HOUSTON DYNAMO v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Tonight’s midweek MLS fixture presents a ripe opportunity to cook up a three point meal – TexMex style! And the sweet bit: a win at Dowling Street tonight would be the first away win versus Houston in our club’s history. The true San Jose Earthquakes, cleverly disguised as refugees from the Dutch national team (eventually replaced in the South Bay by an entirely new batch of SJ Earthquakes – who will be henceforth known as the Fauxquakes), are having all sorts of trouble holding it down in the Lone Star State. One win in their last 11 matches…dearie me! Time to galvanise the Green family and root the lads onto another precious victory. Things are looking up! We’re only two points from tying the Treecutters for that last MLS Cup berth! We’re so close, and our boys in Green will nae give up. And neither will we. Link up with your mates at the match or at a damn fine viewing party near you. Join us in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

The Good News
Sounders FC are on a three match winning streak. For serious. Unbeaten in the last four matches, Sounders are scoring 2.25 goals/game. Of the 13 goals we’ve conceded to Houston in the league, three were scored by Geoff Cameron, and two by Brian Ching. That’s 38.5% of Houston’s all-time offense against us, scored by two players that are no longer with the club. Although we’ve never won at Dowling Street, or at their old ground – we never had Lodeiro in the team before. So that’s something. Again, we’re experiencing a storybook return to form having dropped only two results out of our last six. Coming off our derby win over the Treecutters, morale is high in both the squad, and within our legion of supporters. Houston are winless in their last five matches, with only one win in their last six. Houston have only won four and drawn six in 11 matches at Dowling Street this season. Houston sit five places behind us in the league table at 18th. The Dynamo have only scored two goals in their last six matches. Houston have only one win in their last 11 matches. Also, with former Yanks stalwart DaMarcus Beasley out, we won’t have to face his experience and pace. This is a good thing. Ask the lads from Portugal who were utterly slack-jawed when the teenaged Beasley tore them apart in World Cup 2002.

The Bad News
We’ve never won at Houston in six matches all-time, drawing three, and dropping the rest. Our road record is a dismal two wins and two drawn in 11 matches. When you drop as many points as Houston has over the last 11, tempers in the team tend to get a little testy. Let’s hope they don’t decide to adopt the ghoulish strategy of kicking Lodeiro until he can’t get up anymore. Then again, Lodeiro has played top level football in both his native Uruguay and in Argentina – two leagues where the tackling is more unforgiving then the fans are after a defeat (so maybe no worries?). Giles Barnes and Ricardo Clark (another 38.5% of the all-time Houston offense against us) are proven threats to score against us with three and two goals respectively against our boys in Green. Dynamo have a number of experienced, albeit older, international players from such nations as Columbia, Spain, Honduras, and Argentina. Houston must be in total disarray to have players of this quality in the side and not be getting results.

The Rest
Former Burnley manager Owen Coyle, who once brought Burnley FC to the promised land of the English Premiership in 2009, was given the sack early in June by the re-packaged Earthquakes. The club has replaced him with Wade Barrett who played for Houston 99 times after the Quakes 2.0’s exodus from the Bay. The Dynamo have won only once in eight attempts with new man Barrett in charge.

Familiar Faces
Houston defender #2 Jalil Anibaba played for the Sounders in 2014, making 16 appearances for our boys in Green.

Selections for Last Match
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Roldan, Alonso, Lodeiro, Dempsey, Ivanschitz, Morris.

Bench: Miller (gk), Scott, Friberg, Fernández, Valdez, Gómez, Anderson.

Houston: Willis, Williams, Horst, Rodríguez, Anibaba, Clark, Warner, García, Maidana, Alex, Manotas.

Bench: Deric, Agus, Brown, Alexander, Wenger, Bruin, Torres.

Injury List
Seattle –
OUT: Torres (ACL), Kovar (broken clavicle).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Houston –
OUT: Beasley (knee surgery).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
No players suspended for this match.
No players out next booking.

Fun Fact
Did you know that the Houston club are actually a re-packaging of the second coming of the San Jose Earthquakes? You know, the version that had Landon Donovan for a bit and actually won something. The NASL Quakes were 1.0, The San Jose Clash 1.5? (clearly an nearsighted attempt by early MLS to get away from the old NASL brand – which as it turned out, true supporters liked better), Quakes 2.0 – Clash become relevant (see Donovan, and the winning) after their re-re-brand but then sulkily run away to Houston because management didn’t get their shiny, new football ground. Then the club’s ownership re-packaged the side with the classic Russian team name ‘Dynamo’ (WTF?), culminating in the very silly orange and white colours that don’t seem to stand for anything. This was followed in the Bay by the current version of the Quakes that replaced them, v. 3.0, who finally got their better than average Coleman Avenue ground. Quakes v. 3.0 = the Fauxquakes. Revisionist history never wins with this reporter.

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