Final: Sounders come from behind to get a point and a 1-1 draw at Houston.
James Riley started the scoring play with a nice run and cross to Steve Zakuani, who headed back across the box to Nate Jaqua, who finished with a right-footed volley.
Both Jaqua and Zakuani had amends to make. An earlier goal had been waved off due to Jaqua being offside. And Zakuani missed the widest openest goal imaginable, somehow sending the ball over the crossbar from about 4 yards.
Freddie Ljungberg went 88 minutes and for my money was the best player on the pitch and perhaps his best game as a Sounder. (Will/should he stay up front next week with Montero available?)
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And neither Ljungberg nor Tyrone Marshall picked up yellows, so everyone should be eligible for Toronto on Saturday.
The Sounders are now 8-6-9 on the season with seven games left. (And 1-1-0 in their blue kits.)
And here are some postgame quotes, provided by the Dynamo media relations department:
SEATTLE SOUNDERS HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On coming back late in the game:
"For us, I was really proud of our team from the standpoint of coming down here and playing. Obviously, they're a good team, and missing those kinds of chances - even the first one early in the game when Barrett saves Ljungberg's shot off the line - going down 1-0 and missing chances and not losing our heart and continuing to battle back having a goal called back because of offside, and they continued to battle and fight and eventually got the equalizer, and that's something I'm really proud of."
On getting the result of a draw:
"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. Being able to come down here and get a tie with the team that is tied for the league lead in points and do it against obstacles - not only obstacles with weather, but obstacles of missing those chances - it was a big character-building moment for us."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FORWARD NATE JAQUA
On playing against his former team:
"I have nothing but good things for the people here. I have nothing but good things to say about the team, the coaching staff, and the organization here. There's no anger or anything like that. I wish them the best, and I hope their team does well. Any time I come back, I enjoy playing here. It's fun for me to come out and play. The fans have always been good to me here. It's sports. It's kind of fun to come back to a place you've played a lot and you consider home and do well."
On getting his first goal in a while:
"I'm a streak eagle of course. 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."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER FREDDIE LJUNGBERG
On playing 88 minutes:
"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."
On playing the Dynamo:
"They're a great team, but at the same time we had a lot of chances. They're at least one of the top two teams in the league we've played against. We beat them at home, and I think we played better than them here. So for us, we have to take that with us and it gives us confidence, because I think we definitely should make the playoffs. That would be a big disappointment if we don't. And for us, we know even if we get drawn against Houston, we can beat them."
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER GEOFF CAMERON
On Seattle performing well against the Dynamo:
"I think we're a better team overall. They're just high-pressure and they try to create havoc for us. I thought we controlled most of the game. We had more opportunities and more combination plays. There's just one relapse, and it happens. You just can't have those mistakes, and that's what it comes down to.
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
"They play very sharp. They move the ball well. They take advantage of you if you have a loss of concentration when the ball turns over. We've had three very tough games against them, and who knows, we may see them again sometime down the line."
On the result:
"It was a tough game, and I think a draw is pretty fair. We have a lot of respect for how they play. 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…. They are a tough team to play. Getting a point is nothing to be disappointed about, but it is tough to lose the lead."
HOUSTON DYNAMO GOALKEEPER PAT ONSTAD
On the tie:
"I think we're disappointed. I don't know if we let the win slip away, I think at 1-1, when you look at the flow of the game, it was probably a pretty fair result. But when we're at home and we're up 1-0, we'd like to think we could close it out. But of late we haven't been able to close out games very well, and tonight was another example of that."
On disappointment with the tie:
"We're always disappointed [not winning] at home. No matter who we play in this league, we feel that we can win. You want to get three points at home, and tonight with only one was a bit disappointing. We could have created a big gap there at the top, but it wasn't to be tonight. Seattle created more than enough opportunities to get their goal in the second half, and sure enough they got theirs."
On the offside call against Seattle:
"Nate was definitely off. The other argument, I guess, is if (Osvald) Alonso kicks it in, whether it's not (offside), but the rule is two players, and I was well ahead of those two players. There may very well have been only one of our players back there, so I think that could have been a good call by the linesman. I think if it was Nate, it was definitely an easy one."
HOUSTON DP LUIS ANGEL LANDÍN
On how he felt in his Dynamo debut:
"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."
Halftime: Houston, 1-0. Well, stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Sounders have had a ton of chances -- the better chances -- but haven't found the finishing strike. Houston got fewer chances, but finished on a set piece and that's the difference for now.
Freddie Ljungberg had an exceptional half, but you have to wonder how many more minutes he's got in him. (Although he missed an open-in-dangerous-position Sebastien Le Toux on a cross.)
Pregame: About to settle in and watch. But first, I'm opening this post for pregame, in-game and postgame discussion.