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Houston Dynamo Vs. Seattle Sounders: Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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Call it a hangover, call it a trap game, call it a gut punch. There are lots of negative adjectives you can use to describe the Seattle Sounders' 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday in hot, humid and nasty Robertson Stadium. 

It was, easily, the Sounders' worst performance of the MLS season. It was the first time the Sounders have been soundly beaten all year, with only the loss at DC United coming anywhere close. The Sounders were outshot 16-4 (although Opta called it 16-8) with Alvaro Fernandez's penalty the only one that was put on frame. Surprisingly, the Sounders had more possession, but it was obviously a pretty soft possession as they created precious few chances with it.

Perhaps the most telling post-game quote was this from Sounders coach Sigi Schmid:  "I think we were looking for fouls sometimes when we shouldn't have. I just think mentally we lost our concentration, and this is the type of game where if you put Brian Ching on our team, I think we win tonight. I think one player, who is an influential player, who is a leader like that, can make a difference in a game like this."

There are two things there that are of particular note. The first is the comment about the fouls. I'm sure what Sigi is saying here is that it became pretty obvious at some point that the ref was going to let this game be physical. Especially toward the end, I felt like there were a few plays where guys went down when they would have been better off trying to stay on their feet. For god's sake, if you can have a player shoved to the ground without so much as a foul being called, it's a pretty clear message that the ref is not inclined to throw his weight around.

The Brian Ching comment, though, seemed to come a bit out of the blue. It makes me wonder if the Sounders haven't been trying to work out a trade to acquire the former USL Sounder. Ching is obviously not the same player he was a few years ago, but you could see how someone with his physical presence could be useful.

One way or another, games like this do illustrate that finding another player would probably be advisable. Whether that player is a target forward or a fullback (clearly are two biggest needs), the Sounders have until Aug. 14 to bring in someone from outside North America.

Goals by Period




Seattle Sounders




Houston Dynamo




Scoring Summary:        

HOU -- Colin Clark 3 (unassisted) 7

HOU -- Brian Ching 2 (Geoff Cameron 4, Brad Davis 10) 23

SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 6 (penalty kick) 36

HOU -- Brian Ching 3 (Colin Clark 2, Hunter Freeman 2) 71

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Mike Fucito 78), Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan 68), Roger Levesque (Nate Jaqua 57).

Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott, Josh Ford

TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Alvaro Fernandez 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Alvaro Fernandez 1); FOULS: 9 (Alvaro Fernandez 2, Mauro Rosales 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Mauro Rosales 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Mauro Rosales 6); SAVES: 6 (Kasey Keller 6)

Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark (Alex Dixon 89), Geoff Cameron, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis, Brian Ching (Jason Garey 87), Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 31).

Substitutes Not Used: Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Tyler Deric

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Brian Ching 4, Adam Moffat 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Brian Ching 3); FOULS: 10 (Colin Clark 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (4 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Brad Davis 3); SAVES: 0

Misconduct Summary:

HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34

SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Tactical Foul) 38

HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Tackle) 76

SEA -- Mike Fucito (caution; Dissent) 87

Referee: Niko Bratsis

Referee's Assistants: -Peter Manikowski; Anthony Vasoli

4th Official: Hilario Grajeda

Attendance: 18,465

Time of Game: 1:52

Weather: Clear-and-90-degrees

Houston Dynamo   Seattle Sounders FC
16 Attempts on Goal 8
8 Shots on Target 4
4 Shots off Target 1
4 Blocked Shots 3
4 Corner Kicks 7
10 Fouls 8
17 Open Play Crosses 15
4 Offsides 4
2 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
35 Duels Won 29
54% Duels Won % 45%
435 Total Pass 452
75% Passing Accuracy % 77%
49% Possession 51%


On the game: "I'm very happy for the guys. I told them afterwards I think it's the best we have played this year. Energy was good, enthusiasm was excellent, and we scored a couple good goals in the beginning of the game, which gave us some energy and some confidence. We had some scary moments there, but all and all, I thought we played very well tonight, and I'm happy for the guys."

On aggressive play: "I think it just was the team. We talked about they had a tough game with some tough travel earlier in the week, and I told the guys to just try to get off to a good start. They have some good players, a good team over there, some good attacking players, so we wanted to try to make sure they didn't get a lot of space to play to get into any type of rhythm. I thought we did a pretty good job of pressuring them and winning some second balls. I thought Brian Ching's movement tonight in the box was excellent. I thought the energy was good, and that was a key for us tonight."


On the team's goals: "We came out hard, put a couple of goals in, and made it that much harder for them. All the goals came from great crosses. The first one goes right over [Osvaldo] Alonso, and I trap it, was about to shoot it, and the defender kind of bumps me, and Colin [Clark]'s Johnny-on-the-spot with a good finish. On the second goal, Geoff [Cameron] crosses a great ball that Pat Ianni misjudged, and it was a classic goal for me inside the six, how I like them. The last goal was an awesome hustle from Colin. He was up and down all night. He puts a great ball across, and it's one of the easier finishes I've had."

