It just wasn't the Houston Dynamo's night and it wasn't that the team played poorly, far from it. Seattle were just a little bit better and took advantage of some luck and a mistake by Geoff Cameron to down the Dynamo 2-0 in front of 38,304 at CenturyLink Field.
Houston started promising with a lot of possession and putting some early pressure on Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. As the game appeared to be settling in, the Sounders struck against the run of play. In the 23rd minute, David Estrada's shot deflected off Geoff Cameron and beat Tally Hall. Though initially ruled an own goal, it was officially given to Estrada later in the evening, his fourth of the season.
Cameron's night didn't improve either. Just three minutes later, referee Baldomero Toledo, easily the worst official that USSF can possible find, awarded a penalty for the Sounders after Cameron made contact with Patrick Ianni on a corner kick. Brad Evans stepped up and beat Hall, to give the Sounders the 2-0 lead.
I'm not blaming Toledo for the loss, the PK call was correct, but when fans from both sides are openly complaining about his performance, you know there's a problem. Hopefully the moves made by MLS and the USSF to form the new PRO group will help improve things and deal with on-field imbeciles like Toledo.
Andre Hainault left the match at halftime after taking a blow to the chin early in the first half, he appeared to be dazed from the hit so the change was likely precautionary. No word on his condition yet.
Luiz Camargo finally saw the field in the 67th minute, his first minutes since a leg injury in an off-season car accident has limited his training and fitness. The addition improved the attack and reminded us all why he was so important to the Dynamo's run last season. For tonight though, it wasn't to be as even with Camargo, along with the addition of Kandji in the 76th minute, Houston simply couldn't crack the nut that was the Sounders defense.
Sounder Alvaro Fernandez did nothing to win over Dynamo fans, nor to dispel the diving label he and his teammates have started to carry. Fernandez hit the deck numerous times, including one incident late in which he shamelessly dove and attempted to con Toledo into awarding Brad Davis his second yellow card and a sending off. It was a pathetic display from the "Uruguay Guy."
The Dynamo are now off until Saturday, April 15, when they travel to Toyota Park to face the Chicago Fire. It also begins a run of five matches against Eastern Conference opponents, a fact made much more important by the new unbalanced schedule and playoff rules.
SEA - David Estrada 4 (unassisted) 23
SEA - Brad Evans 1 (penalty kick) 27
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall; Andre Hainault (Jermaine Taylor 46), Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark, Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Camargo 67), Brad Davis; Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 76), Will Bruin.
Substitutes Not Used: Calen Carr, Cam Weaver, Nathan Sturgis, Tyler Deric.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Will Bruin 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Will Bruin 2); FOULS: 11 (Adam Moffat 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6 (Brad Davis 6); SAVES: 0 (Tally Hall 0)
Seattle Sounders - Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Roger Levesque (Leo Gonzalez 81), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 61), Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero (Christian Sivebaek 90), David Estrada.
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Caskey, Samuel Ochoa, Bryan Meredith, Jeff Parke.
Misconduct Summary: HOU - Adam Moffat (caution) 35; HOU - Brad Davis (caution) 78; SEA - Alvaro Fernandez (caution) 83.
Referee: Baldomero Toldedo
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson, Fabio Tovar
Fourth Official: Jason Anno