(Photo credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
Two sides looking to secure their holds on a playoff spot will go head to head when the Houston Dynamo visit CF Montreal on Wednesday.
Houston (12-11-8, 44 points) heads north of the border in fifth place in the Western Conference table, one point behind fourth place and just two points out of second. The race is tight behind it as well, just one point up on seventh place, two ahead of eighth and three ahead of the ninth and final spot.
The Dynamo are 5-1-4 in their past 10 matches after settling for a 0-0 draw against their state rivals in FC Dallas on Saturday.
"We just want to keep rolling," coach Ben Olsen said. "We'll start the scoreboard watch a little bit now but we're still not in so we got to just keep grabbing points, every game. ... When it all shakes out, we'll see what it looks like."
Saturday's match was Houston's 13th clean sheet of the season, most in MLS this season. Goalkeeper Steve Clark has been in goal for 12 of those, tied for the league lead.
The Dynamo have conceded 35 goals through 31 matches this season, fourth-fewest in MLS. It's the fewest allowed at this stage of a campaign in club history.
Montreal (11-16-4, 37 points) is hanging onto its postseason berth by a thread. Winless (0-4-2) in its past six matches after a 3-0 loss to Orlando City on Saturday, the Canadian side sits just above the playoff line in ninth place but is tied in points with D.C. United and the Chicago Fire in 10th and 11th. They're also just three points ahead of the New York Red Bulls, who sit 12th.
"It depends on how you see things," Montreal coach Hernan Losada said. "Do you want to look at the glass as half empty or half full? I choose to see the glass as half full.
"There's been a lot of positive, and the season isn't done yet. The cherry on top would be to qualify for the playoffs."
Montreal will hope to benefit from being on its home pitch, with a 9-4-2 record as the hosts. They've won all seven of their home matches against the Dynamo, including clean sheets in each of the past six.
The club has recorded 11 shutouts this season, third-most in MLS. Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois has been the man in net for all of them, putting him one behind Clark.
Sirois is also fifth among MLS goalkeepers with 89 saves.
--Field Level Media