The Sounders will train this afternoon in Houston, and we’ll hope to have some updated information then on their Saturday match against the Dynamo. Until then, here are some notes from the club:
Seattle vs. Houston: A Cross-Conference Rivalry
The Sounders FC-Houston Dynamo series has developed into a rivalry over the past five years, beginning in the inaugural campaign when the sides met five times. Seattle earned a comeback win in the first-ever meeting on July 11, 2009, and just 10 days later ousted Houston from the U.S. Open Cup with an 89th minute equalizer and extra time winner. The teams met again in the MLS Cup Playoffs, going scoreless through 180 minutes until Brian Ching’s 96th minute winner knocked Seattle out of the playoffs. Since 2009, the teams have met five times in regular-season play, going 3-2-2 overall against the Texas side.
* Seattle has outscored Houston 10-8, allowing just two goals in the second half
* Sounders FC has never been shut out by the Dynamo, scoring multiple goals in three of the seven meetings
* Seattle has put 40 of its 80 shots on goal, and has faced just 22 shots on goal
* Brad Davis leads all players with four assists in the series, and the leading scorer was defender Geoff Cameron
* Four active Sounders FC players have scored against Houston: David Estrada, Brad Evans, Patrick Ianni and Steve Zakuani
* Seattle won the previous meeting, 2-0, on March 23, 2012, at CenturyLink Field
BBVA Compass Stadium: A Seattle First
Saturday’s match against the Houston Dynamo will be the club’s first at BBVA Compass Stadium. Sounders FC previously played four games at Robertson Stadium. Seattle has history with several venues throughout MLS. On June 27, 2010, Sounders FC played the Philadelphia Union in the first match at PPL Park, falling 3-1. On June 16, 2012, Seattle played the first match at Montreal’s Saputo Stadium, losing 4-1 to the Impact. Sounders FC also played the final match at Vancouver’s Empire Field on September 24, 2011, winning the Cascadia Cup with a 3-1 comeback victory. Seattle was also the first team to win at Kansas City’s Sporting Park, netting two late goals to snap an eight-game home unbeaten run.
Houston Homecoming for Dempsey
Saturday will mark a homecoming of sorts for Clint Dempsey. The U.S. National Team captain was born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas – just 140 miles north of Houston. He played his youth soccer with the Dallas Texans, making the six-hour round trip three times a week to attend practice. Dempsey’s last game before returning to MLS was against the Dynamo in the 2006 MLS Cup as the Revs fell to Houston in a penalty shootout. Dempsey also played one regular-season match against the Dynamo on July 22, 2006, going 90 minutes for New England in the 1-1 draw.
The Northwest Connection
Several Houston Dynamo players have ties to the Pacific Northwest. Goalkeeper Tally Hall was born in SeaTac and attended Gig Harbor High School. Brian Ching attended Gonzaga University from 1996-2000 where he played with Seattle defender Zach Scott (1998-2001). Ching also played for the USL Sounders from 2001-02, scoring 19 goals in 31 appearances. Defender Mike Chabala played at the University of Washington from 2002-05. Kenmore native Anthony Arena was selected 18th overall in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft after playing for the Sounders U-23 team last season. Forward Cam Weaver was the Sounders’ top scorer in 2005 as a rookie out of Seattle University. Weaver had helped the Redhawks win the NCAA Division II championship in 2004. Head Coach Dominic Kinnear played for the Sounders’ 1995 A-League championship team.
Patrick Ianni of Sounders FC came north from Houston during the 2009 offseason. Ianni was obtained in a January 26 trade for a conditional pick in the 2010 SuperDraft. Ianni spent his first three pro seasons wearing orange, making 35 league appearances for the Dynamo from 2006-08 and winning MLS Cup in 2007.