The Houston Dynamo earned their first point of the 2011 season in one of the toughest venues in Major League Soccer on Friday night, pulling out a 1-1 tie against the Seattle Sounders in front of 36,204 fans at Qwest Field in Seattle. Goalkeeper Tally Hall, playing in front of roughly 40 family members from nearby Gig Harbor, Wash., made six saves as the Dynamo earned the tie despite being outshot 26-6.
The Dynamo are next in action on Saturday, April 2, facing the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J., at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Despite being outshot 15-5 in the first half, the Dynamo took the lead in the 42nd minute. From a free kick, Lovel Palmer rifled a 35-yard shot off the crossbar. The rebound caromed around the penalty area until Geoff Cameron fired a low shot that got past several Seattle defenders on the goal line. In his career, Cameron has scored all three times he has started against Seattle in the regular season.
Seattle finally tied the game in the 80th minute after a mis-hit corner kick skidded to the far post thanks to the wet artificial turf, and Steve Zakuani tapped it into an empty net.
For Houston, goalkeeper Tally Hall made several crucial saves. His biggest stop came in the 27th minute, when he saved a point-blank header from O’Brian White. Hall made three saves on Sounders talisman Fredy Montero in the second half alone and finished with six stops on the night, one short of his career high in MLS play, set last year against Seattle in a 2-0 loss.
With first-round draft picks Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie both in the lineup, the Dynamo started two rookies in the same MLS regular season game for the first time in club history. Sarkodie, aged 20 years, 3 days, became the youngest Houston player to start an MLS match.
Houston midfielder Corey Ashe, currently in his fifth season, played in his 100th career MLS match Friday night. It was also Ashe’s 135th game for the Dynamo in all competitions. Teammate Brad Davis played in his 165th career game for Houston in all competitions, third in club history.
Defender Andre Hainault played in his 50th career MLS game, and goalkeeper Tally Hall made his 20th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions.
Match: Saturday, April 2, 6:30 p.m., Dynamo at New York Red Bulls, Red Bull
Arena, Harrison NJ
Next Home Match: Wednesday, April 6, 7 p.m., Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, Aggie Soccer Stadium, College Station TX (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier)
Next Match in Houston: Sunday, April 10, 6 p.m., Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Robertson Stadium
Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On the game ...
“We were fortunate to be up 1-0 at halftime, but we came and played better in the second half. With all of their chances, maybe they were due a goal, but the goal we gave up was very sloppy. This is one of the harder places to play in the league, so one point isn’t terrible. We’re happy with that. We’re not thrilled, but we’re happy with that.”
halftime adjustments ...
“We held the ball a lot better in the second half, especially the forwards. They gave us possession farther up the field. In the first half we struggled to hold that ball, and that’s why we were pinned for the period that we were.”
goalkeeper Tally Hall playing well where he grew up ...
“Maybe he saves it for his family, but if that’s the case, we’ll be traveling with his family from now on, because he was excellent.”
Goalkeeper Tally Hall
On playing in Seattle ...
“I enjoy coming here. I don’t try any harder than I do for any other game. It’s always a dogfight between us and Seattle. This was one of those games that was scrappy. Our goal was kind of a scrappy goal, and theirs was a bit of a scrappy goal, and that’s what the game dictates.”