It's gone final as a 1-1 draw.
On the one hand, there has to be some relief, because losing this one would have registered as utter, utter disaster. On the other hand, the Sounders are 0-0-1 after three games -- two of them at home -- and they got only one point tonight in a home game that they dominated everywhere but on the scoreboard.
“We definitely wanted more,” said Seattle forward Nate Jaqua, who made his season debut in the 61st minute. “I thought we played well and definitely did enough to win the game. We just have to finish those chances. It’s one where we can’t get our heads down at this point. I think we played some very good soccer, and we have to keep it going.”
Much of the credit must go to Houston keeper Tally Hall, the Gig Harbor native who was dazzling tonight. But the Sounders also missed many good opportunities.
“I obviously think we deserved more tonight than a tie,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I’m very proud of the team, I’m very proud of the effort that we put in.”
However, Schmid was less satisfied with referee Ramon Harnandez, who gave a yellow – rather than red – card in the third minute when Houston defender Hunter Freeman made a tactical foul on Friberg with no one but Hall between him and the goal. Schmid also believed his team deserved a penalty kick when Leo Gonzalez was brought down in the box in the 74th minute. Instead, Gonzalez was carded for simulation.
Scoring Summary:HOU -- Geoff Cameron 1 (unassisted) 42SEA -- Steve Zakuani 1 (unassisted) 80
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Hunter Freeman, Corey Ashe (Danny Cruz 85), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75), Jason Garey (Cam Weaver 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Chabala, Alex Dixon, Eddie Robinson, Tyler Deric.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Lovel Palmer 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Geoff Cameron 1, Jason Garey 1); FOULS: 16 (Geoff Cameron 3, Andre Hainault 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jason Garey 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Brad Davis 1); SAVES: 7 (Tally Hall 7)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales 71), Steve Zakuani, O'Brian White (Nate Jaqua 61), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 26 (Fredy Montero 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Fredy Montero 3, O'Brian White 3); FOULS: 15 (Leo Gonzalez 3, Nate Jaqua 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Steve Zakuani 3); CORNER KICKS: 12 (Erik Friberg 10); SAVES: 1 (Kasey Keller 1)
Misconduct Summary:HOU -- Hunter Freeman (caution; Tactical Foul) 2HOU -- Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Foul) 30SEA -- Patrick Ianni (caution; Reckless Foul) 43HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Simulation) 73
Referee: Ramon HernandezReferee's Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Daniel FitzgeraldAttendance: 36,204Time of Game: 1:51Weather: Cloudy-and-46-degrees
The Sounders' next game comes next Saturday at San Jose.
80th minute: Friberg corner into middle of box, off Houston leg to Steve Zakuani, who sweeps it in at the far post. 1-1. Sounders first goal of the season after 259 scoreless minutes.
71st minute: Mauro Rosales checks in for Brad Evans ... indicating that designated player Alvaro Fernandez is pretty well down Sigi Schmid's playing list for now.
61 minutes: Nate Jaqua makes season debut, coming on for O'Brian White.
Through 60 minutes: Rather than going deeper into protective shell, Houston doing better with possession so far this half.
Second half: Has kicked off. Cam Weaver comes in for Houston in place of Jason Garey. No chances for Seattle.
Halftime: Houston 1, Sounders 0. Not surprisingly, the stats simply reinforce the Sounders' domination in everything except what counts.
Shots, 15-5, Seattle. Shots on goal 4-2, Seattle; corners, 5-1 Seattle. But, of course, goals, 1-0, Houston.
Those 15 shots were a Sounders club record.
42nd minute: The phase "against the run of play" was invented for this. Houston gets a free kick about 30 yards that hits the crossbar. Then Geoff Cameron returns it into the net. Dynamo, 1-0.
First Houston goal of the season. Sounders still waiting.
First 30 minutes: The Sounders' festival of fried chances continues, most recently with three by O'Brian White. One was a terrific save by Tally Hall. And now another flurry with Jeff Parke putting one off the crossbar. Still 0-0. First 15 minutes: Sounders dominating possession and especially chances. Best just came as Zakuani sent ball above crossbar on mostly open goal. But still 0-0.
Kickoff: We're under way. Sounders in green/blue. Dynamo in orange/white. Very windy. Lots of empty seats, although I believe the sellout streak was maintained.
Pregame: The Sounders meet Houston at 7 p.m. at Qwest Field.
And the Sounders will be looking for their first win of the season without starting defender James Riley, out due to what is called a mild concussion suffered Thursday in training.
However, coach Sigi Schmid also is voluntarily starting with Alvaro Fernandez, Nate Jaqua, Mauro Rosales and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado -- all on the bench.
Here's the lineup: GK Keller; D Scott, Ianni, Parke, Gonzalez; M Friberg, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F White, Montero.
Sounders reserves: Boss, Carrasco, Fernandez, Hurtado, Jaqua, Rosales, Wahl.
For Houston: GK, Hall; D Sarkodie, Boswell, Hainault, Freeman; M Ashe, Palmer, Cameron, Davis; F Bruin. Garey.
Reserves: Deric, Robinson, Chabala, Ching, Cruz, Dixon, Weaver.