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

AJ Delagarza thought he was fouled, Wilmer Cabrera thought the Dynamo “dominated” and the Sounders got to sing “Jingle Bells.”


Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Houston Dynamo 0

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Venue: BBVA Stadium

Referee: Nima Saghafi

Assistants: Ian Anderson, Gjovalin Bori

Fourth Official: Matthew Franz

VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

Attendance: 15,138

Weather: 86 degrees and clear


SEA - Jordan Morris 59’


SEA - Jordy Delem (caution) 50’

SEA - Harry Shipp (caution) 72’

HOU - Ronaldo Pena (caution) 82’


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Román Torres, Kim Kee-hee, Nouhou; Jordy Delem (Xavier Arreaga 80’), Danny Leyva, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Brad Smith (Harry Shipp 31’); Jordan Morris (Joevin Jones 73’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Kelvin Leerdam, Alex Roldan, Justin Dhillon

Total shots: 7 (Morris, 4)

Shots on goal: 1 (Morris, 1)

Fouls: 8 (Delem, 3)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 1 (Lodeiro, 1)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Houston Dynamo - Tyler Deric; AJ Delagarza Jr. (Kevin Garcia 71’), Aljaz Struna, Maynor Figueroa, Adam Lundkvist; Matias Vera, Boniek Garcia, Tomas Martinez, Tommy McNamara (Ronaldo Pena 75’), Memo Rodriguez (Michael Salazar 64’); Mauro Manotas

Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, DaMarcus Beasley, Darwin Ceren, Juan Cabezas

Total shots: 15 (Manotas, 7)

Shots on goal: 3 (Manotas, 2)

Fouls: 9 (Martinez, 3)

Offside: 2 (Rodriguez, 2)

Corner-kicks: 9 (Lundkvist, 5)

Saves: 0

Postgame quotes

Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer

(on what he is the most proud of after tonight’s victory) “Look road games are never easy in MLS certainly here playing in the heat. They are use to the heat. The guys never quit. I thought Houston was under a lot of pressure in the first half and our guys didn’t give up a goal—one of our objectives to keep a clean sheet. So, they were able to keep that objective. The spirit, the determination again—59%, dual percentages won shows that we in critical moments were able to make some plays. So, overall I’m proud of a lot of different things but just the overall mentality of the team.”

(on FW Jordan Morris moving out to the left to start the second half) “Gonzo (Gonzalo Pineda) came up with that. We were talking on the bench to find a way to get (FW) Jordan (Morris) untracked and so moving him out a little wider to the left and having (MF) Nico (Nicolas Lodeiro) play as a false nine worked. Sometimes those gambles pay off, other times they don’t but it was a good tactical adjustment and that’s why I think my staff is the best in the league. They come up with good ideas and then the players execute.”

(on the health of DF Brad Smith after suffering injury) “Groin tightness. So, we’ll take a look at him back in Seattle but you know (MF) Harry (Shipp) came on and does what he always does—plays steady.

I thought all the subs that came on were good.”

(on FW Jordan Morris’ execution of the goal) “It reminds me of a couple of performances—the one on the road in Colorado when he kind of slid there and poked the ball in and we got through to the MLS Cup final. There was another spell in 2016, it might have even been against Houston I don’t know, at home where he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and he scores that goal and it seems to lift him a little bit. Goal scorers are like that. They feel better when they score. They sometimes take that responsibility on if they don’t but I was very pleased with him tonight that he stuck with that one play.”

(on 16-year old M Danny Leyva’s performance) “Good. Very good performance. Kid’s got talent.”

Sounders FW Nico Lodeiro (translated from Spanish)

(on the result of the match) “I’m happy about the three points. It was tough game with a lot of heat. I think the majority us weren’t used to this heat. We were able to win against a very tough team that plays great at home. We’re going back home happy.”

(on their loss last weekend) “I think the team practiced really well this week. Our last loss hurt us, but we couldn’t be stuck about that. We had to turn the page because the playoff push started. You can’t feel lament yourself. Most of all, we had a conference rival and we had to win this game however we could. The team showed character. I’m happy because the team deserved an important victory.”

(on the analysis that was studied about the Houston Dynamo) “Yes, they have great players. They’ve been practicing together for a long time with a great coach. Their forwards score many goals and associate well with themselves. We practiced with them in our minds, but we also worked a lot to be better at what we needed from last weekend, which was our defensive line. We didn’t have the ball during the first half, but we were solid when we had to defend tonight. That was important to be able to close the game.”

Seattle Sounders MF Cristian Roldan

(on the performance and effort of the team) “Well to be honest I didn’t think it was our strongest performance but sometimes you find a way to win and the team came together at the right moment—a brilliant finish by (FW) Jordan (Morris) and a tremendous effort defensively to keep it 1-0.”

(on the challenges in 90 degree weather) “It’s tough. I mean once you physically get exhausted your legs start to go and it’s tough to press or to commit forward and the ironic part is if you commit to those things you run less almost because you’ll keep the ball, you’ll be attacking more so than defending and naturally you’ll think your running less when you have the ball all the time. So, in that case if we can just push, keep going and seal out the game by keeping possession and trying to attack it will save us a lot of energy and effort in the long run but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Mentally it’s draining to really commit and in the end we kind of stepped back and seal out the game that way.”

