The Houston Dynamo fell to Seattle Sounders FC 4-1 on a rainy night in the Pacific Northwest Monday evening. This was the first of two meetings in the span of 13 days for the two clubs, as Seattle visits Houston on Sunday, Oct. 21.
With the loss, the Dynamo were officially eliminated from playoff contention, as they trail sixth-place Real Salt Lake by 11 points with three games remaining on the schedule.
Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley scored his first goal of the season and his third with the club when he broke through behind the Seattle back line in the 87th minute and smashed home a left-footed shot from a narrow angle. The goal was set up by midfielders Arturo Alvarez and Tomás Martínez, as Alvarez notched his first assist with the club and Martínez got his 10th of the season, becoming the fourth player in team history to record double-digit assists in a season.
Seattle struck first in the 18th minute when forward Will Bruin connected on a left-footed effort from the penalty spot. The scoring play began when defender Nouhou Tolo worked free down the left flank and whipped a ball across the area that eventually found midfielder Cristian Roldán on the right wing. Roldan played it back in to Bruin, whose back was to goal, and the striker spun to get off a left-footed shot into the upper corner of the goal.
The Dynamo nearly drew level in the 30th minute when forward Mauro Manotas unleashed a right-footed blast from the top of the penalty area. His effort had Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei beaten, but it nicked the outside of the post as it went just wide of the target.
The Sounders doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Roldán finished a full-field counterattack with a right-footed shot from the right side of the area. Midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro created the scoring opportunity when he picked up the ball deep inside Seattle’s end of the field and dribbled 60 yards to the top of the Dynamo penalty area, drawing multiple defenders before playing the ball wide to Roldán.
Houston appeared to have pulled a goal back in the 42nd minute when midfielder Darwin Cerén blasted a volley into the top of the net following a frantic sequence in front of goal, but the would-be goal was disallowed by referee Drew Fischer as he ruled that the ball rolled out of bounds before Alvarez played the initial pass in to start the sequence. Because the whistle blew before Cerén’s shot, the play was unable to be reviewed, sending Houston into intermission down 2-0.
Houston came out of the locker room aggressively to start the second half, and their aggression nearly paid immediate dividends. In the 48th minute, Cerén found Manotas behind the Seattle back line and the Colombian forward got off a right-footed shot, but Frei was able to get low and deflect it with his leg. A minute later, Martínez fired a left-footed blast from distance that whistled just wide of the far post. Martínez had another great look at goal in the 59th minute when a deflected cross fell to him 25 yards from goal. His first-touch left-footed shot curled just inches wide of the left post.
Seattle’s third goal came just after the hour mark through midfielder Victor Rodríguez. Defender Kelvin Leerdam played a low centering ball in from the right side and Bruin stepped over the ball, leaving it for Rodríguez, who tapped it into the net. Rodríguez found the net again in the 73rd minute with a right-footed shot from near the six-yard box.
The Dynamo were forced to make a last-minute change to their starting lineup when forward Ronaldo Peña was replaced by Alvarez after pregame warmups. Because the change happened after the teams’ lineups were exchanged, Peña was unable to be replaced on the bench, leaving Houston with 17 available players.
The Dynamo will stay on the West Coast following tonight’s game and travel to Los Angeles ahead of their first-ever visit to Los Angeles FC on Friday night. Houston then returns home to BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21 for their 2018 regular-season home finale against the Sounders in a match that will kick off at 4 p.m. CDT.
Seattle Sounders FC (15-11-5; 50 pts.) 4-1 Houston Dynamo (9-14-8; 35 pts.)
MLS Regular Season Week 32
Monday, October 8, 2018 – CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Washington
SEA: Will Bruin 7 (Cristian Roldán 8, Nouhou Tolo 1) 18
SEA: Cristian Roldán 4 (Nicolás Lodeiro 12) 34
SEA: Victor Rodríguez 4 (Kelvin Leerdam 4) 64
SEA: Victor Rodríguez 5 (Handwalla Bwana 1) 73
HOU: DaMarcus Beasley 1 (Arturo Alvarez 1, Tomás Martínez 10) 87
Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei; Nouhou Tolo, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leedam (Handwalla Bwana 71); Jordy Delem, Osvaldo Alonso © (Henry Wingo 78); Victor Rodríguez, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldán (Alex Roldán 83); Will Bruin
Unused Substitutes: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Waylon Francis, Lamar Neagle
Total shots: 13 (Victor Rodríguez 5); Shots on goal: 5 (Cristian Roldan, Victor Rodríguez 2); Fouls: 8 (Victor Rodríguez 2); Offside: 1 (Nicolás Lodeiro 1); Corner kicks: 7 (Nicolás Lodeiro 6); Saves: 3 (Stefan Fruit 3)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; DaMarcus Beasley ©, Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado (Leonardo 72), Andrew Wenger; Darwin Cerén, Juan David Cabezas (Adam Lundkvist 74), Boniek García (Eric Bird 79); Tomás Martínez; Mauro Manotas, Arturo Alvarez
Unused substitutes: Chris Seitz, Luis Gil, Ronaldo Peña, Memo Rodriguez
Total shots: 11 (Mauro Manotas 4); Shots on goal: 5 (Arturo Alvarez, DaMarcus Beasley, Eric Bird, Juan David Cabezas, Mauro Manotas 1); Fouls: 12 (Juan David Cabezas, Mauro Manotas 3); Offside: 6 (Mauro Manotas 4); Corner kicks: 4 (Boniek García 2); Saves: 1 (Joe Willis 1)
HOU: Juan David Cabezas (caution; foul) 55
HOU: Leonardo (caution; foul) 76
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referee 1: Chris Wattam
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Anderson
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Allen Chapman