About HoustonHouston sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points (6-11-4), five points out of playoff position, and recently snapped an eight-match (0-6-2) winless streak with a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Sunday. The team has given up a league-high 40 goals this season to go along with the league's second-worst goal differential of -17. Houston has struggled on the road, winning just once in 10 outings (1-8-1) away from home with a 7/24 goal difference. The team has historically been contenders, advancing to the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Finals before being eliminated in the Eastern Conference final last season.Dynamo NotablesHead coach Dominic Kinnear's attack is led by forward Will Bruin and midfielder Brad Davis, who lead the club with eight goals and five assists, respectively. Bruin, who has scored in each of his last two games, has 33 goals and 13 assists in 107 appearances since being drafted out of Indiana in 2011. Davis, a 13-year MLS veteran who has been with Houston since 2006, ranks fifth all-time with 106 career assists, including six against Seattle. Goalkeeper Tally Hall is in his fourth full season manning the nets for Houston, accumulating a 1.33 goals against average and 34 shutouts in 126 career appearances.
The Dynamo recently made two high-profile signings, acquiring four-time U.S. World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley as well as Honduran midfielder Luis Garrido. Beasley, who spent the last four seasons with Puebla of Liga MX, made 98 appearances for the Chicago Fire from 2000-2004, scoring 14 goals and 20 assists. Garrido, a defensive midfielder, has 20 caps for the Honduran National Team after playing much of his career in Honduras.
SEA-HOU ConnectionsCam Weaver spent the past five seasons with the Houston, making 81 appearances for the Dynamo from 2009-13 and scoring 12 goals with three assists. He was named the club's Newcomer of the Year in 2009 and helped Houston reach the MLS Cup final in 2011 and 2012. The Kent-native began his career with the USL Sounders in 2005, becoming the team's top scorer as a rookie. He played collegiately at Seattle University, where he helped the Redhawks win the 2004 NCAA Division II championship.
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The Houston roster also features several connections to the Seattle area as goalkeeper Tally Hall was born in SeaTac and attended Gig Harbor High School. Midfielder Servando Carrasco spent three seasons with Sounders FC from 2011-13, making 40 appearances with one goal and one assist. Additionally, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear played for the Sounders' 1995 A-League championship team.
U.S. Teammates ReuniteSunday's match will serve as a reunion for four players who saw playing time with the U.S. National Team in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin from Sounders FC and the Houston Dynamo's Brad Davis and DaMarcus Beasley all played roles in advancing to the Round of 16.
Dempsey scored two goals for the U.S., becoming the first American to score in three World Cups. Yedlin came off the bench in three matches to log 112 minutes, including a lengthy stint in the Round of 16 loss to Belgium. Davis started against Germany, playing 58 minutes in a 1-0 defeat in the Group Stage finale. Beasley, meanwhile, was one of only three U.S. field players to play all 390 minutes in the tournament run. It was the new Dynamo signing's fourth World Cup.
In addition to the four who played in Brazil, Seattle and Houston have other players who have had recent call-ups for U.S. camps. Brad Evans was a regular during World Cup qualifying, while Tally Hall, Corey Ashe and Will Bruin were brought in for January camps for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.