Chad Marshall's goal was a wonderful moment. With it the Seattle Sounders are now on a loss-less streak, undefeated in two games. But there are a few problems that are as evident today as they were prior to game, maybe even more so.
This isn't Clint Dempsey's team
If anything it is Brad Evans' team. The offense and the defense look better when he is involved. Clint's best two games were the draw with Club America and when Vancouver Whitecaps stole three points. In his two games as the nominal central attacking midfielder he only has one key pass. Not only is he less effective in this spot, Ivanschitz is also less effective at generating scoring opportunities out wide. Andreas has a key pass in each of the last two games, after averaging three in the first three games. It's a shift that isn't working, and Clint is a large part of the reason. He too often drops deeper than both other central midfielders and his touches within shooting range aren't frequent enough to be a significant scoring threat. Until another DP comes Seattle will only go as far as Clint. Right now that isn't very far.
Sigi made the proper halftime adjustments and substitutions
Prior to the half Jordan Morris had 14 trackable actions. With 34 minutes in the second half he tallied 18 actions. These were further forward on the pitch and more often successful. No, the HGP did not score, but overall he was more effective. Add that to the substitutions made and Sigi gets significant credit for the draw, less than Chad Marshall, but significant credit. Game state had some influence, but the Sounders were so dominant in possession in the second half that changes were clear and effective.
Herc and Oalex are the reserve forwards the team needs
They do it in significantly different ways, but both add vitality when it is needed. Herculez Gomez is all about off-ball movement and a quick trigger. He coaches out on the field. He tries to put himself and his team towards goal. If he were fully fit he should probably start. Since he isn't he should enter at about the 60th minute of every game.
Oalex Anderson's spunk helped today's game as well. He's still wild and unkempt, but eager. Sometimes you need that. Unpredictability is useful in small runs. He has his whole future ahead of him. Right now his future is as the fastest sub on the team, one who isn't concerned or cautious. His errors are deep in the attacking end, where little damage is done.
The 2016 can ride the defense
Chad Marshall and Brad Evans dominate the error. Crosses aren't going to get into dangerous places that often. Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan are swapping marking duties against opponents' 10s. Throughballs against are rare. Behind them all is Stefan Frei, savemaster. Long shots are not going to beat him regularly. Sure, it's only 5 (or 7) games into the season, but there is every reason to think that this team can end with less than 40 goals against. That isn't counting a future with Roman Torres. Today, was just another example of how strong this defense is.
Houston couldn't break it down. They attempted a stunning 16 shots, but less than half were within the 18, none were in the 6. Three of the shots within the area were at horrid angles (one of those scored). As bad as the Sounders were at crossing the ball the Dynamo were worse. Houston completed a single non-set-piece cross. Only one of their key passes as from a central area into the 18. Entering the match Houston had the best offense in the league.