SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. HOUSTON DYNAMO Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. We welcome Houston, or the former Earthquakes, or however you wish to classify them to the friendly confines of Royal Brougham Park for a midweek evening fixture. We have great things to celebrate as we’ve won four on the trot! We have exulted as the team has sorted its way to consistency. Let’s focus our efforts on finishing the season in the sterling form of the last few matches. Let’s rally the Green Family in every corner of our domain and join in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

The Good News
Sounders have won their last four, and have lost just once in their last 11. We have climbed the league table and are now eighth in the league. Our home record against Houston is genius at 5-1-0 (W-D-L), we have never lost to the Houston at Royal Brougham Park. Houston have won only two in their last six, and have dropped their last two matches.

The Bad News
I have no bad news to report on this day, other than that Dempsey is still not well and Evans is out due to being sent off in the last match.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Willis started the last match for Houston. He is 27 years-old and won a US Open Cup with DC United in 2013. None of the Houston goalkeepers possess a ton of experience or honours.

Defence – Domestic product Williams has 187 caps and 18 goals at 26 years-old. Rodriguez has 80 matches for Espanyol in La Liga. He has over 200 pro appearances including one cap for Catalonia – this shows he has heart. Jalil Anibaba we know well, as he once wore our shirt. He has 138 pro appearances with five goals and no senior caps. DaMarcus Beasley is legend. With over 330 pro appearances he has scored 44 goals. He has 123 caps for United States with 17 goals, and has won 14 titles with club and country. Although his pace might not be what it once was, you would be foolish to discount him.

Midfield – Warner has over 160 pro appearances and won a Canadian Championship with Montreal. Clark is a veteran, with 306 pro appearances and 32 goals. he has 34 United States caps, scoring three goals. He has won three titles between club and country in addition to personal honours including being a three-time MLS All-Star. Garcia, the Honduran midfield maestro, has over 200 pro appearances with 26 goals. He has 114 caps for his country. Garcia won eight titles with CD Olimpia. Maidana has over 200 pro appearances with 13 goals. The Argentinian native played 34 times for Spartak Moscow. Alex is 27 years-old, and has nearly 180 appearances with 13 goals. Alex is a native of São Paulo, Brazil who played nearly 90 matches in Swiss football before coming to MLS.

Forward – Manotas at a tender 21 years has only five goals in 32 appearances. The Columbian only played top level football in the MLS.

Bench – Defender Mansally has nearly 140 pro appearances and has played eight times for Gambia. He has won two titles. Horst is a veteran USL player, winning a title with Puerto Rico Islanders. Alexander at the age of 27 has 188 pro appearances. and two United States caps, 0 goals. He has won honours that include a MLS Western Conference Championship 2010, FC Dallas and a MLS League Champions (Supporter’s Shield) 2013, New York Red Donkeys. Bruin has nearly 150 pro appearances with 47 goals. Bruin has two United States caps. Wenger has 128 appearances and 18 goals. He has won a Canadian Championship with Montreal. Escalante has 36 pro appearances with 4 goals. He has played 20 times for CD Olimpia of Honduras.

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, Torres, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Alonso, Gomez, Friberg, Roldan, Fernandez, Morris.

Bench: Miller (gk), Evans, Scott, Valdez, Kovar, Fisher, Anderson.

Houston: Willis, Williams, Rodriguez, Anibaba, Beasley, Warner, Clark, Garcia, Maidana, Alex, Manotas.

Bench: Brown (gk), Mansally, Horst, Alexander, Bruin, Wenger, Escalante.

Injury List
Seattle –
OUT: Dempsey (irregular heartbeat – out for season).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Fernandez (hamstring).

Houston –
OUT: Deric (elbow sprain), Agus (knee sprain).
MATCHDAY DECISION:

Discipline
Seattle: Evans (Sent Off). Alonso out next booking.
Houston: None Suspended. Alex 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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