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Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“I thought it was a full-team effort tonight. I’m very, very pleased that we have three shutouts at home.” -Brian Schmetzer

The Seattle Sounders managed to keep another clean sheet at CenturyLink Field and found their goal through Will Bruin to secure three points against Houston Dynamo heading into the international break. Although neither team was at full strength, the Sounders were able to control most of the match and the Dynamo were able to create some dangerous chances of their own.

This isn’t the peak of the Sounders’ capabilities, but as Will Bruin says, the recent 1-0 victories “could have been two- or three-nothing, but we’ll get there.”

The Sounders are now 5-6-4, -4 goal differential, over 15 games. That’s good for 1.27 PPG or 6th in the Western Conference (thanks to owning the third tiebreaker over the San Jose Earthquakes, 18 goals for vs. 16).


MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Houston Dynamo 0

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Venue: CenturyLink Field

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Assistants: Apolinar Mariscal, Gianni Facchini

Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow

Attendance: 40,258

Weather: 63 degrees and partly cloudy

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Will Bruin (Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso) 69'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

HOU - Alex (caution) 28'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Brad Evans (Aaron Kovar 54'), Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Gustav Svensson, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alvaro Fernandez (Nouhou Tolo 75'); Will Bruin (Jordy Delem 88')

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Seyi Adekoya, Zach Mathers, Oniel Fisher

Total shots: 12 (Bruin, 4)

Shots on goal: 2 (Bruin, 2)

Fouls: 7 (Svensson, 2)

Offside: 4 (Four players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 9 (Lodeiro, 8)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Houston Dynamo - Tyler Deric; Dylan Remick, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, A.J. DeLaGarza; Juan David Cabezas, Ricardo Clark - captain, Alex (Boniek Garcia 67'); Mauro Manotas, Andrew Wenger (Vicente Sánchez 75'), Erick Torres (Alberth Elis 55')

Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba, Joseph Holland, Kevin Garcia

Total shots: 8 (Three players, 2)

Shots on goal: 3 (Manotas, 2)

Fouls: 13 (Alex, 3)

Offside: 1 (Torres, 1)

Corner-kicks: 3 (Alex, 3)

Saves: 1 (Deric, 1)


POST-MATCH QUOTES:

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On Cristian Roldan’s weekend:

“You guys know I love those questions about Cristian, so thanks. It was a great ball, great finish by Will, against his former team, I’m sure that will come up, too. Cristian is just continuing to improve and impress. Some of the rewards statistically – okay fine, they’re nice, they’re great – but I think anybody that’s associated with this game, and certainly people that are fans of Seattle, understand the value that kid has.”

On Aaron Kovar:

“He was ready to play. I love Aaron because he’s a competitor. You saw his initial ball that he gets, he’s going at guys. He wants to make a difference. I think that’s something that is just testament to his character, and he came in and made a difference. He wasn’t 100-percent Aaron Kovar, he was a little rusty, but he certainly came in and made a strong impact in this game, so that’s a good thing.”

On his concern regarding Bruin’s health entering the match:

“The doctors assured me that his elbow couldn’t extend all the way and that’s the function of the brace. But yes, you get nervous that something could happen and he could really re-injure it and that would probably be a really serious thing. The majority of the concern amongst the coaching staff – I don’t think Will [was concerned] because he’s a tough kid, he wasn’t worried about it – but we were worried about it and how it just affected his movement, his running, his balance, some of those things are what we were concerned about. But he proved tonight he was willing to sacrifice and get on the end of a header, challenge with a bunch of big defenders, so he was good.”

On the defense over the last three home matches:

“It starts with the attackers, I would say. I thought you saw a pretty committed group out there. Defending is always – yes, Chad Marshall had a really big game. I was really happy to have Roman [Torres] back there. Brad [Evans] and Joevin [Jones], that was on paper our starting back four at the beginning of the year. Ozzie [Alonso] and Gustav [Svensson] were very good in midfield today. I thought Gustav had a really, really strong game. And then you get a bunch of guys like Nico [Lodeiro] who press and hound the opposition. You’ve got Cristian. Everybody played their part. Flaco [Fernandez] on some of his set-piece defending and stuff that he does well. I thought it was a full-team effort tonight. I’m very, very pleased that we have three shutouts at home.”

On win boosting morale entering the international break:

“We like to take things a game at a time, so this game was just really, really important. We’ll focus on the first part of the season [during the break] and probably do a little bit of reflection there of what we did well, what we can improve on and try and get them a little time off. And when they come back we’ll try to fine tune some things, but it was definitely a very, very big homestand for us to get those nine points.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On the cross and the goal:

“I think we had some good build up play to it, and Cristian [Roldan] put it right on my head so if I ever would of missed that I would of started questioning my career.”

On the battle with the center backs:

“It was a tough one. Try to grind them down and annoy them all game and I knew I would get my one chance.”

On difficulty of playing with a brace:

“It was kind of tough I was telling some of the trainers at halftime that I don’t have my full strength of pushing off and holding guys and I’m a lefty, as weird as that is, because I’m right footed but it was different I was trying to use my whole body or my right arm.”

