Sounders top Dynamo to return to winning ways

 

Pappa_Pineda

Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE — It didn’t have to be pretty. The toast of the league for most of the season, the Seattle Sounders had suddenly lost three out of four matches, the Supporters’ Shield lead, and seemingly much of their mojo.

It was not pretty. But it was a win.

A deflected strike from Marco Pappa and a penalty kick goal from Gonzalo Pineda gave the Sounders all the scoring they needed in a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in front of 50,276 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night.

“Sometimes it’s not as artistic as you want it to be or as beautiful as you want it to be,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, “but it’s a little bit of rolling up the sleeves and fighting.”

Full of questionable tackles, questionable calls, and questionable passes, for most of the night the match seemed destined to end in a scoreless draw.

Pappa changed all that with a little more than 20 minutes remaining in regulation.

In the 69th minute, the 26-year-old midfielder stepped into a short pass from Clint Dempsey just outside the penalty area, spun beautifully on newly acquired Designated Player Luis Garrido, and unleashed a shot that deflected off David Horst before finding the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. It was Pappa’s third goal of the season.

Gonzalo Pineda added an insurance goal with a 75th minute penalty kick that deflected off goalkeeper Tally Hall for the 2-0 lead. Referee Chris Penso awarded the penalty after Ricardo Clark pulled down Obafemi Martins in the penalty area on a Sounders free kick.

Houston never really threatened to respond, let alone equalize. Penso did issue Martins his second yellow of the match in the 86th minute, but the Dynamo couldn’t do anything with the man advantage.

With the victory, Schmid became the first coach in MLS history to reach 200 wins.

“I’ve been coaching,” said Schmid, “for a long time, and it’s fantastic to finally get it. I was starting to wonder if I was going to get it. It’s a reflection of a lot of great players who have played for me.”

The Sounders (13-6-2, 41 points) also regained a slim lead over Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The Dynamo (6-12-4, 22 points) controlled most of the first half, frequently catching the Sounders’ defense out of shape and missing out on a golden opportunity to strike first.

Linesman Ian Anderson whistled Djimi Traore for a handball in the area in the 24th minute, but goalkeeper Stefan Frei dove to his left to deny Brad Davis on the ensuing penalty kick.

“We made a couple of mistakes and little bit of luck goes their way,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear, “and there you have it. I thought it was a pretty even game. I thought we looked real good in the first half.”

Frei also delivered a stellar kick save in the 52nd minute after Giles Barnes faked defender Djimi Traore to the ground and earned himself a one-on-one, close-range look at goal.

The Sounders, so lethal throughout the first few months of the season, didn’t muster so much as a half-chance until Pappa harmlessly slammed a 39th-minute attempt from the top of the area into Horst.

Despite knocking off D.C. United at home last week, the Dynamo have still lost seven of their last 10 matches after a surprisingly strong start to the season.

Newcomers Garrido and DaMarcus Beasley did, however, continue to impress in their second match since signing with Houston in late July.

“I thought they were good tonight,” said Kinnear. “I thought they both looked good tonight.”

Beasley smothered Lamar Neagle throughout the match and repeatedly sped forward to feed dangerous balls into the box. Garrido broke up numerous attacks in central midfield, freeing Clark to play a more advanced and creative role.

Looking forward, the Sounders host the Chicago Fire on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals before traveling to face Real Salt Lake (10-4-9, 39 points) on Saturday. The Dynamo host the Philadelphia Union (6-8-9, 27 points) on Friday.

Here are the match highlights:

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Sounders top Dynamo to return to winning ways

  1. iggy says:

    That pitch is a disgrace. A mud pit from Oct on would be better than this.

    Beasley looked class.

  2. Clover362 says:

    Noticed Yedlin wasn’t even on the bench for this game. I assume this mean his deal is imminent and Seattle didn’t want to risk injury.

  3. KingGoogleyEye says:

    “Yedlin’s situation is very close,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid explained after the match. “Some things are not entirely completed yet, so we didn’t want to play him and have a risk of an injury happenning without everything being finalized. Hopefully that will be finalized and completed in the next day or two.”

    link to sounderatheart.com

    • James says:

      What’s strange though is that all reports have him staying on through the season. In which case, you’d think it’d be ok for him to play, even with the contract pending.

