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Sounders vs. Dynamo, recap: Rolling into the international break

Victor Rodriguez’s brace paces Sounders’ win.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — Needing a win in order to keep their hopes for a home playoff game alive, the Seattle Sounders did exactly what they were expected to do in earning a decisive 4-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Monday. Will Bruin got the Sounders started with an 18th minute goal and the Seattle essentially cruised from there, closing out the game with a Cristian Roldan goal in the 34th minute and a second-half brace from Victor Rodriguez.

The win allows the Sounders to move to within two points of clinching a playoff spot and keeps them three points behind both Sporting KC (second place) and LAFC (third place) and just one point behind the Portland Timbers (fourth).

Talking points

Please, don’t hurt yourself Nico

  • For more than a few moments, there was some significant concern in the air at CenturyLink Field when Lodeiro went down in a heap after celebrating Roldan’s goal. Turns out, the two midfielders clashed knees while celebrating. Although he stayed down for several minutes, though, Lodeiro was able to return and play a full 90 minutes.

Multi-headed attack

  • If there is a significant concern about the Sounders’ prospects, it’s that their offense sometimes seems extremely reliant on the play of Raúl Ruidíaz and Lodeiro. Granted, the Dynamo were playing short-handed, but this was easily their best performance in a game neither of those players scored.
  • Credit for that probably should go to Bruin and Rodriguez, both of whom played inspired games. Rodriguez, in particular, has looked very strong in the last two games and his emergence gives the Sounders a genuine third prong of their attack.
  • Oh, that the Sounders now have eight goals in two games — regardless of opponent — seems good, too.

That primal scream

  • There was at least one player who looked a bit frustrated at the final whistle: Chad Marshall. The center back let out a loud scream, seemingly at no one in particular. After the game, Brian Schmetzer took the blame, saying that his insistence on playing some of the younger players may have cost the Sounders a shutout. That’s the kind of anger that feels productive.

Key moments

The Sounders had much of the early run of play and made it pay off with an 18th minute goal from Bruin, who has now scored in four straight games against his former team. The play started with Lodeiro putting Nouhou into space with a ball down the left side. Nouhou’s cross went all the way through Cristian Roldan, who put it back into the middle where Bruin was waiting. Bruin’s first touch set up a left-footed shot that easily beat Joe Willis.

Although the Sounders continued to control the game, the next good chance came from the Dynamo. Kelvin Leerdam had a bit of trouble controlling a pass from Frei, and put Kim Kee-hee in a bit of an awkward situation. Mauro Manotas ended up firing a shot from about 25 yards out inches wide.

Just a few minutes later, the Sounders doubled their lead. The play started with Osvaldo Alonso winning possession at the top of the penalty area and pushing it ahead to Lodeiro, who wound his way through several defenders before finding Roldan all alone on the right wing. Roldan took a couple touches and then blasted it past Willis.

The Sounders had two golden chances to make it 3-0 before the half. The first was off a Lodeiro free kick that found the head of an unmarked Chad Marshall. Unfortunately, Kelvin Leerdam appeared to get in his way and his header went wide. On the final play of the half, Lodeiro put Roldan into acres of space after a corner. But with Victor Rodriguez running on the left and unmarked, Roldan elected to keep the ball instead of passing it and sent his shot high.

The Sounders continued their domination into the second half and effectively put the match away in the 64th minute when Victor Rodriguez gave the Sounders a 3-0 lead from a Kelvin Leerdam cross that was dummied by Will Bruin.

As if in an attempt to one-up themselves, the Sounders added a fourth goal about eight minutes later, again through Rodriguez. This time, he worked a give-and-go with Handwalla Bwana before lacing a shot inside the far post. It was Bwana’s first career assist and Rodriguez’s first MLS brace.

As nice of a performance as the first 80 or so minutes were, the Sounders clearly let off the gas for the final 10 minutes or so. The Dynamo hit one ball off the post, were probably a bit unlucky not to get a penalty and then finally put one past Stefan Frei in the 87th minute when DeMarcus Beasley beat him from close range.


Sounders (4-2-3-1): Frei; Nouhou, Marshall, Kim, Leerdam; Alonso, Delem; Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Roldan; Bruin.

Dynamo (4-3-3): Willis; Beasley, Garcia, Machada, Wenger; Ceren, Cabezas, Garcia; Alvarez, Martinez, Manotas.


18’ Bruin (Roldan, Nouhou)
34’ Roldan (Lodeiro)
64’ Rodriguez (Leerdam)
73’ Rodriguez (Bwana)
87’ Beasley (Alvarez, Martinez)


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