The Seattle Sounders highlighted their intentions to go after the game versus the Houston Dynamo with naming a very strong starting XI in what some would have thought to be an opportunity to rotate the squad.
In the early goings of the match, the pressure was on the away side, with Houston forcing sloppy play and missed passes in the first 15-20 minutes.
But the CCL champs would settle in nicely with a 22 pass buildup to set up Raul Ruidiaz in the box with a close range finish, and he would put it away for the 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.
After the opening goal, the Sounders looked in the drivers seat, looking for more before half, but would not be able to nail home their advantage as the home side held out just enough.
After the break, Houston would come out looking for the equalizer pouring the pressure on Seattle, but the visiting side would repel any worry without a real threat on Stefan Frei's goal.
Dynamo Midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla would bail the Sounders out of the early pressure in the second half with a poor challenge, and with him already on a yellow card from earlier in the match, the referee did not hesitate to give him a second and put the home side down a man the rest of the way.
The home side would not go away easily as early after the second yellow for Carrasquilla, the Dynamo would have their most promising spell of the match, threatening the Sounders goal multiple times.
More trouble would come for Seattle, as Alex Roldan was shown a second yellow for a tactical foul in the 82nd minute and the Sounders would have to also see out the match with only 10 men.
In the end, it was a masterclass in killing a game off as Seattle never felt threatened in those final 8 or so minutes plus stoppage time, giving the Sounders a 1-0 victory and their second win in a row in MLS matches for the first time in 2022.