HOUSTON—Welcome to BBVA Compass Stadium, where we have a bit of a unique look from the press box.
Look of talk again surrounding Clint Dempsey, who is set to make his first start in a return to his home state. His hometown of Nacogdoches is about 140 miles northeast of here, and he said earlier this week he expected about 40 friends and family members in attendance.
As a reminder, Seattle has a couple personnel issues with leading scorer Obafemi Martins out with a sprained ankle and Eddie Johnson suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
The Dynamo are expecting a sellout here and are 24-4-11 since 2011 in games played with a kickoff temperature of 80 degrees or more. We should get there as it’s about 92 degrees at the time of this post.
Interestingly, the home team is 7-0-3 in this head-to-head series in all competitions. I’ll post lineups here when they become available.
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Sounders FC lineup: GK Michael Gspurning, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Patrick Ianni, D Djimi Traore, D Leo Gonzalez, M Mauro Rosales, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Shalrie Joseph, M Marc Burch, F Lamar Neagle, F Clint Dempsey
Sounders FC bench: GK Marcus Hahnemann, D Zach Scott, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Dylan Remick, M Brad Evans, M Servando Carrasco, F Eriq Zavaleta
Houston lineup: GK Tally Hall; D Kofi Sarkodie, D Bobby Boswell, D Jermaine Taylor, D Corey Ashe; M Boniek Garcia, M Adam Moffat, M Ricardo Clark, M Brad Davis; F Will Bruin, F Giles Barnes
Houston bench: GK Erich Marscheider, D Eric Brunner, F Brian Ching, M Warren Creavalle, M Andrew Driver, F Cam Weaver, M Alexander Lopez
NOTES: The big news is Clint Dempsey getting his first start for the Sounders in his homecoming. He’ll play up front with Lamar Neagle, who pushes up from midfield. As a result, Marc Burch fills in at left mid. Elsewhere, goalkeeper Michael Gspurning returns to the lineup after missing four games with a sprained forearm. This back four has started the past four games together.