The Seattle Sounders will face the Dynamo after the Timbers could not get it done at home. Dylan Remick’s goal secured Houston advancing but it was Mauro Manotas that finished the Timbers off. The Colombian scored four minutes after subbing for Erick “Cubo” Torres. With the Sounders coming through as the higher seed, the first leg will be Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7pm in Houston on FS1 with leg two in Seattle on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30pm on ESPN.
This will be Houston’s first conference final since 2013 when they fell to Sporting Kansas City, when both teams were in the East. It also was the final in a run of three consecutive conference final appearances for them. It was back in 2009 when Houston last made the conference finals in the West, beating the Sounders to get there. Since moving to Houston, they’ve made the conference finals six times, advancing through four of them and winning MLS Cup twice, winning back to back in 2006-2007 but has been a runner-up twice coming out of the East since Seattle joined MLS.
Houston had not made the playoffs since switching conferences for the 2015 season.
Seattle is 6-4-6 in their history against Houston, including 0-1-1 (loss in OT) in the playoffs. Seattle has yet to get a win in Houston, going 0-4-4 in Houston are but 6-0-2 in Seattle.
The Dynamo have two former Sounders, full backs Jalil Anibaba and Dylan Remick, both of whom started against Portland. Remick who started in place of an injured DeMarcus Beasley, had the series-winning goal in the first half.
In these playoffs, Houston is 2-0-1 and given up just one goal. Their field being in poor condition is likely part of that but hopefully with two weeks until the next match will help that. They’ve scored a total of three goals, two coming in Portland.
Alex and Boniek Garcia received yellow cards in the match but it was their first of the playoffs and will not be suspended for the Dynamo in leg one. The list of players that will be suspended in leg two if they receive another yellow is a large list of regular starters; Alex, Ricardo Clark, Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Romell Quioto, and Phillippe Senderos.
Honduran attackers Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia, and Romell Quioto will play a home-and-home with Australia during the international break. Houston could see another player or two leave for national team duty but those are the only three as of now.
This is the result Seattle likely wanted. They’re the higher seed and get to host the second leg. Houston has not traveled well, barring the Portland match. They have plenty of players one card away from accumulation. And it prevents the match from being a rivalry game that gets unpredictable and chippy very fast.