On the win: "Everybody came out with confidence, and I think we had fun, and that's part of it. When you're losing, it's hard to find the fun in the game at times, but tonight it looked like everybody was on top of things. Adam [Moffat] came in, his first start for us, and made a good contribution. For myself, I feel like I owe the team a little bit, so I wanted to make an impact. I was fortunate to get some great crosses in tonight and put the ball in the ball in the back of the net."

On the significance of the win: "We know it's crunch time. It's time to get some points at home. It's time to start moving up the charts if we want to be in the playoffs, and you know we all have pride and we all want to be in the playoffs. We don't want a repeat of last year. So I think we have to take it upon ourselves to come out and perform, and tonight is a good start. Let's not read too much into one game. You need to put three, four more like this together, get some more wins, before we start patting ourselves on the back."


On the game: "It was a big three points for us. We knew they were playing well and they've got a pretty good team, and I think we showed well."

On the game plan: "They obviously are a good team, possession-wise. They have good combination play, they like that early through ball and getting guys to push up early, so we knew that if we intercepted the ball, we'd have to give a nice quick pass to release pressure and we were on our way. I think we did that tonight, and Dom [Kinnear] did the scouting report, and Dom was right on, and the guys executed very well."

On Brian Ching's leadership: "It's kind of funny: We had breakfast this morning, and he said ‘Man, I need to get a couple goals,' and I said, ‘Don't worry, you'll get them,' and tonight he did. So it's great. It's good confidence for him and good confidence for the team; we have trust in him. Jason [Garey] came in, Cam Weaver came in, and everybody did a great job producing. We are happy about the result. We are looking forward to Philadelphia next weekend."


On his first game in Houston: "Obviously, it was great to get the victory. I thought it was a great performance overall. We're disappointed with the penalty, and we're a little bit hard-done to only get three goals, but it's great and we had some other opportunities as well."

On adjusting to his new team: "It'll take time. It went well tonight obviously, but there is still some getting used to each other. The sooner I can make that transition, the better it is for us overall. We want to make the playoffs, so it was good. The guys have been great all week."


On the game: "I thought Houston was better. I thought Brian Ching showed his leadership abilities. I think he carried that team and was the Man of the Match without a doubt. We looked mentally tired, made some mistakes, and you can't make those kind of mistakes. We talked about in the locker room before the game, that they were going to come out with intensity, and we had to match it. We had a chance to score a goal early, and we missed it."

On the physicality of the game: "You can point to a packed schedule, but we aren't going to point to a packed schedule. The game was allowed to be played in a very physical nature, which suits them a little more than us because they are bigger than our team is and a little stronger. I think we were looking for fouls sometimes when we shouldn't have. I just think mentally we lost our concentration, and this is the type of game where if you put Brian Ching on our team, I think we win tonight. I think one player, who is an influential player, who is a leader like that, can make a difference in a game like this."

On the past few games: "It just feels like a long stretch. I think right now their minds are a blank slate. I don't know what they are feeling. I think they are feeling tired and disappointed and embarrassed. We have to make sure we get together for our next game."

On the second half: "We felt we were in the game. We got the penalty kick to go 2-1, and I felt confident that we could get a goal. We gave up a bad third goal, but for sure, I thought they played better in the second half in terms of their possession and their ability to knock the ball around. I thought we gave possession away, but we still had a couple opportunities where we got in. Even at 3-1, I thought we had a couple opportunities to make it 3-2, just not enough. It was not good enough."


On the game: "It's definitely frustrating to start the game the way we did, conceding two early goals. If we are going to be one of the top teams in the league, we have got to deal with the travel and all the extras. We are not going to make excuses; we expect more from ourselves. We expect to be able to travel for a week long and still be sharp, and we weren't. We are not going to make excuses, we are just going to push forward and get back on the right side of things."

On the second half: "I didn't feel like we were out of it; we just didn't have the energy today. I don't think we got our heads down, but we just didn't turn it around and bring our energy level back quick enough the way we normally do, which is something we need to work on."

On Houston's play: "They have a lot of big guys. [Brian] Ching is great in the box, a lot of other guys are pretty effective in the box. They know how to play in this field. They put balls in the box, and that's how they are effective."


On the game: "I think we have been a little bit shaky defensively for weeks now. We got to a stage where we couldn't outscore the opponent. If you give away too many of those chances from six yards out, you are going to lose some games. We have to clean up our game. We have been talking about it the past few weeks, and today we got punished for it. It's been a long trip and you can make whatever excuses you want to make, but today Houston was better and they deserved to win."

On the goals: "It's just frustrating because when you lose their leading goal scorer a couple times inside the six, and he bangs those balls in, those are the things that are frustrating. Getting beat on something special, it happens and I'm making them earn it. But just giving them chance after chance is something we really need to get out of our game if we want to continue to make a run. Right now, it's just too easy to score goals against us, and that's not the way we normally play."

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