(on the playing to the right of midfield tonight and how the adjustment went) “Well out wide for the first half, second half I played almost like a number 10 and then in the end of the game dropped back as a six next to (MF) Danny (Leyva). I’m all over the place but if (HC) (Brian) Schmetzer thinks that I’ll be effective in those positions then I’m okay with that. I felt like we found some really soft spots with (MF) Nico (Nicolas Lodeiro) and myself playing the false nine and being able to keep possession of the ball a little more in the beginning of the second half it was effective with (FW) Jordan (Morris) out wide but in the end happy that we didn’t concede a goal.”

(on the adjustments made for example moving FW Jordan Morris outside) “Yeah, you listen to what they have to say. It’s not something that we really practice but (FW) Jordan (Morris) is always effective out wide and (MF) Nico (Nicolas Lodeiro) plays his role. I’ve played in that soft area. Obviously, it’s not our natural positions for all three of us but in the end I think we’re all smart players. We understand what they are trying to implement into the game and it was effective. Houston’s center backs didn’t want to follow (MF) Nico (Nicolas Lodeiro), myself and it left some gaps and exposed them a little bit in the midfield.”

(on rating FW Jordan Morris’ goal) “I really liked his Toronto goal. I think that’s number one for me. It was pretty amazing. LA goal maybe second. This was like third or fourth.”

(on 16-year old MF Danny Leyva’s performance and if he belongs at this level) “Yeah, Danny (Leyva) was clean— to the touch, to his ability to keep possession, to win his battles, his duels. He was really composed for how young he is. He plays much older than he is and it’s great to see him get experience in these tough games. It’s never fun to deal with the heat and deal with a different atmosphere but Danny (Leyva) did all of that and I’m proud of him but he needs to continue to improve build off this performance and I have high hopes for him but he needs to continue to improve.”

(on set piece defending) “Yeah, I believe we won the duels and if I’m not mistaken that’s part of it and aerial duels is something that we believe we are really strong at. We have big players inside the box and it’s good to see that everybody is anticipating any corner kicks and we are tight to our markers. So, hopefully that continues because Kansas City is decent at set pieces. We need to be strong in that area.”

Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera

(on initial thoughts on the game) “I think we played well. We dominated the game but I think the referee made a mistake in that goal because that’s a foul. All over the world, that’s a foul against (DF) A.J. DeLaGarza but he didn’t call it. We didn’t receive respect in that moment. Why? Because Seattle Sounders is here and Houston Dynamo is here. I understand that, but that’s a foul here, on the moon, Africa, South America, Europe. If we play in Seattle that’s a foul, if it’s against Seattle, but because we don’t receive respect from Nima Saghafi today and tell me if that’s (FW) Ronaldo Peña, that is a yellow card, I have played soccer all of my life. He cannot show that yellow card to (FW) Ronaldo Peña, that’s disrespect. We feel that that we didn’t receive respect from Nima Saghafi today. That’s a foul. We played better. We dominated the game but we didn’t create too many options. We don’t have the power up front. We didn’t have the power up front. We knew that, but what are we going to do. That’s what we have right now but definitely for me – that goal, that’s a foul and that yellow card that he showed to (FW) Ronaldo Peña is a joke. That shows how poor Nima Saghafi considers our players, because the player just dove right there and he showed a yellow card. That’s not good. That’s not right. We made a mistake and (DF) Kiki (Struna) didn’t clear the ball correctly but that’s a foul from (FW) Jordan Morris. That’s a foul 100 times against (DF) AJ DeLaGarza but we could create better options. We couldn’t be the way we are normally and this game should have finished 0-0.”

(on why FW Romell Quioto did not play today) “Romell Quioto (FW) was yesterday ready to practice and then he felt something and then this morning he came to the practice sick. So, that’s something that is out of our control. Alberth Elis (FW) has another red card suspension – one more game, just in case you don’t know.”

(on if he was surprised that FW Alberth Elis got and extra game suspension and that it came so late in the week) “Yes, definitely. Definitely because the referee (Christopher) Penso was looking for his body, not (FW) Alberth Elis looking at him and that’s a provocation but again that’s a provocation from the referee toward the player. He is trying to look for his body, not the player going after him, but we get punished—another one. So, that’s our reality.”

(on why the team could not perform today in the same way that the did on Wednesday against Club America) “Well it’s because we couldn’t create clear options. I haven’t even checked this (views statistics sheet). Yes, we dominated the game with possession and passing accuracy—88% of passing accuracy and it says 58.1% possession throughout the game. So, we had the ball. We had the passing. We moved the ball, but we weren’t cleaning up at the moment to create options and finish.”

