After bowing out of the inaugural Leagues Cup midweek, the Dynamo return to MLS action, hosting Seattle Sounders FC Saturday night at BBVA Stadium. Seattle is always a dangerous team and the Dynamo will need to be ready if they want to get back to their winning ways.
Dynamo Theory: The Sounders are coming off a tough loss last weekend against rival Portland. How do you expect Seattle to bounce back from that loss?
Sounder at Heart: Losing to your rivals is always tough. It sucks. Especially when you lose at home. But the Sounders can take some solace in the fact that they played pretty well against Portland. The Sounders need to keep doing what they always do: keep possession, control tempo, and put in solid defensive performances. Both of Portland’s goals came from breakdowns in the Sounders’ possession, leading to an unsettled defense. Oh, and a bit of a Stefan Frei howler. That doesn’t help.
When you lose to your rivals, it’s easy to want to blow everything up and sell the whole team. The Sounders should actually do the opposite in this situation. Stay the course and things should come good for Seattle.
DT: Seattle has consistently been a contender in MLS, making the playoffs each year they have been in the league. What have been some keys to their long term success and is it possible other teams, like the Dynamo, could replicate that?
SaH: I think it’s genuinely difficult to replicate the Sounders version of success in this league. The Sounders are the only team in MLS to have ever won 10+ games in 10 straight seasons. On its face, that’s not that impressive of a stat, like at all. There will be teams who don’t qualify for the playoffs this year with 10+ win seasons. But if you stretch that out over a decade, and realize not even teams like the New York Red Bulls, DC United, or the LA Galaxy have done it, that’s when it becomes notable. The teams with the most long term success in this league find their identity quickly and commit to it.
I’m not sure what that looks like for the Dynamo in this era of MLS. Having butts in the seats constantly has helped Seattle through some relative bad patches. If I was the Dynamo, I’d start there. No idea how though, I’m just a blogger.
DT: The Dynamo have been a very tough team to beat at home but are coming off back to back home losses (LAFC in the league and America on penalties in the Leagues Cup). What are some keys for Seattle to come in BBVA Stadium and beat the Dynamo as well?
SaH: The Sounders haven’t been very good on the road this year. They’ve put up just 2 Ws through 11 games. Their first win came against Chicago all the way back in March, and their second win came against Columbus and needed a 96th minute winner. On top of that, the Sounders have been hilariously awful in Houston for as long as I can remember. To put it bluntly, I’m not very hopeful for this one.
But, I will say this: Seattle needs a strong statement win on the road. The narrative is there for this game to be that, given how well they’ve played against Atlanta and in the loss against Portland. I’m just not super hopeful at this point.
For my answers to Mark’s questions about the Dynamo, check out Sounder at Heart, here. And leave us your predictions for the match in Seattle in the comments.