Categorized | Match Reports

Dynamo escape with 1-1 draw against Sounders

Posted on 24 August 2009 by dbuckholt

Cameron put the Dynamo up, but it would not hold

The Houston Dynamo were fortunate to escape with a 1-1 draw Sunday night at Robertson Stadium against Seattle Sounders FC, as Seattle could easily have scored three times in the second half, while the Dynamo attack was toothless for most of the evening.

Geoff Cameron’s 36th minute goal was offset by Nate Jaqua’s goal in the 70th minute on his return to Houston.

“It was a tough game, and I think a draw is pretty fair. We have a lot of respect for how they play,” Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said.

“This is a good draw. Sometimes you have games that become defining moments, and this game was something that was really important to our character,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said.

New Dynamo signing Luis Angel Landin came into the game as a substitute in the 75th minute and had a couple of good touches, but no shots.

“I felt well physically. The only thing now I need to do is get more used to the group so that I can develop myself fully on the field,” Landin said through an interpreter.

The man of the match was Seattle midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who played in a more forward role alongside Jaqua for most of the match and gave the Houston defense fits. Ljungberg had missed the previous two games when his hyperglycemia caused bouts of disorientation.

“Ljungberg finds great little pockets, and he’s still a very good player,” Kinnear said.

“Playing-wise, I felt fantastic. Of course, I was knackered, but Sigi wants me to keep on going, so I played more than we expected,” Ljungberg said after playing 88 minutes.

Houston had lost twice to the Sounders in Seattle by the same 2-1 score in 10 days in July, once in MLS play and once in the US Open Cup semifinals. Brian Ching and Stuart Holden were with the US team at the Gold Cup for those two games, and were facing Seattle for the first time tonight. Andrew Hainault was serving a red card suspension, so Ryan Cochrane moved out to right back.

Fredy Montero, who scored a controversial goal for Seattle in the league match, was also suspended tonight, for yellow card accumulation. Roger Levesque was listed as a forward in the starting lineup, but played mainly on left wing.

The game started with good chances on both sides, as Ljungberg got behind Bobby Boswell down the middle in the 4th minute for a shot that Pat Onstad could only partially save, but Wade Barrett cleared off the goal line.

Kei Kamara took advantage of a ball tackled off Holden in the 6th minute that fell to him at the right side of goal for a shot that Kasey Keller tipped around the left post.

Houston then fell into a pattern of moving the ball through midfield, only to give up possession in the attacking third with poor communication on their passes.

“They make it really difficult and they close down the space pretty well. I think if we were a little sharper in the final third, we really could have helped ourselves out,” Kinnear said.

The Sounders were finding room on both wings through Ljungberg, although the final touch in the box escaped them.

“Whenever the ball turned over, the first pass out always seemed to be pretty easy. That’s something we talked about at halftime, let’s not let Nate or Freddy get the ball at midfield and turn with the ball,” Kinnear said.

Houston took the lead on a patented set piece. Brad Davis’ free kick from the right side was headed on by Cameron near the top of the box, beating Keller to the left post.

“It was a great ball by Brad. I lost my man, and I just kind of flicked it over the top. Just misdirection, and I’m lucky it went in the back of the net,” Cameron said.

The Dynamo has had a troubling habit in recent home games of giving up goals early in the second half, and it looked like it happened again in the 47th minute, when Jaqua blew in on left wing and pulled the ball back to Osvaldo Alonso, who beat Onstad to the ball and knocked it toward the left post. Jaqua tapped in, but was in an offsides position when Alonso played the ball.

Seattle surely should have equalized in the 66th minute when Ljungberg fought off Barrett and Cameron at the right post to get in a pass to substitute Steve Zakuani, unmarked in front of goal. Somehow, Zakuani shot over the bar.

Houston wasn’t let off the hook four minutes later. James Riley had space to cross from the right to Zakuani for a header back across goal to Jaqua, who side-volleyed in for his first league goal since June.

“We were kind of outnumbered (in the box) and weren’t sure who to mark and got caught between two players. Zakuani gets up well and heads it back across. Give Nate credit, that’s a great, composed finish,” Onstad said.

“Once I get on a roll and start scoring, it’s a lot easier for me to score. It’s been a little while, so there’s a little frustration there, but you keep playing and hopefully they’ll start falling into the back of the net,” Jaqua said.

Landin had been in just two practices with Houston after his introduction on Thursday, and came in for Kamara in the 75th minute to a great ovation from the crowd. He quickly showed more control in the box than the departed Ade Akinbiyi did during his whole time with the Dynamo. Landin laid a pass off at the top of the box for a Holden shot that went just wide right in the 83rd minute.

“He looked pretty sharp. He was good to get on the ball, and his movement around the box was pretty good. I think he’ll prove to be a good pickup for us, as we slowly build him in. I know a lot of people want to see him get him on the field right away and play 90 minutes,” Kinnear said.

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings

Onstad 7 – a couple of good saves in second half
Cochrane 5 – both outside backs were toast during first half (Waibel 75’ 5.5 some wayward passes)
Boswell 6.5 – some good tackles, also beaten on occasion by Jaqua and Ljungberg
Cameron 7 – generally solid, classic Houston defender goal on set piece
Barrett 5.5 – had save off line, didn’t close down Riley on Seattle’s goal
Mullan 6 – upgraded for some good help defensively
Clark 7 – was trying to get forward on occasion
Holden 6.5 – a few decent chances
Davis 6 – great assist, ended up pinching in perhaps too much (Ashe 72’ 5.5 invisible)
Kamara 5.5 – trouble connecting with teammates (Landin 75’ 7 had some good touches up front)
Ching 5 – way too many poor passes


Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo, August 23, 2009
Robertson Stadium, Attendance: 17,063

Scoring Summary:
Hou – Geoff Cameron (Brad Davis) 36
Sea – Nate Jaqua (Steve Zakuani, James Riley) 70

Misconduct Summary:
Sea – Roger Levesque (caution; Reckless Tackle) 13
Hou – Bobby Boswell (caution; Reckless Tackle) 19

G – Pat Onstad
D – Ryan Cochrane (Craig Waibel 75), Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Wade Barrett (c)
M – Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis (Corey Ashe 72)
F – Kei Kamara (Luis Angel Landin 75), Brian Ching

Substitutes not used – Tally Hall, Mike Chabala, Danny Cruz, Dominic Oduro

Seattle Sounders FC
G – Kasey Keller (c)
D – James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 81), Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez
M – Sebastian Le Toux, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Roger Levesque (Steve Zakuani 63)
F – Freddie Ljungberg (Peter Vagenas 88), Nate Jaqua

Substitutes not used – Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Sanna Nyassi

Shots: Houston 5, Seattle 8. Shots on goal: Houston 3, Seattle 5. Fouls: Houston 10, Seattle 14. Offsides: Houston 1, Seattle 5. Corners: Houston 2, Seattle 3. Saves: Houston 4, Seattle 2.

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