Faced with their first losing streak of the season, the Seattle Sounders are anxious to get back in the win column.
The Houston Dynamo hope to find out how much their recent high-profile signings have improved them.
The visiting Dynamo try to win their second in a row since bringing aboard DeMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido, while the Sounders look to avoid their first three-game skid since October on Sunday night.
Seattle (12-6-2) appeared to be the best in MLS at the end of June following a 9-1-1 stretch, but the club's once-solid lead in the race for the Supporters' Shield has disappeared.
The Sounders have dropped three of four while getting shut out in each defeat. They're coming off a 1-0 loss at last-place San Jose last Saturday after their six-game home win streak came to an end against Los Angeles on July 28.
Now the Sounders hope to avert their longest slide since a four-game losing streak Oct. 5-19.
"It's a streaky league and we've been on pretty good streaks," coach Sigi Schmid told the team's official website. "For us, right now maybe this is our bad streak and we've just got to make sure we get out of it ... quickly."
Seattle should get a boost from its home crowd as CenturyLink Field is scheduled to be opened to its full capacity for the third time in MLS play. The Sounders recorded a pair of shutout wins in the other two.
They're likely to face a tough challenge in a new-look Houston team that now includes Beasley and Garrido in addition to Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia and leading scorer Will Bruin.
Brought in as a designated player July 23, Beasley played in his first MLS match in 10 years in last Sunday's 1-0 win over D.C., which snapped an 0-6-2 skid.
Garrido, a defensive midfielder, also made his debut after arriving on loan from Honduran club C.D. Olimpia.
The tandem seemed to make an immediate impact defensively for a team that has given up a league-high 40 goals.
"I know that with a lot of work I can certainly improve and give a lot more," Garrido said through a translator. "This was just the first showing of what I can do and hopefully I can build on that."
The Dynamo (6-11-4) will have to overcome their struggles on the road to win at Seattle, where they are 0-3-2 all-time. They've been outscored 15-2 during a five-game road skid, leaving them one loss away from the franchise mark for road futility.
Houston's Giles Barnes scored twice and Bruin added a goal in a 3-1 home win Aug. 17 in the only meeting of 2013.