Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Dynamo end season on winning note

Cam Weaver’s second-half header gave the Houston Dynamo a 2-1 win over the surging Seattle Sounders, as the hosts closed out 2010 with their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Geoff Cameron showed a return to form for the Dynamo, striking a 27th-minute goal after a well-worked play through midfield, leveling the match after Seattle’s James Riley had given the visitors an early lead with a rocket from the top of the box.

The loss ends Seattle’s five-game winning streak, and hands the Sounders only their second league loss since July 4. Holding at fourth place in the Western Conference, they entered the game with a chance to pass FC Dallas for third heading into the playoffs. Now they must wait for the results from San Jose’s and Colorado’s later games to see whether they will get the fourth seed in the West or will switch over to the Eastern Conference bracket. With the win, Houston ensures it will not finish on the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

The 23,990 fans at Robertson Stadium for Fan Appreciation Day were disappointed early. In the 11th minute, former Dynamo forward Nate Jaqua collected a loose ball in the area and laid it off to Riley. The defender’s shot from outside the penalty area left young Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric no chance, as Riley scored only his second career goal.

Houston responded in the 27th minute. After a series of passes between Cameron, Brad Davis, and Dominic Oduro, the Ghanaian flicked the ball to Cameron 30 yards out and in full stride. The midfielder carried on into the area and ripped a left-footed effort past a diving Kasey Keller.

The first half saw its fair share of controversy, as both teams were denied clear penalties. Referee Kevin Stott missed a hand ball on Sounders defender Jeff Parke in the 25th minute and then erred by handing Steve Zakuani a yellow card for diving after rounding Deric on a breakaway in the 35th. Replays appeared to show that Zakuani was dragged down by Deric.

The Dynamo took the lead just one minute into the second half. Mike Chabala’s curled cross picked out Weaver, who rose above two defenders to notch his third goal of the year. Davis also earned his 12th assist on the play, tying his career best and moving into third place in MLS.

Seattle had several chances to equalize late in the game. Forward Blaise Nkufo somehow was unable to connect with Zakuani’s cross in the 78th minute with an open net in front of him, and then in stoppage time Patrick Ianni bounced a header from three yards out up and over the goal. Deric finished with five saves to earn his second consecutive win.

Seattle Sounders (14-10-6) vs. Houston Dynamo (9-15-6)
October 23, 2010 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX

Scoring Summary:
SEA -- James Riley 1 (Nate Jaqua 3) 12
HOU -- Geoff Cameron 3 (Dominic Oduro 4, Brad Davis 11) 27
HOU -- Cam Weaver 3 (Mike Chabala 4, Brad Davis 12) 46

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke (Tyrone Marshall 46), Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 71), Sanna Nyassi, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Alvaro Fernandez 64), Steve Zakuani, Blaise Nkufo, Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Fucito, Roger Levesque, Mike Seamon, Alex Horwath.

Houston Dynamo -- Tyler Deric, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Adrian Serioux 67), Mike Chabala, Corey Ashe, Geoff Cameron, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 82), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 73), Dominic Oduro.
Substitutes Not Used: Pat Onstad, Ryan Cochrane, Richard Mulrooney, Joseph Ngwenya.

Misconduct Summary:
SEA -- Jeff Parke (caution; Reckless Tackle) 29
HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution; Persistent Infringement) 33
SEA -- Steve Zakuani (caution; Simulation) 35
SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Persistent Infringement) 41

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Adam Garner
4th official: Ramon Hernandez
Attendance: 23,990
Weather: Cloudy-and-83-degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial