After an exciting Leagues Cup match this past Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo were back in action in a game that actually matters against Seattle Sounders FC. Prior to this game, Houston had been riddled with distractions. Juan David Cabezas and Romell Quioto were both fined by the MLS for questionable reasons, Alberth Elis was suspended an additional game for his conduct from over a week ago, and Mauro Manotas had been surrounded by rumors that he is leaving the team during the summer transfer window. All this plus having to play a long grueling match against Club America mid-week. It was essential for the team to regroup and be ready to take on the hated Sounders.
The Dynamo controlled the entire first half with 62% possession and getting numerous opportunities at goal. The first one came in the 12th minute, where Manotas tried once again to take on the Sounders backline and strike it from outside the box. That chance was easily saved but it wouldn’t be the last chance for the striker.
Corners became the way of life for the team afterwards as the Dynamo forced five corners in the half, however each of them was easily cleared away by a Sounders defender. The team kept attacking all half with nine shots to Seattle’s three however only two of them were on target. One of those missed shots’ seemed to be the Dynamo’s best chance at a first half lead. Adam Lundkvist received a long pass that lead him near the goal line, after getting the ball, Lundkvist fired a low cross passed the entire Seattle backline right onto the feet of Manotas, but Manotas tapped the ball over the entire goal.
In the second half, Seattle started to get more chances. in the 48th minute both Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris had a good shot to score a goal but nothing came of it. Finally in the 59th minute, the Sounders capitalized on their opportunity with an awkward goal from Jordan Morris.
Both Kiki Struna and AJ DeLaGarza were unable to clear the pass away and Morris used his leg to pass the ball to himself and then push it towards goal passed Maynor Figueroa. The goal was marred in controversy as DeLaGarza seemed to flip over Morris. “I don’t know how that not a foul, I told the ref that’s a foul anywhere else on the field,” exclaimed DeLaGarza.
The Dynamo continued to attack in the second half, but nothing would come of their opportunities. Most of the second half was spent in the attacking half however much of it simply wound up like:
How can you not love Nouhou? pic.twitter.com/Z1N34vFt9m— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) July 28, 2019
In the final ten minutes, the Dynamo would get two of their best opportunities. A cross would come right to McNamara who’d completely whiff of the chance in front of the goalkeeper. Then in the 82nd minute, Figueroa would have a chance that was simply blocked away. Once again in the added time, Houston would have two separate corners that had fans out of their seats hoping for a happy ending but just like throughout the game, both chances were cleared away. Houston would finish the game with 15 shots compared to Seattle’s seven yet not be able to convert any of them.
Seattle would hold firm and take the one goal win. This is Houston’s second home loss in a row but only the third home MLS loss of the season. The team will get a much needed week long break until their next match in Houston against the Chicago Fire. As the season winds down every loss hurts that much more as the team tries to make a playoff push. DeLaGarza said as much himself, “Every game is a must win, a playoff game for us. We gotta get this team to the playoffs.”
59’ SEA: Jordan Morris
50’ SEA: Jordy Delem (yellow card)
72’ SEA: Harry Shipp (yellow card)
82’ HOU: Ronaldo Pena (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Tyler Deric; Adam Lundkvist, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, AJ DeLaGarza (71’ Kevin Garcia); Boniek Garcia, Matias Vera; Memo Rodriguez (64’ Michael Salazar), Tommy Mcnamara (75’ Ronaldo Pena), Tomas Martinez; Mauro Manotas
Seattle Sounders (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Nouhou Tolo, Kim Kee-Hee, Roman Torres, Saad Abdul-Salaam; Danny Leyva, Jordy Delem (80’ Xavier Arreaga); Brad Smith (31’ Harry Shipp), Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan; Jordan Morris (72’ Joevin Jones)