The Seattle Sounders will look to turn the page quickly from their 1-1 draw at the Colorado Rapids on Sunday when they host the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).
Seattle scored first at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park before conceding a second-half equalizer, but ultimately held on to remain tied on points atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with a match in hand.
“The Colorado game at altitude was physically exhausting for some of the players, but putting more importance on the recovery side and being able to focus on recovery and get the next man up, that’s been the mentality,” said Sounders midfielder Danny Leyva. “Obviously we wanted to win, every team wants to win on the road, but it’s definitely a point earned against a Colorado team that was really playing hard against us…Getting a point in that place is positive for us, and we’re looking forward to keep improving.”
The Sounders now face a Dynamo team who they haven’t played against in almost two years because of last year’s COVID-19 restrictions. Houston’s Head Coach Tab Ramos, who took over at the end of 2019, is a former decorated United States international and National Soccer Hall of Fame member. It’ll be his first matchup against Seattle, and he brings his side to the Pacific Northwest winless on the road this season in six matches.
“I use the term ‘opportunity,’” said Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “This is an opportunity for us to go at home and play against a decent Houston squad. They’ll be missing some guys, same as us. We’ll use the first fully open stadium crowd, and it’s definitely an opportunity.”
Seattle will be without midfielder Cristian Roldan, who departed to join the United States national team ahead of the Concacaf Gold Cup. His brother, Alex, will leave to join El Salvador following Wednesday’s match. The Sounders will be buoyed, however, by the return of defender Xavier Arreaga, who missed the last four matches while with Ecuador at Copa América.
“Everyone has been able to step in and perform positively and help the team out,” said Leyva. “We’re getting really close to each other to the point where we always have our backs, and no matter who’s on the field, we’re always playing with the same mentality to go out and win. It’s been really positive, and I think that shows in our undefeated run.”
The Sounders have a chance to set an MLS record on Wednesday. A result would push their unbeaten run to 13 matches to start the season, a mark that, while impressive, Seattle is not overly concerned about.
“It’s not about the record, it’s not about numbers, it’s about setting that foundation that’s going to keep us on top of the league,” said forward Fredy Montero. “We’re going to be in front of our fans again, and we’re looking forward to getting three points, especially because in past games we let go of some points. We need to get back into the rhythm of winning every single home game.”