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Houston Dynamo vs. TFC: The Game Thread

Agh! I'm losing more than my religion! 
(CREDIT: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Agh! I'm losing more than my religion! (CREDIT: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
11-6-8, 3rd East

5-15-5, 10th East
LS: Will Bruin (10)

LS: Koevermans (9)
2012 Major League Soccer Season, Game 26
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Saturday, August 25, 2012
8:30 PM EDT (7:30 PM CDT)
TV: TSN 2 (Canada), Fox Sports Houston (USA)
Radio: Sportsnet 590
Referee: Paul Ward (38 MLS matches, 3.6 YC/gm, 7 pens)
Forecast: T-storms, 28°C; Wind SSE 16 km/hr

Last Meeting: 7/28/2012, TFC 0-2 HOU

That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion, trying to keep a view
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much -- I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

- "Losing My Religion", R.E.M.

Ah, hope -- something that for us TFC supporters and writers, is in very short supply. The magic that came with Paul Mariner's takeover is a distant memory, and while there's some brilliant glimpses here and there (take Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Columbus, for example), it's not translating to wins, and it only seems to get worse. It's led to calls for a season ticket price freeze and even an atonement friendly against FC Edmonton in Calgary next season.

Ah Misery land, thy residents are us. But there's still a game to come, and it's in Houston this evening. The Dynamo are coming off a win in El Salvador against C.D. F.A.S. in Champions League play, which didn't involve any regular starters like leading scorer Will Bruin, Bobby Boswell, first string keeper Tally Hall and Canadian Andre Hainault. Whether that's a sign of something, that's something for Dynamo Theory to explain.

For TFC, the questions on who will start loom large -- Jeremy Hall is listed as probable; while Ashtone Morgan and Darren O'Dea will likely form the back, while Torsten Frings and Terry Dunfield will be in the mid. But will it be Freddy Hall or Milos Kocic in goal? Will the somewhat effective Eric Avila be benched in favour of the relatively ineffective Ryan Johnson and Andrew Wiedeman? And will the fact that Frings and Morgan are one yellow away from an automatic suspension play in?

All these questions and more, follow us pre- and in-match in the comments segment, where all your favourite WTR writers and contributors will have all the news and live updates from the match. Oh, yeah, and if you think your pessimism will bring you some luck -- test it out with our "Are You Smarter?" game.

(P.S. The link for the referee to the RefRefs website is not a coincidence; I highly encourage you to visit that link after the match, register and put in your opinion of Paul Ward's performance, whether it's bad or good.)