HOUSTON DYNAMO (7-13-11, 32 POINTS) AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS (13-13-5, 44 POINTS)
7:30 p.m, Wednesday, CenturyLink Field
TV: JoeTV. Radio: 97.3-FM, 1360-AM.
Head to head: This is the third meeting of the season. The teams have tied the previous two games, both in Houston by 1-1 scores. The Sounders lead the all-time series, 5-3-5, and have never lost to the Dynamo in Seattle (5-0-1).
Notes: Win against last-place Houston, and Seattle is guaranteed to be in the playoffs. That’s what is at stake for the Sounders, currently in fifth place and needing to finish among the top six in the Western Conference. It’s quite a turnaround, considering where the Sounders sat in July at 6-12-2, but that all changed once the team replaced coach Sigi Schmid with Brian Schmetzer and added dynamic midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro. The Sounders enter the match with a four-game winning streak — their longest streak since 2014 — against a team that was officially eliminated from playoff contention in its previous match, a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. ... Adding to the Sounders’ chances are the early returns from national team duty by Lodeiro and Jordan Morris. Lodeiro, playing for his native Uruguay, would have missed his country’s game because of a yellow-card suspension, so the team released him back to the Sounders. Morris was released by U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann from Tuesday’s friendly vs. New Zealand; both he and Lodeiro practiced with the Sounders on Monday. Also, Schmetzer declared Andreas Ivanschitz (neck strain) 100 percent. ... Two players who aren’t available are Brad Evans (red card suspension) and Joevin Jones (national team duty). Also, Alvaro Fernandez (hamstring) is a game-time decision. ... Houston’s Mauro Manotas scored twice in the loss to Colorado and leads the team with six goals. He’s scored five times in the last three games.
Next: The Sounders play at FC Dallas on Sunday.