Sounders FC @ Houston Dynamo
August 17, 2013, 6 pm PT; BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16; No English Radio; KOMO2 (Spanish); La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish); MLS Live (Online outside the Seattle area)
Houston’s Record: Houston is 9-7-6 (33 points), clinging to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
All-time Series: The Sounders lead the all-time series at 3-2-2 in regular season play, with all of their wins coming at CenturyLink Field. They went 0-2-1 at Robertson Stadium before the Dynamo moved into BBVA Compass Stadium last year. They also met in the playoffs in 2009, with Houston advancing 1-0 in a frantic overtime clash. Sounders FC topped the Dynamo in the 2009 US Open Cup semifinals in overtime, too.
Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: M Alex Caskey (R ankle impingement); GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture); M Philip Lund (R plantar fasciitis) M Steve Zakuani (athletic pubalgia). QUESTIONABLE: F Obafemi Martins (L ankle sprain). Dynamo – OUT: F Omar Cummings (L MCL sprain); GK Tyler Deric (R thumb fracture). QUESTIONABLE: F Calen Carr (L knee); M Andrew Driver (R Achilles tendonitis); Alex Dixon (L hamstring strain); M Boniek Garcia (R abdominal strain).
Key Player: Houston forward Will Bruin scored 12 goals in his second MLS season in 2012. This year, his pace has slowed as he has just five goals in 18 appearances. After scoring four goals in his first nine matches this year, he has scored just once in his last nine. However, he has notched five assists, matching his total from the previous two seasons combined.
Notes: The match will be a homecoming for Texas native Clint Dempsey, who last played in his home state in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring in a 1-0 semifinal win over Panama. His former New England Revolution teammate Steve Ralston is an assistant coach with Houston. … Houston’s roster is riddled with Seattle ties. Forwards Brian Ching and Cam Weaver both played for the Sounders when they were in the second division, Ching in 2001-2002 and Weaver in 2006. Goalkeeper Tally Hall (Gig Harbor), defender Anthony Arena (Inglemoor) and defender Mike Chabala (University of Washington) also have connections to the area. Even head coach Dominic Kinnear played for the Sounders in the A-League in 1995. … Newly signed Designated Player Alex Lopez joined the Dynamo in training for the first time on Friday. … Seattle forward Eddie Johnson is serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation. He will be eligible to return next week against the Portland Timbers. … Midfielder Brad Evans returns to Sounders FC from international duty after starting at right back for the U.S. in a 4-3 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in an international friendly on Wednesday. Johnson scored the first goal for the U.S. in the win.