If there's an asterisk to be found in the Houston Dynamo's franchise-best start to the season, it's this: They have played only two matches on the road.
That makes Saturday night's match at Seattle (5-1-4, 19 points) a potential measuring stick. The teams are currently tied for third place in the Western Conference, trailing only the two Los Angeles clubs -- LAFC (24 points) and the Galaxy (22).
"We are being solid at home. As visitors, we have played only two games. We are going to play the third and we want to have that solidity," Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said. "Seattle is a tough and difficult game. They are a great rival and we are going to prepare ourselves in the best way to remain solid and show competitiveness in every way."
The Dynamo (6-1-1, 19 points) are coming off a 2-1 victory against FC Dallas in the first Texas Derby of the season. Mauro Manotas scored once in each half for Houston to give him a team-high five goals.
"All the games, at home or away, are going to be difficult. This is a very competitive league," Dynamo midfielder Matias Vera told MLSsoccer.com. "Winning as a visitor is complicated, but the team is working very well. We are focused on winning the most points we can."
The Sounders, since suffering their only loss at LAFC on April 21, have played three straight draws. Seattle has been without forward Raul Ruidiaz for nearly all of that stretch because of a right heel contusion. Ruidiaz came on as a late substitute in last weekend's 1-1 tie at Minnesota United FC.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said he was impressed by the Dynamo after watching film of the Texas Derby.
"They're a very good team. Wilmer has done a great job," Schmetzer told reporters after practice this week. "He's got some potent players. Manotas, (Alberth) Elis, (Memo) Rodriguez, (Tomas) Martinez ... it's going to be a tough battle."
The Sounders are 8-4-6 all-time against the Dynamo, including a 7-0-2 mark at home.
--Field Level Media