SEATTLE, WA—(Sounders release) A contentious and back-and-forth midweek match between Seattle Sounders FC (13-13-6, 45 points) and the visiting Houston Dynamo (7-13-12, 33 points) produced a scoreless draw on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. 39,772 packed the house to support the Rave Green, good for the club’s 142nd consecutive MLS sellout. Despite the fervor of the home crowd, Seattle was unable to capitalize on advantages in total shots (15 to 11), corner-kicks (11 to 5) and total possession (61.6% to 38.4%), with the home side finishing with 10 men following an Osvaldo Alsono red card in the 64th minute of play.
A win on Wednesday night would have secured advancement to an eighth-consecutive MLS postseason, but Brian Schmetzer’s men are still firmly in control of their own destiny. A win on Sunday at FC Dallas would secure a place in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for Sounders FC, as would a Portland loss or draw coupled with a San Jose loss or draw. Currently Seattle sits in fourth place in the Western Conference, level with Real Salt Lake on points, but ahead of the Utah club via the total-wins tiebreaker.
With both sides level-pegging throughout the match, the game’s major event occurred in the 64th minute, when Alonso was issued a red card following an altercation with Houston forward Will Bruin, who was also shown a yellow card on the play. Sounders FC played the final 25 minutes with 10 men, with the Cuban now serving a one-match suspension and missing Sunday’s match in Dallas.
Facing a quick turnaround at the weekend, Seattle travels to Frisco, Texas for its penultimate regular season matchup against FC Dallas on Sunday, October 16. Broadcast coverage is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. PT on both JOEtv and El Rey 1360 AM, with SoundersFC.com providing a live audio stream via desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The Rave Green conclude the 2016 regular season campaign with a full-stadium matchup at CenturyLink Field against Real Salt Lake on Sunday, October 23. All Western Conference kickoff times are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT on October 23 as part of Major League Soccer’s Decision Day.
- With a record of 13-13-6, Sounders FC now sits in fourth place in the Western Conference after securing 10 points over the past four matches. Unbeaten in six consecutive matches, Seattle sits at 45 points alongside Real Salt Lake, but holds the total-wins tiebreaker.
- Seattle has now recorded three consecutive home clean-sheets dating back to the club’s 1-0 win over Vancouver on September 17. The last time Seattle put together such a streak came between April 4, 2015 and May 27, 2015, when the Rave Green rattled off four consecutive home shutouts.
- Sounders FC is 5-3-6 all-time versus Houston and secured a draw in all three matches against the Dynamo this season. The road side has never won in the all-time series.
Defender Tony Alfaro made his first career MLS start on Wednesday, playing 74 minutes at left-back. He has made five additional appearances in a reserve role in his first MLS season.
- The Rave Green enter October 23’s season finale with a seven-match unbeaten streak at CenturyLink Field (4-0-3).
- Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was issued a red card in the 64th minute. Sunday’s contest at FC Dallas marks the third consecutive match a Sounders FC player faces a one-game suspension (Brad Evans, red card suspension, October 12; Nico Lodeiro, yellow card accumulation, October 2).
- Interim Head Coach Brian Schmetzer has posted a 7-1-4 record since taking over managerial duties on July 26, vaulting Seattle from ninth place to four place in a four-week stretch.
- Seattle can clinch a postseason position on October 16 if: Sounders FC beats FC Dallas OR Portland loses/draws to Colorado (Sunday) AND San Jose loses/draws to Colorado (Thursday) OR Portland loses/draws to Colorado (Sunday) AND San Jose loses/draws to Sporting KC (Sunday).