(on why he believes Seattle is a better team than the Dynamo) “Because we don’t receive respect, look what happened with (FW) Alberth Elis. He got punished. Yes, he should be red carded, yes. Because he was immature and he cannot kick the ball away. But the referee took that and went after Alberth Elis like to create provocation and today that was a foul (on DF A.J. DeLaGarza). That was a foul all over. You don’t need to be scientific to understand that that situation for the player, the way (DF) A.J. DeLaGarza fell, he almost got injured. So, all over the world that’s a normal, regular foul, but not for us and the yellow card against (FW) Ronaldo Peña are you kidding me. It’s a joke.”

(on why he feels the referees are responding the way they are) “I don’t know. I don’t know if we have to—maybe I have to tell the owners to put more money. We have to bring (Lionel) Messi or we have to bring Cristano Ronaldo in order for us to be more attractive. But we try to play, we try to play. Listen and if we lose the way we lost against LAFC—they were better than us and they scored more goals and what are we going to do. You have to win, tie or lose. The effort today, we played well. Today, Houston Dynamo dominated. Seattle Sounders moved the ball but with the lack of that situation up front that we have normally, that create options, shots and are so dangerous. We weren’t that dangerous but we shouldn’t lose today. We shouldn’t.”

(on what the next step is for the team to get back to the winning streak) “Listen, I went to the locker room and I told the players in a normal circumstance, in a normal regular game this game finishes 0-0, but not only did we get punished, but we have to understand that we cannot even make one situation one mistake because we are getting punished. We’re getting punished with that, so now we need to focus on no mistakes—zero mistakes, zero opportunities for the forwards or for the opponents to take advantage of the situation. We cannot make one mistake.”

(on what he thought of the goal that Seattle scored) “Yeah, I thought that (DF) Kiki (Struna) needs to do better in that clearance. He needs to clear better. Struna and then (DF) A.J. (DeLaGarza) was trying to jump for the ball and he received an unbelievable foul from Jordan Morris and the referee didn’t call it and took advantage and scored a goal. But, again, we have to play with that bad situation now.”

Dynamo DF A.J. DeLaGarza

(on the outcome of the game) “We wanted, and we needed a result tonight. Unfortunately, they had one chance and one real solid chance, and they put it away. I think for most of the game we were very good and we just have to do better in the final third. Myself included. Guys off the ball, crosses, finishing – it is on us. I don’t think we leave here with our heads down, I thought we played well.”

(on the decision to not call a foul prior to the goal) “I don’t know how that is not a foul. I told the ref that it is a foul anywhere else on the field. He says ‘I don’t know’ – it’s simple, I think it is a foul in any league, any place. I jump up and get undercut – then go flipping, so clearly, I didn’t jump over a guy that was standing straight up. He bent down and I tumbled over the top of him, so – I don’t know how you don’t call that. I asked him and he has no answer.”

(on if he feels the team does not get respect from officials) “I think that sometimes we put that on ourselves. You see the incidents that we have had over the years, getting in refs’ faces, yelling. Obviously a couple of weeks ago bumping a ref, they are not going to be your friends after you do that a certain amount of times. So, some of that is on us. They have to call the game correct, I don’t know what else you could say. I think the bigger market teams get the benefit and I have been on a big market team and have seen when I was on that team benefit. So, now being here you are on the flip side. You see the things that aren’t called for you.”

(on what the team needs to do to get back on track) “This is probably the first time in a while where we have had two home games back-to-back. So, we don’t have that travel factor. We need to take this break and be smart with it and have guys recover. Like I said, 14 straight games from Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, so – it was a tough stretch and the results show that unfortunately. We have another opportunity next week against an Eastern Conference team and all home games are must win. Today especially, but we just have to recover and do better on both sides of the ball.”

Dynamo MF Tomas Martinez (translated from Spanish)

(on the outcome of the game) “Yes, this was a tough game to lose when you look at how many times they actually threatened our goal. I think they only had one or two clear opportunities and we were able to manage that. Now we flip the page with Chicago (Fire) coming to town and we have to win at home. We will take next week to fix what went wrong and work hard so we can get back to the way we know we can play.”

(on what he takes from the team’s performance after a congested stretch) “Yes, we have played a lot of games in a month and at times we have gone two or so week without playing, you just have to adapt to what the schedule gives you. You could see the fatigue after so many games in a small window. Regardless, what is done is done and we have to think about this last stretch of the season. Our goal is still to make the playoffs and we have to do our best to accomplish that.”

Dynamo MF Memo Rodriguez

(on the outcome of the game) “It was a hard loss today, we tried everything possible. Sometimes you don’t score or you make one mistake or the ref doesn’t make a call, but we have to continue fighting. Now we turn the page and prepare for the next game.”

(on building rhythm over the last few games) “Yeah, obviously it is good to continue playing and obviously I just have to do everything to help the team create something – whether that is a shot or an assist. I have to help the team create something in the attacking third and I came up a little bit short there today. I just have to keep on working and be ready for the next game.”

(on the improvements he wants to see) “We have to prepare the same way and continue working on mistakes. Obviously it just didn’t work out for us in this game and we have to see film to know what we have to correct and identify what we have to break down teams when they sit back. We dominated possession but sometimes we didn’t get anywhere with the ball. We have to continue building and get ready for next week against Chicago.”

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