Seattle Sounders: Three Keys Versus Houston Dynamo


Seattle Sounders: Three Keys Versus Houston Dynamo

Of course it’s still early in the season, but the Seattle Sounders need to bounce back against Houston Dynamo. Since their opening day 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution, the Sounders have only taken one out of a possible six points.

The game against the Dynamo represents the perfect opportunity to return to form. We consider three keys ahead of the game at CenturyLink Field:

1) Homefield Advantage

The all-time record between the two teams is fairly even. In nine meetings, the Sounders have four wins and 13 goals, compared to three wins and 11 goals by the Dynamo.

More from Seattle Sounders

Further enhancing the closeness between the sides, they have two wins apiece in the last five encounters. On each occasion, the victories were obtained by the home team.

Along those lines, the fact the latest encounter is taking place at CenturyLink Field could prove key. The Sounders have dominated this fixture.

The five meetings in Seattle have resulted in four Sounders wins. Furthermore, they hold a nine-two advantage in goals scored, and Houston have never won at CenturyLink Field.

2) Return to Full Strength

To say the Sounders were short-handed against FC Dallas would be an understatement. Clint Dempsey (right hamstring), Obafemi Martins (right quad contusion) and Chad Marshall (neck strain) were all missing with injuries.

Nov 10, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) dribbles the ball against the FC Dallas during the first half at CenturyLink Field. The game was a 0-0 draw. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

On top of this, Osvaldo Alonso has still been recovering from a groin injury and Marco Pappa was away on international duty. In total, that’s five starters, including four 2014 All-Stars.

Fortunately for Seattle, it appears that all five are on course to be available to return to the team against Houston. Dempsey and Martins in particular are important, given that they have accounted for all five of the Sounders goals so far this season (three and two respectively).

Furthermore, the return of the goalscoring potential of the duo couldn’t come at a better time. In the Sounders previous game against FC Dallas, it marked the first time in MLS history that neither team registered a single shot on target.

3) Osvaldo Alonso Versus Brad Davis

Assuming Alonso starts, his clash with Brad Davis figures to be the key matchup on the field. Davis is Houston’s all-time leader in goals and assists, and it is imperative that the Sounders neutralize his impact.

It’s pretty evident that the return of Alonso would provide a massive boost for the home side. The four-time Sounders season MVP is a vital component to the team’s ambitions to finally reach the summit in 2015.

The 29-year old may only have nine goals and 14 assists during his career in Seattle, but don’t doubt his impact. Renowned for his tenacious style of play, Alonso’s tackling, passing and ability to cover the field is second to none in MLS.

The only concern for the “Honey Badger” could be a bit a rustiness in his first action this season. Hopefully he will find it relatively easy to get back into the swing of things as he goes up against Davis, who made his 300th career MLS start last weekend.

Next: Clint Dempsey wins MLS goal of the week