To preview Saturday night’s Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo game, our Seattle and Houston writers (Mark and Dustyn) asked each other 3 questions and responded to each other’s questions. Read below where Dustyn thinks Houston’s goals will come from and which Dynamo player Mark would want on the Dynamo.
Mark: The dog days of Dom Kinnear are over. He’s been replaced by Owen Coyle. What’s the feel around Owen? How’s he done in his short time in Houston? What’s his approach?
Dustyn: When Coyle got the job, a number of folks in Houston were scratching their heads. Some wondered how a coach with no MLS experience would turn the club around. After his first four games in charge, the feeling is probably still a “wait and see”. He seems to be catching on to the league quickly and he wants the Dynamo to have a strong defense. In my opinion, the offensive end can use some work so, if the goals start coming, we will have a better view of his vision with the team.
Mark: The Dynamo had a very Merry Christmas with the signing of Cubo Torres, although, he’s stuck in Mexico for a few more months. In the mean time, where will Houston get their goals from?
Dustyn: As I said above, the Dynamo offense is lacking early in the season. They desperately need Cubo. Hopefully he is back in July but in the meantime Giles Barnes is the most dangerous player in orange. Barnes scored on his debut for Jamaica last week and is back with the team for this game. Will Bruin has struggled mightily to start the year and Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis aren’t really goal scorers. Coyle likes to play defensive guys in the center of midfield (Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido, Nathan Sturgis) so Barnes may have to carry all of the goal scoring load until Cubo arrives stateside.
Mark: With Orlando City and Mini Manchester City in the league, Houston has moved out west. How’s that affected the outlook for Houston? Can we still expect Houston to snag the last playoff spot, like they seem to do every year?
Dustyn: The Dynamo missed the playoffs last season for just the second time in franchise history and the team is in a bit of a rebuild so the move back to the West comes at a pretty bad time. The “Kinnear magic” is gone so the Dynamo are facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs. If they can stay close to the pack as summer approaches, they should be in a good position to sneak in as the 5th or 6th seed.
Dustyn: CenturyLink Field is always a great atmosphere for a game but it’s a football stadium. Would most Sounders fans prefer a SSS or is CenturyLink a good venue?
Mark: To borrow some words from the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want. But, if you try sometime you’ll find that you get what you need.” Obviously, CenturyLink is not ideal for the Sounders. But for infinite reasons, it’s the best that they can do for the foreseeable future. From the fan perspective, I think the pros outweigh the cons at this juncture by a fine margin. Hopefully this new lease agreement that the Sounders & Seahawks just signed make that margin a bit bigger, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true. If you were to put a gun to my head, I would say that the Seahawks move from CenturyLink before the Sounders do.
Dustyn: If Seattle doesn’t win silverware this season, is Sigi’s job in jeopardy? Is there any fans who feel the team has peaked and would already like to see a coaching change?
Mark: I don’t think so. There’s a very vocal minority of the Sounders fan base that look to chop off Sigi’s head any chance they get. But, I think that’s a very small, but very loud, section of the fan base. All signs in Seattle read “MLS CUP OR BUST”, so obviously if that doesn’t happen, the fans may be in larger numbers or may be louder. But, I think something catastrophic would have to happen for Sigi to be fired.
Dustyn: If you could have one current Dynamo on the Sounders, who would you choose, and why?
Mark: Setting aside my irrational love of Cubo Torres, I would choose Brad Davis. This Sounders roster is particularly stacked at every position, so there aren’t very many holes. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas that can be upgrade. I personally think that this team lacks a true winger. Someone that can sit on the touchline and pump in crosses into the box. Marco Pappa ends up cutting in and playing more centrally behind the forwards. Lamar Neagle ends up playing as a third forward most of the time, taking up the space that Clint & Oba leave. I think Brad Davis could come on as a sub and give the Sounders a more balanced attack to keep defenses from clogging the middle.
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)