As the Sounders strengthen their playoff positioning, the Dynamo nearly come back but drop the final home game of the season.
What a game that was in Houston. For much of the first half, the Dynamo were lethargic, very dry offensively, and just lacked energy on both sides of the ball. However, the second half was a bit of a different story. Three total goals, lots of fouls, and a near comeback by Houston towards the end. Overall, the game was quite entertaining.
Here are some stats from the game.
Houston shots: 22, 8 on goal. Seattle shots: 15, six on goal. Kevin Garcia scored in the 63rd minute to put the Dynamo on the board. By this time the Sounders were already winning 2-0. After an error by Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric, Mauro Manotas tallied his 16th goal of the season in the 89th minute. By this time it was 3-2, however, the comeback came just short. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei made six really good saves. In fact, there were several times this game could’ve gone Houston’s way.
However, things just didn’t click for Houston. From the start, the Dynamo were slow from the offensive side, while being wide open on defense. Especially on set pieces. As a matter of fact, the first Seattle goal in the 26th minute came off a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick. Chad Marshall headed the ball to the right side of the goal to kick things off. A little over 15 minutes later, Lodeiro assisted on another corner kick, identical to the first goal. This time, in the 49th minute, Gustav Svensson scored to make it 2-0 at the half.
The final assist Lodiero dished out was in the 87th minute coming off Raul Ruidiaz. With those assists, Lodeiro became the Sounders record holder for assists with his 35th career regular season assist. The aforementioned Marshall also happened to score on his 400th MLS appearance. Nonetheless, the Sounders came in and took care of business. Also noteworthy, this is the first time during a regular season game that Seattle beat the Dynamo on Houston’s home soil.
In the realm of soccer, the midfield is everything to a team. Everything runs through the midfield. For Seattle, Lodiero, Svensson, and Cristian Roldan created chances had some great ball movement, as well as hold shape defensively and stagnate Houston’s attack.
Meanwhile, the Dynamo struggled to create chances. They were slow, lacked creativity, and the heartbeat of the team didn’t play well. Indeed, Alberth Elis just couldn’t create many chances or take shots for the team. He faced multiple double teams, and overall he just couldn’t find a rhythm to help out offensively. The wing play of the Dynamo was great, but through the middle, they struggled mightily.
Most notable of all, Houston had trouble defending on set pieces. As a matter of fact, the Dynamo struggled with set piece defense all season long. Seattle further exploited that. That turned out to be the biggest difference in the game.
Several fouls occurred in the second half that led to some nasty falls and tempers flaring. In the end, the physical battle was also won by Seattle and they basically bullied the Dynamo around in the midfield and on set pieces.
One more game to go for both teams. Seattle will face the last-place San Jose Earthquakes while the Dynamo finishes the year in Los Angeles against the Galaxy. A win for the Sounders may be enough to give them a first-round bye in the playoffs, or at least, a home playoff game. Meanwhile, Houston can ruin the Galaxy’s chances of making the playoffs with a win in L.A.
Hardworking, loyal, and passionate. I love the people that surround me because they allow me to be who I am. A lover of sports, video games, and life itself. I am a son, a brother, an uncle, and a person who holds nothing but love in his heart. I do this for Rosa Maria Magana and Edward Magana. A.k.a my folks in heaven. Music and sports keep me alive and well.