Seattle Sounders: Five Observations from the Win Over Houston Dynamo


Seattle Sounders: Five Observations from the Win Over Houston Dynamo

Thankfully for the Seattle Sounders, they managed to bounce back from their previous two games to beat Houston Dynamo. Here’s five observations from the 1-0 win at CenturyLink Field:

1) Homefield Advantage

The Sounders entered this fixture, having never lost to the Dynamo in Seattle. In five previous clashes at “The Link”, they had won four and tied the other, scoring nine and conceding just two in the process.

Fortunately for the Sounders, the unbeaten record remained intact, although it was a very scrappy/disjointed affair. Mind you, that’s bound to happen when you’re playing nearly the whole second half with just 10 men.

2) The Referee

Talking of playing with just 10 men, I’ll readily admit that I groaned when I heard that Ted Unkel was the referee in charge of the game. This negativity emanated from watching him in charge of several Toronto FC games at BMO Field.

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To be fair to him though, he had little choice in respect of the Gonzalo Pineda red card. Studs to the chest will almost always result in a sending off.

Unless of course the referee misses it altogether, which actually wouldn’t have surprised me with Unkel. Okay, sorry – there was no need for that. He had a decent game.

3) Osvaldo Alonso

Sigi Schmid took a gamble by starting all four of his previously injured players, Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Chad Marshall and Obafemi Martins. However, it all turned out well in the end.

Apr 4, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) beats Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia (27) to the ball during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Houston, 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Alonso in particular impressed me, given that this was his first action of 2015. The tenacious midfielder even managed a bulldozing run midway through the second half that almost resulted in a goal, belying his supposed lack of match fitness.

When Alonso came off in the 73rd minute, he received a well deserved rapturous round of applause. There was even a nice moment when he shared a hug with Schmid, before sitting down on the bench.

4) Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins

Dempsey and Martins worked their magic yet again, combining for the only goal of the game. And it was a beauty, with Dempsey playing his teammate through on goal, who then did a nice spin move to bamboozle Jermaine Taylor, before slotting the ball home.

The duo have accounted for all six of the Sounders goals so far this season, with three apiece. I’m not sure what to make of this, but it would be nice to see some other names on the score sheet at some point soon.

5) Man of the Match

Stefan Frei earned the Man of the Match award for the Sounders. And even though some analysts felt Martins deserved the honour, there is no denying that Frei had a solid game, which included some important saves.

This was especially the case in the second half, when Seattle went down to 10 men and Houston started to put the pressure on. Making Frei’s performance more impressive was the fact he suffered from a nasty collision in the seventh minute of the match.

Thankfully for the Sounders, he stayed on the pitch and appeared to show little discomfort. However, after seeing him hobble around in the locker room after the game, the goalkeeper’s going to likely need most of the week to recover.

Next: Three keys for the Sounders versus the Dynamo