July 11, QWest Field, 1 p.m. PT
Two of the league's top teams face off this Saturday as the Sounders will have a chance to move into second place in the West and 3 points of Houston for the first seed. The Sounders are looking to build on their convincing victory against Colorado, and especially the apparent chemistry between Jaqua and Montero. Will the Sounders be slowed by nagging injuries and a break from league play, or will their fast-paced and exciting attack crack the stout Houston defense?
1st place, Western Conference
9-3-4 Overall, 4-3-1 Away
Away Goals Scored: 10
Away Goals Conceded: 7
Form: W W D L W
OUT: Eddie Robinson (Lknee surgery); Wade Barrett (Lgastrocnemius strain); Cam Weaver (R groin); PROBABLE: DF Craig Waibel (R hamstring strain)
Geoff Cameron; Bobby Boswell (through July 11)
Brian Ching; Stuart Holden (USA); Andrew Hainault (CAN)
Seattle Sounders FC
3rd place, Western Conference
6-3-7 Overall, 5-1-3 Away
Home Goals Scored: 17
Home Goals Conceded: 7
Form: L W D D W
OUT: Chris Eylander (Lmedial knee bone bruise); Taylor Graham (Rmetatarsal fracture); Jarrod Smith (Lhamstring strain); Michael Fucito (R foot sesamoiditis); DOUBTFUL: Zach Scott (back sprain); QUESTIONABLE: Osvaldo Alonso (Lgroin strain); PROBABLE: Steve Zakuani (Lankle sprain); Sebastien Le Toux (Lcalf strain)
Brad Evans, Freddie Ljungberg, (suspended next yellow card)
Brad Evans (USA); Tyrone Marshall (Jamaica)
The rash of injuries, suspensions and international absences are a great reason to expect victory on home soil. Houston is a solid team, but even in losses to Chivas USA, Seattle has proved it has what it takes to compete with the best. Home soil and momentum will rule the day.
Seattle takes it, 2-1.