Sounders Insider

Postgame discussion: Sounders 2, Houston 1

Sounders win, 2-1. Here's my game story. And a secondary piece on Brian Schmetzer's day.

Houston stays at 31 points in the MLS standings, Seattle climbs to 28 heading into a two-week break in their league season. The Sounders are in second place now, passing Chivas, who lost 1-0 to LA on Saturday night.

Lots of interesting pieces to this game.

No. 1 might be that game-winning bicycle kick from Patrick Ianni, who said the move was mostly instinct and admitted that he probably hasn't scored on a bicycle kick since he was 6-year-old.

"I had to just do what the game gave me," he said. "I obviously never practice that or anything, so you just kind of try to do your best to put it on frame, and fortunately it went in. I think we deserved it today, but it came in a not so conventional way."

Acting coach Brian Schmetzer had his say, too.

They're very rare, especially from Pat Ianni. If you would have told me before the game that we were going to win the game on a bicycle kick and pick one of my players that was actually going to score the bicycle kick, Pat would have been like No. 9.

Next would be Seattle's first goal ... or "goal" depending on who you ask. That's the one where Fredy Montero's shot was swept away just at -- or across -- the goal line. Neither Montero nor Schmetzer said they had the angle to tell if the ball went in. However, Houston coach Dominic Kinnear had no doubt that it didn't.

"I know for a fact it wasn't in and I know for a fact that the linesman was out of position," he said. "And I know for a fact that it was the same guy that called a goal on us two years ago at Salt Lake and it wasn't even close to a goal. So I know he's wrong and I'm sure he'll watch it and know he's made a mistake, but it's too late."

Actually, Sounders keeper Kasey Keller implied he agreed with Kinnear ... although Keller had no angle and was 110 yards away.

"We got the goal -- well, it was a goal, it was called a goal," he said. "That happens. That's part of the game."

And then there was the incident between Freddie Ljungberg and Houston defender Craig Waibel in the 79th minute. Ljungberg seemed to bump Waible before he was taking a throw in, and Waibel retaliated by bumping the ball into the back of Ljungberg's head.

From then on, even though Waibel is a former Husky, he was booed every time he touched the ball.

After, he didn't seem to mind the booing, but he did seem to regret the incident:

"I guess, all in all, my job is to entertain and if they have an opinion about me, so be it," he said. "I'll put it this way, I'm not many opposing team's favorite player. I've been booed once or twice in my career, if not every year."

But he added: "I gotta be honest, I'm a bit embarrassed. I pride myself on respecting the game and I think I had a brief lack of respect. By no means am I proud of it. I think I play the game well and with good intent and I think that was a little lapse in concentration and judgment."

A lot going on over 90 minutes. I guess it's why we love the game.

90th minute: Levesque in for Ljungberg, who took a pretty good whack from Kei Kamara, who drew a yellow card.Ljungberg had an earlier run in with Craig Waibel, who is now being booed on every touch.

56th minute: Le Toux in for Zakuani.

46th minute: Sounders go ahead 2-1 on the first bicycle kick goal of their history: Ljungberg corner, Steve Zakuani hed, Houston defensive whiff, Patrick Ianni bike kick past a startled Onstad, who clearly wasn't expecting a bicycle kick.

Second half begins: No subs.

Houston still seems quite unhappy with the goal call.

Halftime: Even, 1-1. Entertaining game.

In the 44th minute (or so) Jhon Kennedy Hurtado picked up what is his team-high sixth yellow card of the season. Two more and he will suffer a second suspension.

32nd minute: Sounders pull even on what could be a controversial goal. Keeper Pat Onstad was kind of sprawled, but Houston defender Mike Chabala kicked the thing out before it got to the net. But the linesman ruled it crossed the line. I didn't see any angle that gave me any certainty about it. How'd it look on TV? In any case, 1-1.

12th minute: Houston goes up 1-0 on a Brad Davis strike from 17 yards. The Sounders defense failed to clear a ball and Brain Mullan got it to an unmarked Davis dead center at the to of the area.

Kickoff: We've begun. Sounders in usual green/blue; Dynamo in orange/white. The pitch looks like an Easter basket.

Tacoma native gets Golden Scarf: Doug Andreassen, president of Washington Youth Soccer, has received today's Golden Scarf. He was born and raised in Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School in 1974. Washington Youth Soccer serves over 130,000 players.

Lineups: The lineups have just been distributed. Among the answered questions are, yes, Freddie Ljungberg is starting; and no, Osvaldo Alonso isn't; and no, Brian Schmetzer hasn't shifted them into a 3-5-2.

Here's the Sounders' lineup: GK Keller; D Riley, Hurtado, Ianni, Wahl; M Ljungberg, King, Vagenas, Zakuani; F Jaqua and Montero. Bench: Boss, Alonso, Le Toux, Levesque, Sturgis and Neagle.

Houston starters: GK Onstad, D Mulrooney, James, Waibel, Chabala; M Mullan, Clark, David, Ashe; F Oduro, Kamara. Houston bench: Hall, Akinbiyi, Barrett, Cruz, Hayden, Ustruck, Weaver.

Pregame at Qwest: Beautiful day. But it will be warm (for the Sounders; it may feel coolish for Houston). And the shade hasn't even begun its journey across the pitch.

I wandered around downstairs a bit, and in addition to all the rave green, I also saw a couple of separate guys wearing Tacoma Rainiers caps. I always like that when up here in Seattle. Also saw a couple of patches of Houston orange.

Morning: We've said this before, but this may be the biggest game thus far this season ... at least in terms of Supporters Shield. Houston comes in six points ahead. They could leave nine points ahead ... or three.

Here's my game preview from this morning's paper, dealing largely with Brian Schmetzer, who will lead the team in Sigi Schmit's absence.

And here's an absolute rave job about the Sounders organization from the Houston Chronicle.

Meanwhile, we'll keep this blog alive all day. I'll pop in with any news leading up to the game, including lineups; then include in-game updates; then back with postgame notes and quotes ... and, of coure, to see what you guys have had to say.

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