The Sounders' nine-game MLS unbeaten streak came to an end tonight with a 3-1 whipping at the hands of Houston.
Sigi Schmid's quick reaction:
"I thought Houston was better. I thought Brian Ching showed his leadership abilities – I thought he carried that team, man of the match without a doubt. We looked mentally tired, made some mistakes. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes. Obviously we talked about those things in the locker room: They were going to come out with a lot of intensity, we’ve got to match it. But you have a chance to score a goal early and you miss it. A poor clearance right away and it creates a chance for them. That’s not starting off the game well."
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The Sounders gave up two goals in the first 23 minutes, seemed to regain life briefly after an Alvaro Fernandez PK, but their uncommonly wobbly defense tonight just couldn't hold that one-goal margin for long.
All three Dynamo goals came from within 7 yards or so.
It was Seattle's first league loss since May 25 at Dallas. But more ominously, it was their third consecutive loss of any kind: building on the 7-0 loss to Man U and the 1-0 loss to San Francisco FC of Panama.
Seattle falls to 10-5-8 on the season. Houston climbs to 6-7-9.
I'll add quotes in new posts above. Meanwhile: stats:
HOU -- Colin Clark 3 (unassisted) 7HOU -- Brian Ching 2 (Geoff Cameron 4, Brad Davis 10) 23SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 6 (penalty kick) 36HOU -- Brian Ching 3 (Colin Clark 2, Hunter Freeman 2) 71
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Mike Fucito 78), Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan 68), Roger Levesque (Nate Jaqua 57).
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott, Josh Ford.
TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Alvaro Fernandez 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Alvaro Fernandez 1); FOULS: 9 (Alvaro Fernandez 2, Mauro Rosales 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Mauro Rosales 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Mauro Rosales 6); SAVES: 6 (Kasey Keller 6)
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark (Alex Dixon 89), Geoff Cameron, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis, Brian Ching (Jason Garey 87), Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 31).
Substitutes Not Used: Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Tyler Deric.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Brian Ching 4, Adam Moffat 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Brian Ching 3); FOULS: 10 (Colin Clark 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (4 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Brad Davis 3); SAVES: 0
Misconduct Summary:HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Tactical Foul) 38HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Tackle) 76SEA -- Mike Fucito (caution; Dissent) 87
Referee: Niko BratsisReferee's Assistants: -Peter Manikowski; Anthony Vasoli4th Official: Hilario GrajedaAttendance: 18,465Time of Game: 1:52Weather: Clear-and-90-degrees
70th minute: Ching scores second goal of the game after a cross from Colin Clark. All three Houston goals from tight inside the box. Houston, 3-1.
67th minute: Noonan for Montero ... who is booed as he leaves.
Attendance: 18,465. About 0-for-6 on wave attempts, however.
57th minute: Jaqua in for Levesque.
55th minute: Clark botches shot in box, but Sounders deep defense remains in tatters.
Second half: ... is under way. No lineup changes. Full darkness over the stadium now.
Halftime: Houston up 2-1, but Seattle probably relieved to be back in it. The PK revived hopes of extending the unbeaten string to 10. But, obviously, there's work to do.
Six shots for Houston, three for Seattle. Five on goal by Houston, one for Seattle. Seven fouls by Houston, four by Seattle. Five corners for Seattle, two for the Dynamo.
37th minute: GOAL Seattle. Montero knocked down in box. Ref Niko Bratsis awards PK. Alvaro Fernandez hits it. Houston, 2-1.
31st minute: Houston sub: Weaver for Bruin. Cam Weaver is a native of Tacoma.
23rd minute: GOAL Houston. Brian Ching snaps in a short-range header after a pass from Geogg Cameron. Houston, 2-0. Sounders allowing way to much inside the area.
Seventh minute: GOAL Houston. Colin Clark beats Sounders defense to a cross into the box and finished past Kasey Keller from just a couple of yards. Dynamo, 1-0.
Kickoff: Game has begun. Dynamo in orange/white, Sounders in shale/shale. What I would consider a disappointing Saturday night (and Military Apperciation Night) crowd. But gametime temperature is 90 degrees, and their is no shade at all over the far side of the stadium.
Lineups: For Sounders: GK Keller, D Riley, Ianni, parke, Wahl; M Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Fernandez; F Montero, Levesque. Reserves: Ford, Carrasco, Fucito, Gonzalez, Jaqua, Noonan, Scott.
For Houston: GK Hall; D Freeman, Boswell, Hainault, Ashe; M Clark, Cameron, Moffas, Davis; F Ching, Bruin. Reserves: Deric, Dixon, Garey, Robinson, Sarkodie, Taylor, Weaver.
Reading material: Here's is the Houston Chronicle's preview of tonight's game ... dealing with the Dynamo's recent run of red cards.
Farewell Robertson: This is likely to be the Sounders' final visit to Robertson Stadium, a frills-free American football stadium on the University of Houston campus. Here is the future soccer-specific stadium now under construction near downtown Houston.
1:45 before kickoff: Newly signed Gambian midfielder Amadou Sanyang is not in uniform tonight. He will join the club next week in Seattle.[caption id="attachment_19217" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Sizzling Saturday afternoon at Houston's Robertson Stadium."] [/caption]
Two hours before kickoff: Just in case the post below didn't make it clear enough: It is hot here in Houston. Sounders announcer Arlo White says it has hit 102 here today, and I don't doubt it. (Weather.com has it at 91 a little before 7 p.m. local time.) More to the point, it will still be hot and humid tonight over the two hours of the game, starting 5:30 Pacific time, and 7:30 Central.
Basic reminders: The game will be shown on KONG 6/16 and broadcast on the usual outlets. We'll also have this blog and Twitter @donruiztnt going all evening with pregame, in-game and postgame news and your comments. Lineups should be interesting.