Houston Dynamo  FC return to league play on Saturday when they host the first place Seattle Sounders FC at PNC Stadium. The first 2,500 fans to enter on Saturday will receive a Memo Rodriguez bobblehead, courtesy of MD Anderson.

Houston returns to league play and four players return to PNC Stadium after the international break. Maynor Figueroa and Boniek Garcia joined Honduras for three Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers. Darwin Ceren also joined El Salvador for three matches in regional World Cup qualifying action and Teenage Hadebe returns from Zimbabwe after a two-game series with Ghana.

Houston looks to extend a three-game unbeaten run at home and bounce back after falling 4-2 on the road against Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 3. Forward Fafa Picault scored his 11th goal of the season and tallied his fifth assist of the year to match his regular season record set in 2018. Dynamo forward Griffin Dorsey also tallied an assist and Darwin Quintero scored his second goal of the season.

Houston will face one of the best defensive teams in the league on Saturday as the Sounders have only conceded 23 goals in 2021, the fewest in MLS. Seattle also enters with the best road record in the Western Conference and will look for their 10th victory away from Lumen Field.

This is the second meeting between both teams and Seattle defeated Houston 2-0 at Lumen Field on July 7. Kelyn Rowe and Raul Ruidiaz led the charge for Seattle who enter the match in first place in the Western Conference after defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 during the international break.

Houston will host the LA Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and the Dynamo close the week by traveling to Q2 Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 24 to face Austin FC on ESPN.

Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s game:

  1. DYNAMO PLAYERS RETURN FROM INTERNATIONAL DUTY: The Houston Dynamo will receive reinforcements for this match against the West’s top club in the form of four players returning from international duty. Darwin Cerén, Teenage Hadebe, Maynor Figueroa and Boniek Garcia will all rejoin the Dynamo for Saturday’s match against the Seattle Sounders. During the break, all four saw the field for their national teams. Cerén started all three matches for an El Salvador team that went 1-2-0 during the window and currently sits in seventh place in the Concacaf World Cup qualifying table. Hadebe started one match and came off the bench in another for his native Zimbabwe, as the team took on Ghana in two matches and fell in each. Finally, Maynor Figueroa and Boniek Garcia each saw playing time for the Honduran national team. Figueroa started the first match and was sent off via a red card in the second, while Garcia appeared as a substitute in the opener. All four will look to help the Dynamo secure a victory in one of the team’s final home games of the season.
  2. GRIFFIN DORSEY IN RARE FORM: Midfielder Griffin Dorsey has been playing lights out soccer of late and will hope that this run of good form can help propel the Dynamo to a positive result against the Sounders. The 22-year-old forward joined the Houston Dynamo this summer after he was placed on waivers by Toronto FC. Recently, Dorsey has really begun to make his impact felt, as he has recorded two goals and two assists over the previous six contests. However, Dorsey’s impact extends beyond the stat sheet, as the 2019 first-round draft pick has made numerous attacking runs that did not end in goals but still put added pressure on the defense. Dorsey’s emergence can in part be attributed to Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos’ confidence in the young player. Their relationship goes all the way back to when Dorsey was playing for Ramos with the U-20 US Youth National Team.
  3. SEATTLE COMES IN ON WINNING STREAK: The start of any international window means that some teams must be prepared to lose some of their normal starters. The Seattle Sounders are no exception to this rule, with the team missing consistent contributors such as Nouhou, Xavier Arreaga and the Roldan brothers. While the availability of these players for Saturday is still unclear, that has not stopped the Sounders from getting positive results thus far. In Seattle’s lone match without their players on international duty, the Sounders beat Vancouver 4-1 and secured a spot in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. This victory extended the team’s current winning streak to four games, with their last loss coming against Real Salt Lake on September 18. The Dynamo will come in hoping they can be the team to end that streak.