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Scouting Report: Crushing oranges

It’s about playoff positioning

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders will finish their final road trip with their second and final meeting off the season when they take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX. The Sounders are coming off a 2-1 win over Orlando on Wednesday night and the Dynamo are coming off a 4-2 loss to LAFC on October 12.

The Dynamo sit in tenth place in the Western Conference with a record of 9-15-8 (35 points in 32 games played; 1.09 ppg) and the Sounders sit in fourth place with a record of 16-11-5 (53 points in 32 games played; 1.66 ppg).

The Sounders need to pick up all three points in order to stay in contention to host a playoff game. Portland is just two points behind and Real Salt Lake are lurking just four points back.

A Look at the Enemy

Last Five: D-W-W-L-L with nine goals scored and ten conceded.

Leading Goal Scorer: Mauro Manotas, 16 goals (nine at home)

Assist Leader: Romell Quioto, 11 assists (eight at home)

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty


Out: Philippe Senderos (hamstring injury), Eric Alexander (left hamstring) Jared Watts (right hip injury), Mac Steeves (hip surgery) and Alejandro Fuenmayor (concussion)

Questionable: Leonardo (right adductor injury)

Suspensions: Darwin Ceren (yellow card accumulation)

International Duty: N/A


Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL), Felix Chenkam (herniated disc), Harry Shipp (right hamstring strain) and Brad Smith (right hamstring strain)

Questionable: Roman Torres (right knee contusion)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Dave Gantar

AR1: Jeff Hosking

AR2: Felisha Mariscal

4th: Victor Rivas

VAR: Armando Villarreal

What to Watch

Houston is in the “decide about the future” phase of their season. Now, eliminated their traditional style and quality is likely to be set aside as GM Matt Jordan and head coach Wilmer Cabrera hope to discover a path to the playoffs in 2019.

It’s not that 2018 was a complete failure. The group collected a US Open Cup trophy, their first. But this is the fourth season in the last five that the Dynamo have missed the MLS Cup Playoffs. In seven of the previous eight seasons that was the norm.

Quioto and Elis are back from international duty, so maybe the home crowd gets to see them. DeMarcus Beasley probably gets a run out, because why not.

For the most part Houston is a “middle-aged” MLS squad. They already play most of their U25s, the roster bubble is really about getting more from that 25-30 group. It’s a group with Dylan Remick, Eric Bird, Andrew Wenger, Kevin Garcia and Jared Watts. Only Wenger featured regularly.

A team likely to make many changes to both lineups and tactics can be difficult to prepare for, but Brian Schmetzer usually tends to self-define his side, rather than be reactive.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Sunday, October 21 @ 2:00 PM

Location: BBVA Compass Stadium — Houston, TX


Streaming: YouTube TV

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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