Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sounders get set to host the Houston Dynamo

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders take on the Houston Dynamo in their second of three straight home matches to start the season. The match will kick off tomorrow at 7pm as NBC Sports Network makes their first trip to the Emerald City. Much like what Sporting KC went through last season, the Dynamo face a long road swing to start the year. The Dynamo will be on the road until May 12th when they open up the new BBVA Compass Stadium against D.C. United. Houston won their first two matches, however they didn't look too good in their last match against San Jose. It's important that the Sounders play their game and put pressure on the back line immediately. This will be the only meeting between these two teams this season. In nine all-time meetings, including the two games in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a U.S. Open Cup semifinal, the road team has never taken the full three points.

Injury report:

Houston Dynamo - The only injury update I have right now for the Dynamo is Corey Ashe is listed as probable, he strained his left hammie prior to the start of the season.

Seattle Sounders FC - Well we have a big list here. Of course the guys that are out are Josh Ford, Andrew Duran, Michael Tetteh, Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White. Mauro Rosales will be out for a couple of weeks after he picked up another knee injury last week. Some ridiculous fan on SeattleTimes complained about him flopping and I don't understand this. Out of all the matches I've seen him play, not once have I ever seen him flop. It was obvious, that he was kicked in the knee intentionally and the referee did nothing out it. And I can tell that fan clearly doesn't know what a flop is, but anyway, Rosales is out. Look for Christian Sivebaek to get the start on the right. Eddie Johnson did get some practice time in for the team this week after he sat out last week with a hip flexor injury, but he might sit out again this week. Right now, he's listed as doubtful. And finally, Adam Johannson will be a game-time decision after he sustained a hamstring injury during practice on Tuesday. Hopefully he'll be a go for tomorrow.

By the way, earlier today, the Sounders bought out O'Brian White's contract for 2012, so he will no longer occupy a roster spot or count against the Salary Budget. White has been dealing with multiple blood clot sergeries in his leg. It looked like he would return in the middle of 2011, but he suffered a setback and now it looks like his tenure with the Sounders is just about over.

International absenses:

Houston Dynamo - Alright, currently away on international duty for the Dynamo is Kofi Sarkodie who is currently with the U.S. under-23 national team for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament which kicked off today. By the way, the U.S. won their first match 6-0 over Cuba.

Seattle Sounders FC - The Sounders have two guys away for the same reason. Rookie Babayele Sodade is currently with Canada, who kicked off their campaign against El Salvador. Unfortunetly, he was left on the bench. The other guy is Cordell Cato with Trinidad and Tobago who kick off their campaign tomorrow against Mexico.

Key matchup:

Alvaro Fernandez vs Andre Hainault - This is the only key matchup I have for this one and this is the matchup that I think will decide this game. So far in this young season, Ferandez has been a playmaker on the left side of midfield. If he can get Andre Hainault backpeddling here, that means Geoff Cameron is gonna have to come over from his central defensive position and help out and if Cameron slides over, that would leave room for David Estrada or Fredy Montero to run diaginally across the Dynamo box. San Jose and Chivas haven't managed that, if Seattle does, that would increase their chances of winning. Fernandez has done all the dirty work while Steve Zakuani has been out recovering from his fractured leg and looking to get back to full fitness and I'm pretty sure Zakuani would've had the same job against this Houston Dynamo back four.

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