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Dynamo try to keep playoff hopes alive against Sounders

The Houston Dynamo are peaking at the end of the season.

But it might be just a little too late.

After a 10-game winless streak, the Dynamo have gone 2-0-1 in their past three MLS games to keep their faint playoff hopes alive entering Monday night's match in Seattle. The teams met in the Western Conference championship last season.

Houston (9-13-8, 35 points) entered the weekend 11 points behind in the race for the conference's sixth and final postseason berth, meaning the Dynamo will need to win their last four matches and get plenty of help.

The Dynamo rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the last-place San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 last weekend at home. It was the first time in franchise history that Houston rallied from two down to win.

Mauro Manotas scored in the second half for Houston to set a franchise season record with 15 goals.

"We have that fire in us," Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said of the comeback, which came just three days after his team captured the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union. "We're still fighting for the playoffs."

The Sounders (14-11-5) have never missed the postseason. They're close to clinching a berth for the 10th straight year, which would tie an MLS record.

"We still have a few games left before we talk about the playoffs," Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. "We still have to get in."

Seattle is coming off a 4-0 victory at home over Colorado. Raul Ruidiaz scored twice in that match, Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and two assists, and Victor Rodriguez added a goal and an assist.

Rodriguez has been slowed for much of the season by knee and hamstring injuries, but he was able to play the full 90 minutes against the Rapids.

"I've had a hard season with a lot of injuries," Rodriguez told The Seattle Times. "I needed this game."

Both teams could be short-handed, as the Dynamo had seven players called up for the international break and the Sounders had four.

Monday's match was originally scheduled to be played Saturday, but it was moved because of fears a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert Friday night at CenturyLink Field would leave the field in an unplayable condition.

The NFL's Seattle Seahawks played a game on Sunday at the stadium. That put the MLS match inside the window for the international break.

Houston defender A.J. DeLaGarza made his season debut last weekend after tearing an ACL in the final match of the 2017 regular season.

The Sounders have a 6-4-6 edge in the series, including 6-0-2 at home.

Updated October 6, 2018

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