The Sounders (7-8-4) are coming off one of the most successful expansion seasons in MLS history, but have been wildly inconsistent this season. Luckily for them, they seem to be righting the ship, as evidenced by their current four-game unbeaten run and three-game winning streak.
Seattle's most recent result was a 1-0 win at San Jose last Saturday thanks to a goal by Fredy Montero, who earned MLS's Player of the Month after a torrid July that saw him score two goals and three assists to lead his team to a 3-1-1 record during the month.
"I thought the goal was as good a goal as we've scored this year just in terms of the combination play that led to it," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid told his club's website after the win. "Besides his goal, Fredy's given us tremendous work rate off the ball. He's growing as a player and bringing out some different aspects of his game."
"I still need minutes and training but [the S.J. win] it was important that the team won," Nkufo told soundersfc.com. "Personally, I am still working to get to my level."
Houston (5-8-5), on the other hand, is winless in league play since May 22, a stretch of eight games. The club is also coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to Monarcas Morelia in the SuperLiga semifinals on Thursday night.
"It's a game that could have been won by either team, and they took advantage of their chances," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "It was one goal, and both sides had chances. They get a goal, and then we spent a lot of time pushing forward."
The Dynamo currently sit second-from-the-bottom in the Western table, and need to go on a run over their final 12 games to have a shot at the playoffs.