SOUNDERS GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On the play of the back six:

“They did well. It was really nice to get some veterans back today and like I said we have quite a few guys who were capable of sliding into numerous positions and I think some guys were healthy and came back in the back four and came up a little higher. It’s good. Obvioulsy I think we want to score some more goals and make it not so tight, but that’s the third shoutout at home.”

On the importance of a shutout:

“It’s a shutout for the team. For me, it’s a weird stat to put on a goal keeper because as a goalkeeper by yourself you don’t really have a chance to get a shutout. I think that it’s good to get the win at home and the third shutout in row which is nice. It does their confidence well, and knowing that we have that little break is nice.”

SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER AARON KOVAR

On his recovery:

“I mean like I said it’s a process, one day at a time, ramping up and just trying to show that I can do it.”

The feeling on when he checked in for the first time in almost a year:

“I don’t know how much [you appreciate] the moment while it’s happening, because you’re in the moment. But I think when I really felt like, ‘This is really good to be back,’ is when we scored that goal. It was just a good feeling.”

On what he used to stay motivated:

“I mean I think what I’ve had to learn these first few years is that you just can’t get too low when things are bad and when things are good you can’t get too high because it can change for the better or you can lose it all in on second, right? You just try to appreciate every little moment you have and appreciate tonight and look forward to the next opportunity.”

SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH WILMER CABRERA

On the match:

“They had one chance clear and put the ball in. We had two or three [chances] and we weren’t able to finish. That’s the difference between us. It’s sad because the team did a very good job controlling a team that is at home. We didn’t allow them to create too many chances in front of the goal. It’s not like Tyler [Deric] had to make too many saves, but they had one and they put it in. That’s outstanding. We had a few and we have to do better with that. In that aspect, we have to continue working. We didn’t play bad today. Tactically we were solid and we reacted well. I told the guys we have two or three chances in every game, but we have to do better. We have to do better because if we want to get some points away, we need to be more clinical in our finishing. They put in a good effort controlling, marking, running, tackling… it was a good effort by the whole team, but it’s not good enough when you don’t put the ball in the net.”

On how to finish better on the road:

“When we were losing, we took control of the game. We were more dynamic, had more tenacity and made better decisions. We have to convince ourselves that we can do it before then, not when we’re losing.”

On the effort of the back line tonight:

“They were working hard and very well. When you come to Seattle and give up one clear opportunity – you either think something is wrong or something is very good. We were very good defensively. The guys in the back worked hard and it was a solid performance in that aspect. Of course we’re talking about a team that has talented players, they’re at home and they’re going to try and take risks and attack. When we have possibilities, we have to take advantage with our good players because we know that they like to attack. We’re not going to give up and have to continue pushing. Hopefully we can be more solid in finishing our opportunities that can give us points, especially when we play away.”

On the Seattle goal by Bruin:

“Roldan got a great cross and Bruin was a little bit by himself in that moment. We didn’t mark right there and he had to put his head on it. It was a great cross, and when it’s a great cross, it’s easy for the forward to finish it because he only had to get in that position. [Bruin] found a good position and that was it.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO FORWARD ERICK TORRES

On the game tonight:

“The team created more opportunities than Seattle but we couldn't finish. We will leave a little bit sad and disappointed because we couldn't get the result. The point is that we need to keep working. The team is playing well. We need to make use of this coming break. Relax our legs, rest our minds, rest our bodies and come back stronger than ever.”

On this result and how it affects you in the Western Conference:

“The team is working well and playing well together. We are fighting for the top position in the conference and scoring goals at the same time. We have to keep working on this path and working hard.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO DEFENDER DYLAN REMICK

On returning to Seattle:

“It was a little weird at first. Coming into the visiting locker room. Doing everything on the other side. But, it was a cool, special moment. Seattle will always have a special part in my heart. I played here right out of college. It is the only team I have been on. It was a cool experience.”

On the warm reception from the Seattle fans:

“Again, it was amazing. The fans have always been amazing to me and the team. It was just special to be a part of it. To hear them, it was very humbling.”

On Coach Schmetzer giving you the championship ring before the beginning of the game:

“Yeah, again it was another very special, humbling, amazing moment. You work for that, so it was an honor to receive it from him. He has done well, obviously, with the first Cup for Seattle. Everything about it was just unique and a great experience and I was just happy to be a part of that team.”

On the game tonight and lacking in possession but creating more dangerous opportunities:

“I think everyone just needs to be a little bit sharper, a little bit more tuned in. I thought we didn’t play all that bad. Again, we had good chances. We limited them to a few good chances. The difference was they took their chances and we didn’t. So, we need to work a little bit better defensively to make sure that we can hold teams off on the road, and then on the flip side when we get a few chances on the road we need to make sure they count because we are not going to get as many as we do at home.”

On the work of the back line and work and commitment of the defense:

“I thought it was really good. It was one of those things where every guy was sacrificing for the betterment of the team. Obviously, they got one and we are going to have to look back and see where we can do better on that. For the most part there were a lot of blocked shots, a lot of good clearances by the team. It was good to see everybody buying into what we are trying to do here.”