The Houston Dynamo have played their final home game of the 2018 season. Last Sunday they were defeated 2-3 by the Seattle Sounders at BBVA Compass Stadium in the penultimate game of the year. The two sides swapped stretches of looking in control, but the Seattle Sounders were dominant on set pieces which proved to be the difference.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The Seattle Sounders came out of the gate looking like a playoff team that wants to be a higher seed. They were aggressive, kept the Dynamo in their half of the field often and forced turnovers with their high press. Houston adjusted pretty well to that and were able to keep Seattle further behind the ball by countering and getting some chances on goal. This was a good response to Seattle’s early dominance and for large stretches of the first half the Dynamo were the better side. However, Seattle’s elite defense combined with a few poor shots made it tough to breakthrough and after Seattle scored they were able to control the tempo of the game.
2) Set piece defense was clicking for the Dynamo. They allowed two goals off of corners from Nicolas Lodeiro and let two different players put the ball in the net. You have to wonder if things would have been better had Philippe Senderos were able to play because he is a very good leader in the back to help keep things organized. Kevin Garcia did his best to keep up with Chad Marshall on the opening goal, but he was completely outworked by the veteran. On Gustav Svensson’s header, Svensson was left very open which put the Dynamo in a hole early in the second half. The leadership and organization in the back this season has struggled due to injuries, call-ups, and suspensions so some consistency would go a long way next season.
3) A problem the Dynamo seemed to have was their ability to win the ball in the back and distribute it quickly and accurately. Having Juan David Cabezas to pressure and interfere with Seattle’s play making and then get the ball out wide in a hurry would have made a big difference. Just like all season, his presence was missed. I think switching it so that Oscar Boniek García was the deepest midfielder over Eric Bird helped over the course of the game, but Boniek is no JDC.
4) Houston outshot Seattle 22 to 15 with 2 more shots on goal than the victors. The Dynamo typically haven’t been a very accurate side with their shooting, but they’re volume finishers meaning if they continue to get chances some will eventually go in. Only the New York Red Bulls allow fewer goals than Seattle so getting two was a decent showing against a top defense. Still, accuracy will need to improve next season because even when we don’t sit back we may play a side that can finish like Seattle and we’ll need our efforts on goal to count.
5) I would have liked to see Ronaldo Peña get some minutes.