As the MLS Playoff picture gets set, the Dynamo and Sounders head in two different directions. One team playing for pride, the other fighting for playoff positioning.
While the Seattle Sounders have clinched a playoff spot, they still have to worry about where they’ll finish. Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo are playing for pride. However, they don’t mind crashing the party for the Sounders. Whatever the case may be, it is a much more important match for Seattle.
Currently, the Sounders sit in fourth place out West. A loss could hurt Seattle’s positioning, meaning a tougher route to the MLS Cup Final and playing more road games. However, their star man has been everything for them. Nicolas Lodiero will have to continue that play in Houston, where the Sounders have never won in a regular season match. Another guy that the Dynamo must keep in check is their former midfielder, Will Bruin. In four appearances since signing with the Sounders, Bruin has four goals and one assist against the Dynamo.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 18, 2018
As for the Dynamo, things just never got going for them this season. Injuries to some key defenders and inconsistencies led to a sub-par season. However, the international break is over for both teams and both should see some important pieces back on the field.
Sounders Season Leaders
Goals: Nicolas Lodiero, 8 goals, 5 from the penalty spot
Assists: Nicolas Lodiero, 12 assists
Saves: Stefan Frei, 105 saves, 7 shutouts
Dyanmo Season Leaders
Goals: Mauro Manotas, 16 goals, 1 from the penalty spot
Assists: Romell Quioto, 11 assists
Saves: Joe Willis 77 saves, 4 shoutouts
All things aside, the Dynamo have some things to look forward to. With their two stars back from international duties, Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto should be ready to go. While a consolation nonetheless, the Dynamo can still play to spoil the playoff seeding for Seattle. In reality, the Dynamo are playing for something other than pride. It is for the chance to spoil the Sounders playoff positioning.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 17, 2018
Regardless, this should be an interesting match. While the Dynamo got thrashed 4-1 in Seattle, this time around the Dynamo should be at full strength. However, this won’t be an easy game. In all seriousness, the Sounders should be favored. And that indeed is fair. But, don’t sleep on Houston turning in a good performance to end in a decent way for the home fans. After all, it is the final home game.
Players to watch for
As is with all MLS matches, there always is a player to keep an eye on when he’s been in good form. For the Sounders, it is Spaniard, Victor Rodriguez. During the Sounders three game win streak, Rodriguez has scored four goals and assisted twice.
For Houston, all eyes will be on forward Mauro Manotas as he looks to add on to his 16 goals. Another player to keep tabs on is play maker and midfielder Alberth Elis. I consider him the heartbeat of the team.
Overall, the match will be fun and full of energy. The Dynamo try to end the season on a winning note and the Sounders attempt to strengthen their playoff positioning.
Final score prediction, Dynamo win 3-2.
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