Feb 26, 2014; Charleston, SC, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Marco Pappa (10) controls the ball during the second half against the Houston Dynamo at Blackbaud Stadium. The Sounders and the Dynamo tied 1-1. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo Try To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Against Seattle Sounders

The Houston Dynamo visit Seattle in their only confrontation of the regular season. The previous meeting between the two teams took place last season at BBVA Compass Stadium and ended 3-1 with a Houston Dynamo victory.

These two teams have faced off only 4 times in Seattle during the regular season. Houston has lost three of those games and tied only one. Their latest visit to Seattle ended in a 2-0 loss.

The Seattle Sounders are currently sitting on top of the standings with a realistic shot at the Supporter’s Shield. Houston is only looking to stay relevant for the rest of the season, and hope to gain three points that’ll help them keep on making a push towards the playoffs.

Match Information

Date: August 3, 2014

Time: 9:30pm CST

Location:  CenturyLink Field

Television: ESPN2

The Teams

Seattle Sounders FC (12-6-2), 38 points, 1st in West, 2nd Overall

Seattle is currently on a two game losing streak. These two losses have come against San Jose Earthquakes and L.A. Galaxy by a combined score of 4-0. While I do not want to speculate about the rest of the season Seattle’s season, recent results seem like a déjà vu of sorts.

Last season, Seattle was considered one of the favorites to close out the season as the Supporter’s Shield winners, but ended up having a bad second half of the season. While this may not be the case yet, Seattle does have some holes in its armor.

DeAndre Yedlin may soon be on his way out to Tottenham Hotspur and is reported to be in Europe this weekend but may be available for this game. When he is gone, Seattle will have lost an important piece of their team. Reports have been that Yedlin will not be leaving the team until the end of the season and that he will be back in time for Sunday’s game, so Houston should not look for a break on that end.

Houston will be receiving a break when it comes to amount of injuries the Sounders are currently facing, though. Seattle’s injury report is almost as long as a list of players that have scored against the Dynamo this season.

Seattle will come into this game motivated, because it’s one of the handful of games a season in which they decide to open up the stadium to almost full capacity. Not to mention, one victory puts them ahead of Kansas City in the Supporter’s Shield race with a game still in hand.

Aug 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the second half against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo defeated D.C. United 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the second half against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo defeated D.C. United 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo (6-11-4), 22 points, 8th place in East, 17th Overall

Houston has been a one dimensional team. Usually it can be argued that the team has ups and downs, but the truth is that this season has mostly been down. This past game, though, Houston gave us a glimmer of hope. We are now a fan base that can dream of actually making the playoffs.

This dream may still be a little insane, but at least there’s now a possibility. One win against Seattle makes the possibility a realistic goal and something within our grasp with more performances of the kind.

There have been people currently raving about Will Bruin’s performances as of late. They bring up the fact that Bruin has scored two goals in two games. When they say that I usually laugh it up. Bruin has not been playing well. His goals have been flukes. I’m more surprised by the fact that he did not manage to mess up those easy chances, than I am by the fact that he scored them.

There’s a very nifty chart available on a popular soccer forum, and it compares Will Bruin to other forwards in the league. He is not leading any of the charts. He’s not the worst, but he is not the best. In fact, for his salary he could be considered a dud. It’s a miracle he still has a spot on this team, and he was given a lucky break when Mark Sherrod got sidelined for the season.

The rest of the team has not been any better. Houston had one good game, and somehow almost did not come out of it with 3 full points. As Houston comes into this game having broken an 8 game win-less streak, we can only hope that the Houston that showed up against D.C. United not only shows up again, but improves drastically and is capable of burying chances.

Prediction

Houston goes on clutch mode and gets out of a hostile Seattle stadium with a draw.

Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC: Damion Lowe (out), Kevin Parsemain (out), Marcus Hahnemann (out), Dylan Remick (probable), Djimi Traore (probable), Andy Rose (probable), Lamar Neagle (probable), Chad Marshall (probable)

Houston Dynamo: Tony Cascio (out), Mark Sherrod (out)

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