The Houston Dynamo were unable to get the visiting Seattle Sounders back for a loss earlier this month as the Sounders came away with it 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The two sides have had very different seasons since meeting in the Western Conference Finals last season. Seattle is currently in the 4th playoff seed in the West and is eyeing higher placement. Houston on the other hand is in the 10th spot and can do no better than the 9th position in the West. Wilmer Cabrera opted for a strong lineup to reward the fans for a difficult year, but the win was just out of reach tonight.
The game began with Seattle in firm control of the possession which had Houston chasing the ball from side to side and up and back throughout the early minutes. As the minutes ticked on the Dynamo began to settle down and pick out the opportunities more carefully. Alberth Elis sent in a great ball to Mauro Manotas in the 12th minute, but his header was straight to the hands of Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The momentum would shift to Houston as the number of chances to open the scoring continued to increase. Elis again found Manotas in the 23rd minute, but his shot was off the mark. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Seattle would break through onto the score sheet first. On a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick, Chad Marshall was able to get free from his mark Kevin Garcia and nod home the opener. Garcia himself was a late change to the starting XI as Philippe Senderos was pegged to start alongside Alejandro Fuenmayor, but Senderos was scratched off during warm-ups and Garcia got the call.
The Dynamo continued to try and find an equalizer with Romell Quioto having a go on a free kick that he earned and then there was a sequence between Elis and Eric Bird. Elis squared a ball back to Bird who struck the ball poorly resulting in a slow roller right to Frei. In the 40th minute Tomás Martínez played a fantastic through ball which put Elis in on goal. His touch towards goal was poor and the effort would go blocked however the ball fell to Quioto. Quioto didn’t strike the ball right away as he tried to find the angle, but he let loose a good shot that would be deflected by Frei for a corner.
At halftime, the Dynamo had taken away the momentum from Seattle who had dominated early, but the Sounder defense made things difficult to break through and they were successful from their set piece chance. The Sounders came out of halftime and instead of sitting back on their lead and relying on their stout defense to see them out, they put the pressure on Houston’s back line to make plays which resulted in turnovers and chances for Seattle. They would double their lead in the 49th minute off another Lodeiro corner kick, but this time the target was Gustav Svensson.
Houston got back in the game with a goal of their own, also coming off a corner kick. Oscar Boniek García provided the service to Kevin Garcia in the 63rd minute and was able to head a goal in to close Seattle’s lead.
Garcia ➡️ Garcia— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 21, 2018
Kevin G gets his first @MLS goal!https://t.co/g1tyIr4wbb
As the game progressed Seattle looked comfortable sitting deeper and invited Houston to break them down which led to Houston trying to move the ball around to find space for their speedy wingers, but it often led to passes backwards with few open options.
The two sides would trade goals before the final whistle first with Seattle. Raul Rudiaz was sent a perfect through ball by Lodeiro and he shot a ball as he went in against Tyler Deric. Although Deric got a piece of the ball, it still got under him and it eventually spun its way into the net. Two minutes later in the 89th minute Mauro Manotas somehow found his way onto the score sheet. Romell Quioto wound up a shot from outside the 18 yard box, but Manotas got a head on it and deflected it back and in the net.
#HOUvSEA https://t.co/PigWGId9tv— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 21, 2018
Overall, the Dynamo were able to produce a lot of chances against one of the best defenses in MLS, but the final effort or pass seemed just off the mark. Seattle meanwhile capitalized on their set pieces and changed the tempo and style to fit their strategy. Houston was definitely missing a ball winning defensive midfielder with Juan David Cabezas missing in action. His ability to disrupt playmakers and accurately distribute could have changed things just enough, but today it was Seattle who came out on top.
Next up for the Dynamo is their final game of the season which is Sunday October 28th against the LA Galaxy at 3:30 PM CT in Los Angeles.
26’ SEA: Chad Marshall (assisted by Nicolas Lodeiro)
49’ SEA: Gustav Svensson (assisted by Nicolas Lodeiro)
63’ HOU: Kevin Garcia (assisted by Oscar Boniek García)
87’ SEA: Raul Rudiaz (assisted by Nicolas Lodeiro)
89’ HOU: Mauro Manotas (assisted by Romell Quioto)
72’ SEA: Nouhou Tolo (yellow card)
74’ HOU: Oscar Boniek García (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia, A.J. DeLaGarza; Eric Bird (86’ Arturo Álvarez), Oscar Boniek García, Tomás Martínez; Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis
Seattle Sounders (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Nouhou Tolo (82’ Waylon Francis), Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leerdam; Osvaldo Alonso, Gustav Svensson; Victor Rodriguez (88’ Jordy Delem), Nicolas Lodeiro (90’+2’ Alex Roldan), Cristian Roldan; Raul Rudiaz