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July 30, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Sounders FC vs. Houston Dynamo, preview and prediction

Houston Dynamo Logo.jpgSounders FC (10-4-8) vs. Houston Dynamo (5-7-9)

Saturday, July 30, 5:30 p.m., Robertson Stadium, Houston, Texas

TV/radio: KONG-TV 6/16, KIRO-FM 97.3 (Arlo White, Erin Mayovsky)

Referee: Niko Bratsis


M Brad Davis — Can’t call this MLS All-Star underrated anymore. His nine assists lead MLS (the rest of his team has 13 total). The set-piece specialist is Houston’s only field player that’s started each game this season. Expect danger to come from his service.

GK Tally Hall — The Gig Harbor native was phenomenal in the teams’ previous meeting and Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said he expects another standout showing. He’s got all the tools to be a star goalkeeper for a long time. Might he be another American shot-stopper that heads to Europe?

D Andre Hainault — The Dynamo backline has had some serious issues at times this season, but the Canadian center back has probably been the steadiest of the bunch. Has good size at 6-foot-2 and athleticism as well. Will he be able to hold things down?


Mauro Rosales vs. Corey Ashe — Houston’s left back was probably the most surprising MLS All-Star, but he has the pace to match Seattle’s dynamic midfielder. Rosales six assists are a team high and place him in a fifth-place tie on the MLS leaderboard. Expect to see a lot of action on that side.

Houston forwards vs. Sounders center backs — I’m not entirely sure what combination of Brian Ching/Will Bruin/Cam Weaver we’ll see from the hosts, but their aerial battles with Jeff Parke and Patrick Ianni could decide that match. Some defensive pressure will also fall on Kasey Keller in this regard.

Seattle’s form vs. Seattle’s form — Technically the Sounders have lost twice in a row (Manchester United and San Francisco FC). The thing is, neither result was that big of a deal — one was a friendly and the other is still a manageable result in a two-leg series. Seattle has a nine-game unbeaten streak against MLS opponents. Will that form continue?


The Sounders have been in Houston since Wednesday and surely they’re raring to go. Hopefully the heat — which could be in the mid-90s Saturday afternoon — will have worn off by the evening kickoff and we’ll have an entertaining game. I remember sweating my tail off last year in Houston.

Both teams have been scoring and allowing a lot of goals recently, and personally I think the match-ups work out favorably for both teams’ offenses. I’m calling this one even.

Sounders FC 2, Houston Dynamo 2

SEA — Fredy Montero (Rosales) 37′

HOU — Geoff Cameron (Danny Cruz) 43′

HOU — Bruin (Davis) 61′

SEA — Mike Fucito (Osvaldo Alonso) 85′

* * *

What do you see coming from this one? Does the unbeaten streak continue?


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