      • Aaron says:

        My guess is that if he were injured severely enough, that could halt negotiations even though he’s staying through the end of the season.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Houston rested Cameron for a few weeks a few years back when the Stoke sale was being hashed out (for a long time). You don’t want to injure the asset before you get the cash.

        The difference between him playing for Seattle and risking injury, and him being sold to Spurs but loaned back, is whose property is injured if that happens. If Yedlin is sold then loaned back and gets hurt, then Seattle sends him back to Spurs.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Also, note that Yedlin has had a busy summer: USMNT camp, travel to and within Brazil, WC matches, USOC and MLS games, and travel to England and back over the weekend—even if Tottenham had turned him down, it’s still likely that he wouldn’t have played/started.

  4. Ian says:

    Seattle’s turf looked absolutely toe-up last night. Was there a monster truck jam right before kick-off or something?

    • Aaron says:

      Amazon sponsored an event prior to the game. A bunch of blow-up play things, etc., it was fair in CLink. It was a mess during, and they just didn’t get it cleaned up well enough in time.

    • reignman says:

      Amazon company meeting I believe is what I heard. They had to add more of the black pellets after it as a results but they take a while to settle

  5. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think we are a little soft up the middle of the backline to be trying to win by defense first. But Kinnear has a way he wants to play.

    I agree with TT, the forwards don’t show to the ball, they either run to the flag or they run away from the ball looking for a cross. So with 2 DMs we aren’t getting easy chances in the 18 — except for the one goal last week — we are getting low percentage crosses we’re not finishing. Lot of headers over the bar last two weeks. One of the few direct feeds into the 18 is when we get the PK off the shot. Ching and DeRo used to score some route 1 goals taking people on. That has disappeared into a deadball and crossing caricature.

    There is also too much tactical conservatism, more of a general complaint, 5 guys back guarding 2-3 people up a man and down a goal. We did use to play hard defense, but we were also good counter-attacking in some numbers. Again, caricature of the old teams. Not enough people forward in support of buildup. Not enough technical quality to keep the ball in possession.

    Seattle was a tough game but if you want to prove things have changed, you get a result. We probably still have a chance, but this team has a combination of quality talent and flawed players. Can’t win with strikers who can’t score and CBs who can’t mark people out of the picture. Decently drilled team as always but a little too lunchpail, not enough finesse.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I disagree with TT on one thing: the failure re Boswell was not cutting him loose — he was getting burned a lot with his negative footspeed — as the quality of the replacement. Horst just stinks. It’s kind of like Schaub vs. Fitzpatrick, the old starter doesn’t become inherently better because the new one is even worse. It instead suggests that if you are going to move on an important but struggling veteran you need to actually upgrade when you do it otherwise you only get worse. Boswell was not an attitude problem so things are not going to improve by subtraction.

    • Rowsdower says:

      Right on. One player who I believe should be getting some criticism is Boniek. For every good play there is a handful of ‘WTF are you doing’ ones. Lots of movement, creativity and attacking down his wing but nothing results from it. With how this team is playing I am not sure how much lies on his shoulders or those playing around him (ie the fwds).

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think he’s better as an open space player running at people — and playing balls behind a defense that hasn’t had time to settle — and instead he’s getting the ball a fair amount in either a back to goal position off a Sarkodie pass or in more of a Davis traditional crossing spot (and experience tells me Dom doesn’t want the crosser taking people on much, he wants it passed til someone has the space to knock it in).

        There also may be some destructive interference with Sarkodie overlapping. Sarkodie is not as poor as Ashe crossing, but the more crosses he gets the more come at Boniek’s expense.

  6. Ivan says:

    That plastic turf is disgusting! I tried watching for 2 minutes, then the ball bounced funny, and then I had to turn it off.

    It is beyond me how Sounders fans are ok with this disgraceful state of affairs.

    Get real grass! Now!

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Keep it up, Ivan. Paul Allen promised that once you reach your one millionth comment on this subject that he will install grass. By my count, you only have 703,422 to go!

  7. Mark Edward Hornish says:

    Can’t help but notice how the usually aggrieved Sounders fans are dead silent on that horror show of a pitch. Rumor has it there’s ample water in Seattle, but it looks like it rains soot out there. Hard to take you seriously, Seattle, no matter how many supporters you stuff into that coal cellar.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Yet, you apparently could help but notice how tired and stale this topic is. Look around the site for 2 minutes and you’ll find it discussed ad beyond nauseum.