It turns out that the Sounders next two non-friendly opponents will be ... the Houston Dynamo.
The Sounders will host Houston on Saturday is a very big league game: the Dynamo leads the West and this is Seattle's chance to cut three points off of that lead.
Then the Sounders will host Houston on July 21 in a big cup game: the winner goes on to the U.S. Open Cup championship.
So, if we knew for certain right now that Seattle was going to win only one of these games, which one would you want it to be?
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I asked that question of a few Sounders today. Here are three of their (understandably not-fully-committal) answers:
Nate Jaqua: That's a tough one. We're in the semis now, so to get in the finals would be very cool for us. But these are two huge games for us, so I'm looking at them both equally. You get a win right now -- they're in first place, we've been on a little bit of a roll -- if we can keep that going, especially right now in the middle of the season, that would be really crucial for us.
Stephen King: I can't really pick one because they're both things that we take very seriously. Obviously, right now our focus is on the league one this weekend and closing the gap between us and them in the standings. But then with the Open Cup game as well, we're going to take that one as seriously when the time comes.
Coach Sigi Schmid: We want to win them both. I'm selfish and I'm greedy. But you look at them as mutually exclusive events and we'll take the first one first and then we'll focus on the second one. Certainly they have some guys missing for this one coming up, they'll get some of those guys back for the second one. How many of those guys they'll have back from Gold Cup at that point is up in the air. I don't prefer one over the other. I don't like to think that way, because whenever you think that way for sure maybe that's the way it happens.