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Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo | Gamethread

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When the Seattle Sounders FC face the Houston Dynamo the only time this MLS season it will be another road game for the Texas team and another chance for the West to dominate the East. If the East is truly as bad as it seems so far (influenced by more road games) the five Western Conference playoff seeds may come down to performance in those 10 out of conference games. On Friday night, at 7 PM on national TV (NBCSN) the Sounders get to remind America why they are again a top of the table team.

Despite injuries Sigi Schmid's side has plenty of offensive options within their starting lineup, though a shallow bench for a needed goal. Dominic Kinnear's team is quite healthy for now, but may bench Brian Ching due to concern over his knees. The Dynamo also have two players returning from international duty and their loss to Olympics qualifying is Kofi Sarkodie, a player more likely to be in the 18 than Seattle's Olympic hopefuls.

After practice Thursday Sigi Schmid talked about the stout Dynamo defense;

They don't make mistakes. What they're good at is they're not going to beat themselves. They're not going to give you a soft goal necessarily, they're not going to make a mistake, they're not going to get misaligned somehow or cough up a ball in a dangerous situation. They keep it pretty to the basics in the back. They keep it pretty simple and they're not going to beat themselves, so you've got to beat them. That puts the pressure on the other team.

Seattle is likely to have the advantage when it comes to 50/50 balls and tends to get off more shots than the Dynamo in this early portion of the competitive 2012 season. Houston tends to pass better than their opponents and maintain possession. This combination should mean that the Sounders will produce counter-attack chances. Considering the speed advantage for the Rave Green that's a strong point. This is the class of the East and one of the best in the West and neither side can afford dropped points.

The game is on NBC Sports Network (Arlo White, Kyle Martino) and KIRO 97.3 FM (Ross Fletcher, Kasey Keller) at 7 PM Pacific.

Pre Match Build-up: Three Questions | Scouting Report | Lineup Card | Offense w/o Rosales
Opposing Looks: Dynamo Theory

Team Statistics Matchups

Team

Duels

Possession

Pass Completion Advantage

Shots +/-

Seattle

52.0%

49.5%

0.3

-1.0

Houston

46.0%

51.6%

0.5

-1.5

Compiled from Opta data for all available matches - Duels and possession are typical. Passing advantage is a plus/minus figure comparing the team's pass completion rate to the team it opposes. A 10 for Seattle would mean that it averages a 10 point advantage in passing over the opponent. Shot +/- is the team stat.

Tactical Keys

  • Refrain From Close Fouls
  • Strong Passing From Central Positions
  • Mark Brad Davis Out
  • Use Flank Speed

Player Matchups

  • Brad Davis v the Dead Ball
  • Davis Estrada v Bobby Boswell
  • Brad Evans v Adam Moffat

How We're Watching
Beverage
: Brougham Bitter by Big Al's
Scarf: Nos Audietis 2012
Kit: 2009 Long Sleeve Shale Trainer
Where I'm Watching: Sec: 214, Row B/C. Seat 1,2,3

Nos Audietis In Somniis | Nos Audietis In Altum