Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
This will be the 15th MLS regular season meeting between the two franchises. Houston has only won three of the previous 14 games (5L-6D), and have not beaten the Sounders since the 2013 season (2L-4D in the last six matches). The Sounders have never won in Houston (3L-4D). The teams have drawn four consecutive matches in MLS regular season action.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson (bench side), Jeffrey Greeson (far side)
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
This preseason, the Dynamo won the Desert Diamond Cup out in Tuscon, racking up a 6-0-1 overall showing. Quioto earned the "Copper Boot" and tournament MVP honors, with Houston showing the makings of an electric offense and enough defense to keep in front. Watch for early strikes from this group, and keep an eye on budding talent Mauro Manotas off the bench.
- Suspended: Juan David Cabezas
- Int’l Duty: None
- Houston Methodist Injury Report: Joe Willis (knee)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): Tyler Deric — A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, DaMarcus Beasley — Eric Alexander, Ricardo Clark, Alex – Alberth Elis, Erick 'Cubo' Torres, Romell Quioto
Notes: After scoring eight goals in their first two home MLS matches, the Dynamo only scored 15 in their final 15 home matches of 2016. Their 39 total goals in 2016 were tied for the second-lowest total of any team in the league. Don't expect a repeat.
The last time we saw Seattle on the pitch, they were raucously celebrating Roman Torres' MLS Cup-winning penalty. The towering Panamanian returning from injury marked one of many key midseason additions for Seattle, who largely return the victorious roster – plus Dempsey. With so much singular talent on the team, health and a fresh breakout for Oniel Fisher, along with a continued one for Cristian Roldan, could mean a romping return trip through the regular season.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: Brad Evans (calf muscle strain), Aaron Kovar (groin surgery), Oniel Fisher (concussion), Jordan Morris (right ankle sprain), Stefan Frei (ankle), Osvaldo Alonso(knee)
Projected starting XI (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei (GK) — Oniel Fisher, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones — Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso — Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro – Will Bruin
Notes: From August 1st, Nicolas Lodeiro was tied for the regular season league lead in assists with eight and was third in MLS in touches with 1,027. Only four players in the league had more than 1,000 touches from August 1st until the end of the regular season.