The Houston Dynamo were unable to come up with a positive result on their road trip to the Pacific Northwest when they visited Seattle Sounders FC. Although the Dynamo had their chances to get on the board, they were unable to and Cristian Roldan’s early strike was enough for the home side to get all three points.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The Dynamo had several chances to equalize and potentially take the lead, but the team must’ve left their finishing boots back in Houston. Alberth Elis came close twice in the first half while Mauro Manotas went 1v1 with goalkeeper Stefan Frei and he blasted his shot into the stands. Substitute Tommy McNamara also had a one touch finish opportunity, but his effort also found its way into the crowd. If one of these efforts finds the back of the net, this game would be considered a very good road performance against a tough team – especially for the Dynamo who are still looking for their first win at CenturyLink Field.
2) Cristian Roldan’s finish set the tone early for Seattle who came out with a lot of energy. This allowed Brian Schmetzer’s side to sit a little deeper early which forced the Dynamo to try to break them down. While Houston gained a possession advantage during this stretch, the Dynamo have always been better with space in front – not a crowd of defenders in the way. Later, the Sounders found success with their own possession spell which forced the Dynamo to chase the game. It was excellent managing of the game by Schmetzer who decided to not sit back for the rest of the match, but rather push for more. Even though the Dynamo defense was too stingy to allow a second goal, it kept the ball away from Seattle’s net and potentially a tying goal.
3) For Houston, Wilmer Cabrera’s managing style seemed to lack some urgency which has been a trend on the road during the Wilmer Cabrera era. Now, I think he’s gotten better than say last year’s sit on a lead for 45 minute style and some of that is him. Some of it is there’s a better group of players that can support the team defensively from giving up more goals due to increased pressure. Against the Seattle Sounders, during much of the second half the team didn’t look as interested in getting an equalizer as much as they were concerned about conceding a second. It is worth noting that the strategy seemed to change when Romell Quioto entered the match in the 80th minute. Quioto brought pressure and spirit which helped the Dynamo push for another goal. I just wonder if bringing him on at that point, was it too little too late?
4) Looking at just this game it’s easy to point out the lack of bite from the offense, the tactics of both managers, and the defense and goalkeeping that kept Seattle from adding to their lead. Looking at the schedule with two more games coming up, this loss is more forgivable than my initial reactions. Wilmer Cabrera likely saw two winnable home games coming up and didn’t want to gas Quioto who is returning from injury. Getting four or six points from these next two would take any sting away from this one. It’s also worth noting that a 0-1 loss to a good opponent on the road isn’t terrible to begin with.