Not much news from acting coach Brian Schmetzer today as the Sounders wrapped up training. However, he did imply that midfielder Osvaldo Alonso might be ready to go tomorrow against Houston.
And really, the whole idea of who's there and who isn't could be the key theme of the day.
Seattle, of course, will be without Schmid for the first time, as he attends his son Kurt's wedding in northern California. And the Sounders will also be without Brad Evans and Tyrone Marshall due to national team duties ... and maybe without Alonso.
However, Houston is expected to be without eight regulars: Wade Barrett, Eddie Robinson and Cam Weaver due to injury; Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron due to yellow-card accumulation; and Brian Ching, Andrew Hainault and Stuart Holden due to duty with their national teams.
A quick look ahead:
HOUSTON DYNAMO (9-3-4; 31 pts.)
AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (6-3-7; 25 pts.)
1 p.m. Saturday, Qwest Field.
TV: KONG 6/16.
Radio: 97.3 FM (in Spanish on 1210 AM).
Head-to-head: This is the first meeting. The teams will meet again July 21 in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals in Tukwila. Seattle visits Houston in a regular-season match Aug. 23.
Team leaders: For Houston – G 5 Brian Ching; A 7 Brad Davis; Sh 30 Kei Kamara; SOG 17 Kamara. For Seattle – G 8 Fredy Montero; A 6 Montero; Sh 49 Montero; SOG 18 Montero.
Schmid scouting report: "I know they're missing some guys, but there's a nucleus and there's a team belief there, and that makes them a very good team. … When you win championships together, when you've been through as many things as they've been through, whether it was SuperLiga together or CONCACAF Champions League, there's a resolve that builds within your team that probably no other team that we've played this year has."
Notes: Schmetzer will manage the Sounders while Schmid attends the wedding of his son Kurt. … Houston has the best record in MLS. Seattle is tied for third, six points behind. … Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad, a native of Vancouver, B.C., leads MLS with a 0.67 goals-against average. … Houston coach Donimic Kinnear, who will coach the MLS all-stars later this month, played with the USL Sounders. Defender Mike Chabala played at UW, and backup keeper Tally Hall is from Gig Harbor. … Seattle forward Nate Jaqua played with Houston over the two previous seasons before being made available in the expansion draft. … The game is sold out.
Next: The Sounders will host a friendly against Chelsea of the English Premier League at noon July 18. They resume league play July 25 vs. Chicago at Qwest Field.