Brian Ching’s brace led the Houston Dynamo back into the win column with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday to halt the visitors’ nine-game MLS unbeaten streak.
Coming back from serving a red-card suspension last weekend against Chivas USA, Ching tallied the winner and an insurance goal to give Houston the much-needed win. Colin Clark, also returning from suspension, opened the scoring for the home team, while Alvaro Fernandez tallied for the visitors from the penalty spot.
Houston started the game strong, drawing first blood for just the eighth time this season in the seventh minute. Geoff Cameron started the sequence with a cross that Ching brought down in the box. Tyson Wahl knocked it away from Ching, but Clark was right there to put a left-footed shot past Kasey Keller for his third goal of the season.
Ching’s first goal came in the 23rd minute when Cameron took a nifty layoff from Brad Davis and put a curling ball in the box. Seattle defender Patrick Ianni looked to misjudge the flight of the ball, and Ching was there to hit a well-placed header just inside the left post.
Seattle pulled within one in the 36th minute when forward Fredy Montero drew a foul in the penalty box after he beat Corey Ashe to a loose ball. Scrambling back, Ashe went to ground and caught Montero from behind. Referee Niko Bratsis immediately pointed to the spot – the first time he has awarded a penalty kick as an MLS referee.
In the 70th minute, Ching completed his brace after a furious sequence that saw Houston take three shots. Cam Weaver and Adam Moffat both saw efforts from distance blocked until defender Hunter Freeman set up Clark for a right-footed pass across the box that Ching buried from the corner of the six-yard box.
Houston improves to 27 points and will travel to Philadelphia for a match against the second-place Union next Saturday. Seattle returns to CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday and will try and overcome a one-goal deficit in its series with Panamanian side San Francisco F.C. They then travel to Kansas City to face Sporting Kansas City next Saturday.
Seattle Sounders (10-5-8) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-7-9)
July 30, 2011 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
HOU -- Colin Clark 3 (unassisted) 7
HOU -- Brian Ching 2 (Geoff Cameron 4, Brad Davis 10) 23
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 6 (penalty kick) 36
HOU -- 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.
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.
HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 38
HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Tackle) 76
SEA -- Mike Fucito (caution; Dissent) 87
Referee: Niko Bratsis
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski; Anthony Vasoli
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Clear-and-90 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial