Team captain Rosales is out with a bum knee as Seattle hosts a Houston team that has played them dead even through three seasons.
MATCH: Houston Dynamo (2-0-0, 6 points) at Seattle Sounders FC (1-0-0, 3 points). TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 7th (series tied 2-2-2). TV: NBC Sports Network. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH RADIO: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
The Sounders continue their three-game home stand when 2011 MLS Cup runners-up Houston Dynamo comes to the Clink for a nationally televised match on NBC Sports Network with former Seattle broadcaster Arlo White and Kyle Martino on the call.
Due to their involvement in CONCACAF competition, the Sounders are upon only their second MLS match (defeated Toronto FC Saturday 3-1). The Dynamo come in having won a pair on the road against Western Conference teams (Chivas USA, San Jose).
“We know that theyre a good team,” said coach Sounders Sigi Schmid. “Theyve got some quality players. Theres probably not a better server of the ball than Brad Davis. Theyve got some big people and theyre dangerous on their set pieces weve got to be ready for that. Brian Ching is a great post-up forward. He can hold the ball and bring people into the game, so we have to be aware of all those things.
Houston, which has yet to concede a goal (a pair of 1-0 wins), features an outstanding midfield pairing in Brad Davis and Geoff Cameron. An MVP finalist in 2011, Davis recorded a league-high 16 assists last year and opened his 2012 campaign with the winner at San Jose last weekend. Cameron, who scored five goals with five assists in 2011, has played all 180 minutes this season.
Houston’s attacking options up top include MLS veteran Brian Ching, who returns to Houston after a short stint in Montreal following the MLS expansion draft this off-season. Fifth among active MLS players with 77 goals, Ching scored five goals with one assist in 2011 and has started both matches this season. Second-year striker Will Bruin also scored five goals with one assist in 2011.
Goalkeeper and Seattle native Tally Hall is one of two netminders with clean sheets in his first two games, stopping all seven shots he has faced. Hall finished 2011 with six shutouts and a 1.21 goals-against average.
Neither Seattle nor Houston has won on the road against each other. The Sounders are 2-0-1 at home against the Dynamo. Five of Seattle’s eight goals vs. the Dynamo have come in the final 45 minutes while Houston has scored early with six of its eight coming in the opening half.
The Sounders will be missing the services of Mauro Rosales, who is ailing from a sprained knee.
“Mauro will be out for this weekend for sure,” said Schmid. “Its not the same injury he had last year, so we just have to see how he responds. It could be a couple of weeks, it could be a little more, well have to see how it goes the next few days.
You dont want to lose players anytime and certainly hes a very important player to us because of the creative impulses he gives to the game,” Schmid said of Rosales. “Were going to miss that part of it. It puts a little more of a burden on the other guys to do a little more.
SERIES: Dates to July 11, 2009, when the Sounders scored a 2-1 victory at CenturyLink field on goals by Fredy Montero and Patrick Ianni. In six matches between the clubs, each side has netted eight times, with Seattle having outshot the Dynamo. 63-55 (38-20 on goal). Montero and Alvaro Fernandez have scored twice against Houston while Geoff Cameron leads all players with three goals in the series. Dynamo forward Brian Ching is the only player with a multi-goal game. In the last match between the clubs (July 30, 2011), Houston prevailed 2-1. Seattle received its only goal from Fernandez on a penalty kick.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, March 17): David Estrada became the third player in club history to record a hat trick as he led Seattle to a 3-1 season-opening victory over Toronto FC. Estrada helped Seattle to its third season-opening victory in four years with the first three goals of his MLS career. Estrada tallied in the 17th minute when he poked in a loose ball following a scramble in the box. He added a second goal in the 51st minute and completed the hat trick just moments after Toronto’s lone goal in the 63rd.
LAST MATCH (Dynamo, March 17): Dynamo forward Brian Ching drew a first-half penalty kick that Brad Davis converted for the only goal in Houstons 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at AT&T Park. It was a second consecutive 1-0 road win for the Dynamo, who made last years MLS Cup final despite going 2-6-9 away from home.
SOUNDERS FC STAT/NOTES: Seattle went 9-4-4 at home in 2011 (25-10-12 overall) and, with the victory in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, the Sounders have won both home games this season, scoring five goals . . . Through three matches in all competitions, the Sounders have held possession 51.9 percent of the time. While in possession, Seattle has an average passing accuracy of 81.4 percent. When Seattle loses possession, it has the ability to recover, winning 55.8% of its duels with a high of 59.8 percent against Toronto. Seattle has made more than 450 passes in three games with a high of 474 passes last Saturday, including an average of 13 open-play crosses per game . . . Patrick Ianni joined the Sounders in 2009 from Houston, obtained in a trade. During his time in Houston, he made 35 appearances for the Dynamo (2006-08). Ianni scored the game-winning goal against Houston on an overhead kick July 11, 2009.
DYNAMO STATS/NOTES: Houston features a number of individuals with Northwest ties, including two former A-League/USL-1 Sounders. Forward Cam Weaver, who led the Sounders in scoring in 2005 as a rookie, hails from Seattle U. . . . Weaver helped the Redhawks win the NCAA Division II championship in 2004 . . . F Brian Ching starred at Gonzaga and made the all-league team with the Sounders in 2002 . . . GK Tally Hall is a native of Gig Harbor . . . Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo head coach, played for the Sounders’ 1995 A-League championship team.
COACHES: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from the Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
Dominic Kinnear: The former U.S. international is his ninth season as a head coach, including six with Houston. He coached the Dynamo to MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007, to the MLS title game in 2011, to the SuperLiga championship game in 2008, and the Western Conference championship game in 2009. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Kinnear moved to California at age three and grew up in Fremont, CA. Kinnear played professionally in the American Professional Soccer League (APSL) and Mexico. Kinnear earned 54 caps for the U.S. national team, with nine goals and two assists. He played for the Sounders’ 1995 A-League championship team.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule
(1-0-0, 3 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KING||—||—||—|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||7:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer