MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo

2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Final (2nd Leg): Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo

CenturyLink Field – Thursday, November 30 – 22:30 ET (03:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Seattle 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – Houston 7/2

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: Preview

The Seattle Sounders welcome Houston Dynamo to CenturyLink Field on Thursday night for the second-leg of the 2017 Western Conference Final.

Many felt the Dynamo had nothing to lose heading into last week’s first-leg. But it seems whatever they did have to lose was lost on the night as the Sounders ran out 2-0 winners against a Houston side that had 10 men for more than an hour.

Jalil Anibaba’s 28th-minute red card left the Dynamo with a mountain to climb. Joe Willis may have saved the resulting penalty kick from Nicolas Lodeiro but they were already 1-0 down and that lead was doubled when Will Bruin fired in before halftime.

The Sounders had plenty more chances to put the game – and probably the tie – to bed but the Dynamo held on to somehow retain some form of optimistic hope ahead of Thursday’s second leg.

But make no mistake about it, Seattle have taken one giant stride into the MLS Cup Final. They have two crucial away goal and are well on track to have a chance at retaining their championship on December 9.

The Dynamo have to score at least two goals to have any chance at turning the tie around on Thursday night. But the Sounders have only conceded more than one goal at home on two occasions this season. And didn’t lose either of those games.

Seattle are unbeaten in 15 at home. They don’t need to attack Houston and should be able to wait for opportunities to attack on the counter. The odds of Houston advancing are slim but it should set up an exciting game as they have no choice but to go for it.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: Team News

The Seattle Sounders won’t be able to call on the services of powerful defender Roman Torres. The Panamanian is suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation but will be back for the MLS Cup Final, should Seattle advance. Stefan Frei missed the first leg with a hamstring strain and could return here, although his status isn’t yet confirmed. Brad Evans and Jordan Morris are ruled out with ongoing injury problems. Osvaldo Alonso is listed as questionable but could be in line to return.

The Dynamo will be without Jalil Anibaba, following his red card in last week’s first leg. Alberth Elis is also suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation. Tyler Deric is suspended as a result of off-field conduct. George Malki, AJ DeLaGarza and Memo Rodriguez remain their only injury absentees.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/D/W/W

Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Seattle Sounders have won their last four home games (including playoffs) by a combined score of 12-0. It’s been almost seven months since they lost at CenturyLink Field.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The veteran attacker scored twice in the Western Conference Semifinal win over Vancouver at home and will be looking to help the hosts through here. He is playing with extra hunger after missing last season’s run to the title and will be looking to exploit a Houston defence that will undoubtedly leave gaps as they chase a comeback.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo have to go for it. They have enough attacking options to hurt the Sounders backline, particularly given the absence of Roman Torres. But the problem is, the more they attack, the more open they will be to the Sounders’ ruthless attack. The likes of Lodeiro and Dempsey will be looking to be clinical and put the tie to bed. Expect both sides to score, but the Sounders are surely sailing through to the final.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, April 4th – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – Houston 9/2

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in a Western Conference clash between two sides desperate to get back to winning ways.

The Sounders have not tasted victory since that opening day win against New England in front of their own fans and they will be expected to beat the Dynamo this week.

A 0-0 draw against FC Dallas last week isn’t a bad result but considering Seattle played most of that game with an extra man, they will feel that it was a missed opportunity.

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They return home for the first time in MLS since that 3-2 loss against the San Jose Earthquakes and need to start putting points on the board to keep up with the sides at the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings.

Houston have also slowed down after a bright start. They have not won since beating the Columbus Crew at home on opening weekend and have now drawn two on the bounce.

They managed to go away to the LA Galaxy and earn a point two weeks ago but last weekend’s 0-0 draw against the Colorado Rapids was a disappointing result and Owen Coyle will want more from his side.

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They have only conceded two goals in four games so far but scoring has been a problem as they have netted just two as well.

Seattle won the only meeting between the two sides last year by a 2-0 scoreline at CenturyLink Field and have never lost at home to Houston.

Team News

Seattle could receive four major boosts as Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall are all in line to return to action. Alonso has yet to make an appearance this season but should come in to Sigi Schmid’s team. Dempsey pulled out of the USA internationals with a hamstring problem and is a doubt, but could be ready to start come kickoff.

Houston should welcome back Raul Rodriguez and DaMarcus Beasley to the side after both have recovered from injury as Owen Coyle has a fully fit squad to choose from. Tyler Deric will continue in goal after impressing so far and could be kept busy if Martins and Dempsey are both fit to start.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ form: W/L/D

Houston Dynamo’s form:W/L/D/D

Key Stat: Seattle have not lost any of their six games against the Dynamo, scoring nine and conceding just two.

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Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian forward missed last week’s game at Dallas but is a key man for the Sounders. If he plays, he is more than likely to decide this game.

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-0 Houston Dynamo – The Sounders haven’t really got going this year but will be looking to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans, especially after losing to San Jose in their last home game. The Dynamo have struggled to find the net so far and might find it too difficult to break down the Sounders backline so long as Chad Marshall returns.