The Seattle Sounders FC travel to Houston on Sunday to take on the Houston Dynamo needing just a win to clinch their berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Seattle has never won at BBVA Compass Stadium and hope to overturn that precedent on Sunday as Houston has won three of the four meetings.
The two teams met up once already this season back on April 4th in Seattle where Obafemi Martins scored a 39th minute goal that proved to be the difference as the match ended 1-Nil in favor of the home side.
Houston is coming in off a 4-1 defeat against FC Dallas, who started scoring in the 24th minute and never looked back. The Dynamo managed to respond in the 35th minute, but then just four minutes after halftime FC Dallas once again took the lead and then went on to score two more unanswered goals. In the match Raul Rodriguez was sent off just before halftime and will miss Sunday’s match as he serves his suspension.
In Seattle’s last match, they took on the defending champions LA Galaxy at home where they fell behind in the 36th minute off an errant back-pass from Zach Scott that was intended for Gonzalo Pineda, but instead found Robbie Keane was quick to pick it off and slot it past Stefan Frei, who could do nothing with the powerful shot. The Sounders responded well, and piled pressure on LA throughout the second half to no avail. However, in the 85th minute Sigi Schmid subbed on Chad Barrett, who managed to find an equalizer in stoppage time to bring Seattle level and get his team a share of the points before the whistle blew.
It is expected that Chad Marshall will make his return after missing the squad’s last match with a neck injury he experienced in practice leading up to the last match. From the sounds of Schmid’s Saturday practice in Houston, Nelson Valdez is still recovering from his knock and will sit out this match to get him ready for next weekend’s showdown against Real Salt Lake and the playoffs, should they qualify for them.
Houston will rely on Will Bruin up top to keep them in this game and try to spoil Seattle’s party. We could also see Erick Torres get a start as he has rejoined Houston after playing for the Mexico National Team U-23’s recently. Torres scored a goal while on international duty.
Seattle will start with an almost first choice line up Saturday afternoon. This writer predicts that Schmid will finally get the BBVA monkey off his back and the Sounders will win 2-1 off goals from Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, who will both start up top. Torres will get his first career goal in Dynamo orange.
The Sounders will be seen in their traditional Rave Green Jersey and shorts while the Dynamo will wear its white jersey and shorts.