The Seattle Sounders lost 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo, courtesy of fantastic goals from Maxi Urruti and Darwin Quintero. The Sounders welcomed back many of the players who had been away on international duty — Cristian Roldan and Xavier Arreaga both started, while Nouhou and Alex Roldan both came off the bench — but seemed to lack cohesion. Individual efforts, rather than coordinated team defense, led to individual errors, which Houston punished to the tune of two goals, four shots off of the woodwork, and a number of other chances. Seattle created chances of their own, many of them coming in the second half, but they couldn’t find the back of the net beyond yet another fantastic goal from Jimmy Medranda.
This was the first half of a two-game road trip for Seattle. They travel to face the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, another historically difficult road trip. With the loss against Houston, the potential for a zero-point trip looms ever greater, and along with it the Sounders’ grip on first place in the West also weakens. The season’s hardly over, and there’s every chance that this is just a bump in the road. It’s not the first time that individual errors have spelled trouble for Seattle, though. Hopefully, Brian Schmetzer can right the ship, and the side can sail into the playoffs and leave this choppy sea behind them.
11’ — The best look so far comes as Josh Atencio jumps on a loose ball and drives towards Houston’s goal. He plays in Fredy Montero who finds Cristian Roldan, but his shot is high.
14’ — Houston take the lead off of a clever free kick from Darwin Quintero and an incredible shot from Maxi Urruti, who is unmarked in the box but has to hit a volley on a pass over his shoulder. 1-0 Houston
20’ — More lackluster defending from the Sounders as Quintero dances through the defense and blasts his shot into the corner to double Houston’s lead. 2-0
41’ — Jimmy Medranda pulls one back! João Paulo’s corner is cleared to the top of the box, where Medranda collects it and launches it into the back of the net. 2-1
59’ — Following a couple of good looks from Houston, Seattle nearly levels the score after Will Bruin gets on a throughball and finds Montero, but his shot is right at the goalkeeper.
67’ — Houston split Seattle’s defense and Urruti gets another good look, but puts his shot clangs off the corner of the crossbar.
90’+3 — Seattle gets a free kick at the edge of Houston’s penalty area and João Paulo’s shot strikes the underside of the cross bar, but the Sounders can’t do anything with the rebound.
So long, Supporters’ Shield: For the last week it really seemed like Seattle could catch the New England Revolution for the Shield. The Sounders were running hot, coming into a game against one of the worst teams in the league, and all they needed was to keep their form and for New England to drop some points. The Revs obliged, drawing 2-2 at home to the lowly Chicago Fire, but the Sounders put themselves in too deep of a hole to get back out with Houston’s two first-half goals. It’s still technically possible — New England have 66 points through 30 games, Seattle have 57 through 29 — but it certainly isn’t likely at this point.
Jimmy Medranda, my goodness: Medranda’s goal was the only real bright spot in this one. In light of that, it seems worth remembering that Medranda joined the Sounders as basically a make-weight in the trade that sent Handwalla Bwana to Nashville SC. The main part of that trade was the $225,000 of General Allocation Money that Seattle received, and while it’s surely helped in roster construction it’s hard to argue that that GAM has added points to the team’s total in the way Medranda has. In just over 1,100 minutes this season, Medranda’s contributed 4 goals and 3 assists. They’ve not been just any goals, either, as Jimmy Medranda seems to only score bangers for presumably religious reasons. I hope he never leaves.
Solving the Sounders puzzle: Brian Schmetzer is getting closer and closer to a full-strength squad — Raúl Ruidíaz’s injury is obviously a complicating factor, but we’ll just have to wait and see how serious that is — as internationals return, Jordan Morris is cleared to rejoin full-team training, and Nico Lodeiro presumably approaches his return as well. How exactly all of the players available to him fit together remains to be seen, though. In tonight’s game there was not only an apparent lack of cohesion on both sides of the ball, but also players seemingly unsure where teammates were going to be or what role was whose. Numerous plays saw the attack fizzle as both Montero and Bruin made identical runs that failed to give the player with the ball a useful option. There’s not a ton of training time available in the coming weeks with games every few days, but Schmetzer will have to find a way to sort things out.
Did you see that?!?
Bangers. Only.@jimmymedranda gets one back before half! #SoundersMatchday | #HOUvSEA pic.twitter.com/ReLQWOxSCH— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) October 17, 2021
Jimmy Medranda could fix your credit score if he could kick it with his left foot.
He said what?!?
Schmetzer: "We’re not talking about the Supporters’ Shield. It would have been a miracle. We have to focus on ourselves. That result shows that we have to focus on ourselves."— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) October 17, 2021
One stat to tell the tale
44% — Seattle won only 44% of the duels against Houston (46 to 57).
Man of the match
This poll is closed