On Sunday night, the Houston Dynamo return to league play when they travel to take on the Seattle Sounders and desperately hope for a victory to spark a playoff run.
“It’s a huge game for us, and it’s going to be great up there. We know they are going to have good support, and it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” said defender Andrew Hainault. “However, we are desperate for three points and it would be great. It has been a while since we got a win, and to do it there would be extra special.”
Last year, Seattle and Houston put together the start of a fantastic rivalry when they played each other five times. The Sounders got a victory and a tie in the teams' two league matches and dumped the Dynamo out of the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. However, Houston knocked Seattle out of a tightly contested playoff series.
“They don’t like us very much after we knocked them out of the playoffs last year,” said Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We are desperate for points, so we are going there looking for a win. I think they are in the same boat as us, so it will be a battle.”
Hall played extremely well in last year’s USOC semifinal against the Sounders, keeping the Dynamo in the game thanks to several terrific saves. The Washington native is looking forward to returning home and starting in a league game as a result of the injury suffered by Pat Onstad.
“We are going up to my neck of the woods, and it will be fun. [I’ll] have a lot of family coming out,” noted Hall. “I am looking forward to [the match], as it has turned into quite a rivalry.”
In addition to Onstad, Houston will be without midfielder Lovel Palmer due to a red card ejection. With Geoff Cameron unlikely to provide a heavy contribution on artificial turf, Houston’s central midfield partnership will probably include Brad Davis and Richard Mulrooney. However, the Dynamo are not letting injuries or suspensions bring them down.
“It’s a tough game, but we just came out of a July stretch with a lot of games in a row,” said Brian Ching. “I think we have more depth now. It shouldn’t be too difficult, and guys will be ready and prepared.”
Houston will have to be prepared if it wants to stay in the playoff race. The team has not won a game against an MLS opponent since May 22, going 0-4-4 in league play since then.
“We need three points, and we need three points bad,” said midfielder Geoff Cameron. “We need to get the job done.”