The Sounders’ previous road trip took them to Kansas City, where they gave up a late goal and settled for a 1-1 draw.
After the match, several Sounders admitted that the team wore down in the heat. The high that day was 81 degrees.
On Sunday, the Sounders will play their final road goal of this regular season. The game will be played in Houston where the temperatures are expected to peak around 82 degrees – right around game time.
"I think the Kansas City game was a one off," coach Sigi Schmid said. "And I think at this point of the year it’s a matter of just going out there. Obviously, Houston is going to have a lot at stake. They’re still in the hunt. They can still smell it."
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Both teams can. One week from the end of the regular season, neither team has clinched a spot in the Western Conference playoffs, and neither has been eliminated.
But that could change Sunday: A loss or draw by the Dynamo eliminates them from the playoff hunt. A win by Seattle sends the Sounders through to the postseason for the seventh time in their seven-season MLS history.
“The game is at 4 o’clock (Central time),” captain Brad Evans said. “Eighties is fine. As long as there’s not a "9" in front I’m OK. And it shouldn’t be too humid in October. The reality is two games left, so we can’t be saving ourselves for anything at this point.”
It appears Evans’ is now captain/midfielder/defender/weatherman. The Sounders trained Saturday afternoon in Houston with the temperatures in the low 80s, and the humidity in the 20s. There was a light breeze and it was comfortable. Similar conditions are expected for game day.
“I think it’s all right,” Schmid said. “You’re always happier when you look at the schedule and you’re going to Houston in October rather than coming here in July or August.”
More from Schmid:
On his team’s health: We feel (Chad Marshall) is OK to go. … (Nelson) Valdez is making strides. He’s improving. But we don’t want to push him this weekend because we want to make sure he’s healthy as we move forward. Leo (Gonzalez) is here.
On Dylan Remick: He’s doing fine. It’s just a situation where Fisher was doing all right so he stayed in there for a little bit. Leo came off his injury, so we wanted to give Leo a go. But Remick’s I think turned a corner. He’s been training hard, and I think he’s ready to go.
On San Jose staying alive with a win over SKC last night: It is what it is. There’s nothing we can do to change other results. It gives us no a unique opportunity to try to push ourselves up into a third- or fourth-place situation – possibly even a second depending on how things go. We’d definitely like to do that.
On Houston needing win or draw to stay alive: Obviously they didn’t have a good game when they played Dallas (Oct. 3), but I’m sure they want to rectify that. They’re at home. They’re going to come out, they’re going to play with a lot of energy, a lot of desire. We have to be ready for that.
On his team still short of playoff qualification with two to go: We know it’s a playoff game for us as well. We’d rather lock up our getting into the playoff now rather than waiting another week.