The Seattle Sounders will open the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season on Saturday against Western Conference foe the Houston Dynamo (5:30 p.m. PT; Q13 FOX; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM | Matchcenter), a team the Sounders faced three times in 2016.
Let’s take a look back at how those matches went:
The Sounders tied the match in stoppage time to avoid starting the season with their fourth loss in five games.
Defender Chad Marshall scored in the 94th minute on what would be the final kick of the match to earn a point on the road. Forward Oalex Anderson beat a defender on the left side of the box and fired in a low cross that was parried away by goalkeeper Joe Willis. The rebound fell to the feet of Marshall, who coolly slotted home the equalizer for his first goal in 55 regular-season matches.
Giles Barnes initially gave Houston the lead in the 35th minute when he one-timed a shot across his body and lofted it to the far post and past a helpless Stefan Frei.
In what was a carbon-copy finish of the first match in April, the Sounders escaped Houston with a 1-1 draw after equalizing in the game’s final moments.
Joevin Jones drove the left side of the box and crossed in a perfect low pass to a wide open Nicolas Lodeiro, whose one-timed left-footed effort snuck into the bottom right corner. The draw extended the Sounders’ unbeaten streak to five games since Lodeiro’s arrival despite playing without Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall, who stayed behind in Seattle ahead of a weekend clash in Portland.
Houston took the lead in the 75th minute when Andrew Wenger was the beneficiary of a giveaway in the box and fired a shot to the far post past Stefan Frei.
Seattle nearly tied the match in the 84th when Alvaro Fernandez’s shot was deflected by a defender and appeared to have potentially crossed the goal line before Joe Willis batted it away.
The Sounders needed a win to clinch an improbable spot in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, but could not find the back of the net at home. Andreas Ivanschitz exited in the 11th minute with a knee sprain before Osvaldo Alonso was ejected for making contact with opponent-now-teammate Will Bruin.
Bruin had the best chance of the match for either team when his shot in the 30th minute seemed destined for the far corner, but was pawed away and off the post by an outstretched Stefan Frei.
Erik Friberg nearly gave the Sounders the lead 10 minutes later when he broke through the middle of the Houston defense, but was stonewalled twice by Joe Willis to keep the clean sheet.
The Sounders have still never won on the road against the Dynamo, going 0-3-4 all time. This is their only scheduled trip to Houston this year. The Sounders will welcome the Dynamo to CenturyLink Field on Sunday, June 4.