The Seattle Sounders return to action this week on short rest and on the road against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the game.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be telecast on JOEtv and ROOT Sports (outside Seattle). Here's a full list of Sounders FC Pub Partners where you can watch the game.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The game will be aired on 770 KTTH and El Rey 1360AM in Spanish.
RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders (9-12-3, 30 pts., 8th in Western Conference), Dynamo (5-10-9, 24 pts., 10th in Western Conference)
ALL-TIME HISTORY: The Sounders own a slight edge in this matchup, having gone 5-3-4 all-time in the series. The Sounders have traditionally struggled in Houston, however, posting a combined 0-3-3 record in Robertson Stadium and BBVA Compass Stadium through the years.
MARSHALL MAKES THE DIFFERENCE: The two teams have met once already this season back in March, when Sounders center back Chad Marshall scored a last-second goal to salvage a 1-1 draw for Seattle in Houston (above). It was Marshall’s first goal with his feet in MLS after scoring 17 with his head in his long and distinguished career.
UNBEATEN IN FOUR: The Sounders are now 3-0-1 since the simultaneous departure of head coach Sigi Schmid and arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro late last month, including a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. The Sounders are now just two points back of the sixth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference with two games in hand.
A CHANGED MAN: Look out world, midfielder Cristian Roldan is a man on fire. Under interim head coach Brian Schmetzer’s regime, Roldan has unleashed the best form of his young career after finding perhaps his best spot on the field. Roldan has two goals, two assists and drawn two penalties since Schmetzer took over, including a goal and an assist against the Timbers last week. “He’s a tremendous talent," Schmetzer said Sunday, "and we’re only hoping for bigger and better things from him."
INJURY UPDATE: “Will he or won’t he” is what Sounders fans have been asking the past few weeks about the return of defender Román Torres. The Panamanian international went down with a torn ACL last September and with the one-year anniversary of the injury fast approaching, “any day now” seems an appropriate answer.
NEW COACH IN HOUSTON: The Dynamo have undergone their own coaching change this year, moving on from longtime Bolton manager Owen Coyle to interim head coach and former player and assistant Wade Barrett. A 10-year MLS veteran who dates back to the early days of the San Jose Clash, Barrett was an integral player during the Dynamo's glory days of back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006-07, and the team has responded to his style of coaching since he took over in early June. The team is 4-4-7 since the coaching change, and posted its first road win of 2016 over the weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes and former Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear.
BARNES BE GONE: The Dynamo also parted ways with captain and midfielder Giles Barnes late last month in a deal to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Barnes was integral to the roster, making 131 appearances across all competitions and scoring 34 goals. The Dynamo are 1-1-2 so far without him.