Tally Hall was outstanding in his return to his home state of Washington, leading the Houston Dynamo to their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Friday night.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Raised in Gig Harbor, Hall made save after save against a determined Sounders attack. He came up big for the Dynamo time and again, totalling an impressive six saves. While his vital saves stood out, it was the first-year starter’s confidence and command of the penalty area that punctuated his impressive homecoming.
“I enjoy coming here. I don’t try any harder than I do for any other game,” Hall said post-match. “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.”
Hall’s crucial saves in the first half helped keep the Sounders off the board and allowed the Dynamo to jump ahead when Geoff Cameron broke the stalemate with a 42nd-minute goal for a 1-0 half time lead.
The goal was set up by a Lovel Palmer rocket off the crossbar from a free kick. Cameron took advantage of the loose ball in the box and hit a shot off a prone Jeff Parke, off the crossbar, and into the net.
[inline_node:332029]“It was a great free kick from Lovel, and Andre [Hainault] followed it, and then the ball came in front of me, and I just smashed it as hard as I could,” Cameron said of his first goal of the young 2011 season.
Down a goal coming out of the locker room, Seattle continued to pressure the Dynamo in the second half. The Sounders evened the match in the 80th minute when Steve Zakuani tapped in a deflected cross to rescue a point.
“With all of their chances, maybe they were due a goal, but the goal we gave up was very sloppy,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said of the tally that came after a corner kick deflected off of a Dynamo defender and into Zakuani’s patch. “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.”
While the fact that the Dynamo thwarted virtually every advance by Seattle was noteworthy, and on a night where a point was a welcome result, the show was undoubtedly stolen by Hall. The young goalie showed the level of play that prompted Kinnear to forego signing a veteran in the offseason and instead hand the goalkeeping reins to the Washington native.
“Maybe [Hall] 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,” said Kinnear.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.