Seattle Sounders scored two first half goals to maintain their 100% start to MLS 2012, condemning Houston to their first loss of the season.
The goals came within four minutes of each other in what was a hectic first half, with Dynamo the dominant side but Sounders the more threatening.
An intense atmosphere at CenturyLink Field was matched by frantic football from both sides, which made for end-to-end lunacy in the first half and scrappy play in the second.
Houston had the early chances, Brad Davis showing great play on the wing and crossing dangerously to no-one, while Geoff Cameron struck over the bar from an inswinging corner.
Seattle looked better equipped going forward and, with Dynamo keeping the ball in areas that threatened Sounders little, they did break through on occasions, Brad Evans making a lung-busting run to be found with a brilliant through ball, only for Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to stop the cross.
It was Seattle, though, who took the lead after 22 minutes. David Estrada – fresh from his hat-trick last week – volleyed from the edge of the area only for a Dynamo leg to divert the ball into the opposite corner.
And, soon after, Sounders doubled their lead. Defender Patrick Ianni was pushed over in the penalty area at a corner, and Evans stroked in the resulting spot-kick.
The two goals were the first Dynamo had conceded having won both of their first two games 1-0, which maybe hints at issues of scoring goals. Will Bruin looks to be an exciting player and has a fierce shot on him – he forced Michael Gspurning into a fantastic save early on – while Brian Ching’s quality is well known, but it is the service and general final ball that is the problem. Clear cut chances just weren’t created, although a spirited Sounders defence should take credit for that as much as Dynamo should be criticised for it.
Despite the goals, though, Houston did look the more impressive side. They started better and were playing some lovely football, just not in the right areas to really hurt Seattle.
And their defence, at times, was far too easily opened, Roger Levesque somehow skewing a shot wide from the edge of the area with just the ‘keeper to beat in plenty of space. Late on, Fredy Montero – a man well aware that he’s a Designated Player – held the ball up well and eventually poked a pass through to Alvaro Fernandez, who curled over the bar.
Seattle were never entirely comfortable as such but they certainly weren’t threatened, while Houston came away disappointed with the result and frustrated with the performance in the final third – but everything up to then was nothing but promising.
Picture from JoeBrokken