The Houston Dynamo entered Saturday evening’s contest against Seattle Sounders FC as the third and fourth placed clubs in the Western Conference respectfully. The Dynamo have split their two previous games on the road prior to tonight and tonight unfortunately, they were unable to steal a positive result on the road.
It was not a very good start for the Dynamo with Seattle coming out with a lot of energy out of the gate. Cristian Roldan got the scoring started for the Sounders in just the 5th minute as he collected a cleared corner and was able to score from distance. Roldan had the space and time to chest the ball down and measure his half volley.
The Dynamo responded pretty well following Roldan’s 5th minute goal by controlling a lot of the possession, but Seattle was disciplined at keeping numbers back which made it difficult to get quality looks to equalize. There was a pair of chances by Alberth Elis between the 20th minute and 25th minute to get things level. First A.J. DeLaGarza found space on the right side of the field and was able to swing in a great ball towards Elis, but the header went just over the top of the crossbar. Not long after that following a free kick, Elis lost his man and headed the ball down, but it would end up bouncing over the top of goal again.
The Dynamo weren’t the only ones to get some chances though as Seattle retook some of the possession. Jordan Morris had a missed header over the top and Nicolás Lodeiro struck the crossbar.
Mauro Manotas had a golden opportunity to level things up just before halftime. Adam Lundqvist played an incredible ball that put Manotas 1v1 with Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but his shot is well off the mark and over the top.
The Sounders again would come out with energy after the second half whistle sounded. The substitute forced a fingertip save by Joe Willis as his shot was deflected just wide by the Dynamo goalkeeper.
In the 79th minute Elis came close to getting a goal back for Houston. Darwin Cerén played a perfect ball to Elis which put him 1v1 with Stefan Frei. Frei was alert and came up big as Elis looked to put the ball under the goalkeeper, but Frei was able to make the save.
Minutes later Romell Quioto, who was just subbed on, got free down the left wing and he played a ball into the box for a one touch finish. Tommy McNamara tried to put it in the back of the net, but it was well over the top.
The final whistle would blow and the Seattle Sounders would take 3 points at CenturyLink Field. Throughout the game Brian Schmetzer seemed to out manage Wilmer Cabrera. It helped to have an early lead of course so his team could force the Dynamo to break them down – not our club’s strong suit as they’re best with space in front of them. Then towards the end of the first half and into the second Seattle possessed better and made Houston chase the game. The Dynamo looked like they were content to keep numbers back to prevent a second from the home side, but that lack of pressure up top translated to a lack of urgency to get a goal back. Romell Quioto changed some of that attitude when he was subbed on, but it was with 10 minutes to go. Even then his impact was felt as he immediately put his mark on the game.
All in all though, a 0-1 loss on the road to a good opponent isn’t a terrible result. If those big misses by Manotas and McNamara go in, we’d think pretty differently about this road performance.
It’s tough to lose on the road because Dynamo fans know it well, but considering the schedule of Portland Timbers next Wednesday and then D.C. United next Saturday, we might forget about this one sooner than we think.
5’ SEA: Cristian Roldan
20’ HOU: Darwin Cerén (yellow card)
59’ HOU: A.J. DeLaGarza (yellow card)
78’ SEA: Will Bruin (yellow card)
90’ + 2’ HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Joe Willis; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Alejandro Fuenmayor, A.J. DeLaGarza; Darwin Cerén (86’ Oscar Boniek García), Matías Vera, Tomás Martínez (72’ Tommy McNamara); Memo Rodríguez (80’ Romell Quioto), Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis
Seattle Sounders FC (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Brad Smith, Kim Kee-hee, Román Torres, Kelvin Leerdam; Cristian Roldan, Jordy Delem; Víctor Rodríguez (15’ Harry Shipp), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (85’ Nouhou Tolo); Raúl Ruidíaz (73’ Will Bruin)