall – neck strain; Obafemi Martins – Right quad contusion

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 13 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 11 goals … Ties 2
  • AT SEATTLE (5 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 9 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
  • RETURN MATCH: 10/18: Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders FC, tbd (ESPN2)
  • Sounders FC have never lost to the Dynamo in Seattle. In five league meetings all-time, Sounders FC have won four, with one draw, outscoring Houston 9-2. Sounders FC also won a U.S. Open Cup match at home vs. Houston; the teams played a scoreless draw in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • The teams have alternated wins over the last five seasons, each winning only on their home ground. Sounders FC won last year’s lone meeting, 2-0 on Aug. 10 at CenturyLink Field.
  • This is the first in-conference meeting between the teams since 2011. They both were members of the Western Conference from 2009-11, meeting in the conference semifinals in 2009 (the Dynamo winning 1-0 on aggregate).
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. SEA: first game … Sigi Schmid vs. HOU: P15 W5 L5 D5

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo played to a second consecutive draw, reaching a scoreless result with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 5 points from 4 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric made three saves as the Rapids reached a scoreless draw for a third match running -- the first team ever to play in three consecutive goalless results.
  • Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin was called upon to make two saves as he recorded his third shutout of the season.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made four changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Raul Rodriguez came into the back four for Jermaine Taylor, Leonel and Rob Lovejoy started in midfield in place of Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido, and Will Bruin came back in up top in place of Giles Barnes.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley - Ricardo Clark (Zach Steinberger 69), Brad Davis - Leonel Miranda (Chandler Hoffman 83), Nathan Sturgis, Rob Lovejoy (Alexander Lopez 59) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo recorded their second shutout in four games – and were shut out for the second time in four games – in the result with Colorado. Neither the Dynamo nor their opponents have scored more than one goal in any of the four Houston games this season.
  • “We lost one game overall, which we shouldn't have lost. But they're a great group of players. We know exactly what we want to do,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle. “Good results do tend to come out. We could've won the game. Our players are receptive to ideas and know what's going on. I believe in the quality of our group. We'll welcome the four boys back next week.”
  • With Giles Barnes away on international duty with Jamaica, Will Bruin made his first start since the season opener, playing as the lone out-and-out striker in the Dynamo scheme.
  • “I think we’ve got to take more chances going forward, personally,” Bruin said. “We’re all fine in possession; if you look back at that game I can only think of a handful of quality chances. We’ve got to start creating more chances and I think that’s everybody getting more creative in the final third and finding that groove.”
  • Said Coyle: “Are we disappointed not to win the game? Absolutely. Every game at home we want to get those three points. But there is an awful lot to be pleased about."
  • Brad Davis dropped into a deep-lying central midfield role from his usual wide spot, as rookie Rob Lovejoy was given his first professional start on the left of the midfield.
  • “I think we had a lack of chances. We did well in possession, but it was more side-to-side possession,” Bruin said. “I don’t think we went forward with enough conviction and a 0-0 result shows it.”
  • Ricardo Clark started and played 69 minutes, his fourth start in four matches this season, despite facing fitness concerns throughout the week with a chest injury.
  • “You know when he comes out in a game that Ricardo Clark’s hurt,” Coyle said. “He’s got such a high pain threshold. He’s Dynamo through and through and he’s a valuable player for our team.”
  • Raúl Rodríguez and DaMarcus Beasley were also able to play the full 90 minutes in the back four, despite carrying hamstring injuries. Rodríguez had missed the last two matches, while Beasley was forced off early in the second half of the LA Galaxy match.