Three points all count the same.

That wasn’t verbatim what Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer offered after Wednesday night’s 1-0 win at Houston Dynamo FC, but it was nonetheless part of his postgame messaging as his side keeps climbing the Western Conference table.

“We sang Jingle Bells, we had a clean sheet. Nobody’s going to care in September or October how or why we won the game,” Schmetzer said. “So that is a happy locker room, I’m a happy coach, there’s happy assistant coaches and I think the whole club should be pleased with the result.

“It’s a six-point swing against someone who was ahead of us. It puts us in great shape to end the week on a high. I’m not frustrated at all.”

That straightforwardness comes with Seattle rattling off two straight wins behind a first-choice group, having earned a 3-1 victory over Minnesota United FC last weekend. The Rave Green’s focus is back on MLS matches after their historic Concacaf Champions League title over Liga MX’s Pumas and an early US Open Cup exit to the San Jose Earthquakes on penalty kicks.

After prioritizing CCL during the season’s early portion – to great effect – a climb awaits Seattle as they chase a 14th straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance, having been bottom of the league table just a few short days ago.

“I’m glad that we’re sticking to the MLS [schedule] now,” midfielder Kelyn Rowe said. “We’ve got one goal in mind so it’s a little bit easier on our bodies, on our minds. But we’re glad that we can find that back-to-back win and hopefully maybe get on a run as much as we can.”

To cast aside Houston, Seattle scored a fantastic team goal in the 28th minute that featured a 22-pass buildup before Raul Ruidiaz’s second tally of the year. And goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s shutout was his 87th career clean sheet, putting him in third place on the league’s shutout list after moving ahead of Joe Cannon.

Both teams also finished with 10 men after Seattle fullback Alex Roldan was sent off in the 82nd minute, the El Salvadorian’s dismissal following Houston’s Panamanian international midfielder, Adalberto Carrasquilla, getting red-carded in the 54th minute.

“Probably not one of the prettiest shutouts but we’ll take it,” Frei said. “It’s difficult to come here, very humid and hot and we were able to get a result.”

Schmetzer also opted against major squad rotation at Houston, with the only change coming since homegrown midfielder Obed Vargas was out via yellow-card accumulation.

Another key rotation question faces Schmetzer when trying to snap Colorado Rapids’ 22-game regular-season home unbeaten streak Sunday (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+), chasing a three-match win streak of their own. But their ideal XI’s potential is readily apparent, even with midfielder Joao Paulo out for 2022 with a torn ACL.

“We will need everybody, and maybe the game against Colorado has a few changes in it based on two tough games and you work on the third one,” Schmetzer said. “But I just felt like for that group to kind of kick the rust off, they needed to go back out there and show what they can do.”