The Houston Dynamo travel to Washington for the third and final match in their 2016 series against the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. CT, ROOT SPORTS). The teams have tied in each of their previous meetings this year, both 1-1 draws in Houston.
Seattle is currently in 5th place in the Western Conference (13-13-5, 44 points) and can clinch a playoff spot with a win. They are in the midst of a four game winning streak, and are unbeaten in their last six games at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders have had a complete turnaround since late July, when they parted ways with head coach Sigi Schmid and picked up Uruguayan playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro. In just 10 games played, Lodeiro has tied Andreas Ivanschlitz for the team lead in assists with eight, and has added three goals scored as well.
Lodeiro and goalscoring leader Jordan Morris (12 goals) were on international duty with Uruguay and the United States, respectively, but both were released early and will be available for Wednesday’s match. Lodeiro scored against Venezuela on Thursday but also received a yellow card suspending him for Uruguay’s next match, while Morris played 30 minutes as a sub in the 2-0 U.S. win over Cuba.
Seattle will be without USMNT star Clint Dempsey, who has been ruled out for the rest of the 2016 season as he deals with an irregular heartbeat discovered in August. Defender/midfielder Brad Evans will also miss the match after receiving a red card in Seattle's previous game.
Here’s how Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett breaks down Seattle: “Seattle has had a good team from the beginning of the season. For whatever reason things hadn’t been working out. They had good players then and they have good players now. Even with Depmsey out, Jordan Morris was a good player at the beginning of the season and I think he’s improved as well. He has a ton of speed so you always have to be on your toes. Any time you have a player like that, even if you’re solid against it everywhere else a player like that can cause problems.
“Nicolas Lodeiro, of course we’ve talked about him [before], he’s been a really good addition. On top of that, they have good players around the field. I do think (Cristian) Roldan’s had a very good season, he’s really come along and grown this year. They are a tough team to play at home, they have fantastic support, the [synthetic] surface is always a little bit difficult to deal with, they’re a good team. They are fighting for a lot right now, so they have a ton to play for, so it’s a big challenge.”