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Houston Dynamo drop last home game 3-2 to Seattle Sounders

HOUSTON – With the Houston Dynamo already eliminated from playoff contention, Sunday’s game against the Seattle Sounders gave the team a chance to give the 19,127 announced attendance a win in their last home game of the season. Additionally, the Dynamo unveiled their 2018 U.S. Open Cup Championship banner and wanted nothing more than to pair it with a win, but Seattle had other things in mind as it took care of business 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Sounders midfielder Nico Lodeiro was masterful against the Dynamo racking up three assists on goals by Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, and Raúl Ruidíaz. This despite the fact that Houston had the bulk of the possession. 

“They didn’t create too many [scoring] chances to be honest with you, but the difference was set pieces and mistakes,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “And that team [Sounders] didn’t make any mistakes and on the set pieces we suffered.”

Houston allowed two goals from set pieces in each side of the half, and it’s a problem that’s plagued the Dynamo all season. A point that Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza brought after the game. 

“How many goals did we give up last year in set pieces? Maybe four or five, all year,” DeLaGarza said. “And this year it’s got to be in the 20s. And we’ve seen from the World Cup, and us this year, set pieces are an important part of winning games. That’s the problem we’ve had all year and it hampered us again this year.”

Before the Sounders nabbed the game’s first goal, Houston was on the front foot and put pressure on the Sounders defense early on. And it looked likely that Dynamo would nab the game’s first goal. Before the 20th minute, La Naranja had tested Sounders ‘keeper Stefan Frei twice — a Mauro Manotas header off an Alberth Elis cross and a Tomas Martinez free kick — but the Sounders man between the sticks prevailed, stopping both shots.

But despite being outplayed for the majority of the first 25 minutes, the Sounders opened the scoring in the 26th minute through a Marshall header.

Sounders midfielder Nico Lodeiro whipped in a corner kick that Marshall headed to the back post and past the outstretched hands of Dynamo ‘keeper Tyler Deric.

Marshall is no stranger to scoring off set pieces with Cabrera calling him “the best in MLS.”

The Dynamo pushed for the equalizer and nearly brought the game level in the 40th minute.

Romell Quioto found himself with the ball just outside the box and room to shoot. The Honduran let it rip, and on its way toward goal, it took a deflection that changed the trajectory of the ball. Frei — having started his dive, changed direction at the last second and got enough on the ball to parry it away for a Dynamo corner kick.

Seattle doubled up its lead minutes into the second half and once again, it came off a set piece.

In the 50th minute, the Sounders earned a corner kick on the left wing. Lodeiro stepped up and swung in the corner kick, with Gustav Svensson outjumping every Dynamo defender in the box to head to the back of the net.

The goal let the Sounders ease up on the gas pedal, and for Houston — it lit a fire. That fire and persistence paid off in the 63rd minute. And, oddly enough, it would come off a set piece. A corner kick from the left side. The same side which the Sounders scored their two goals.

Boniek Garcia swung in a corner kick. Dynamo centerback Kevin Garcia rose up and gave the ball a no-look header to the back of the net. The goal was Garcia’s first for the Dynamo.

For Boniek, it’s his seventh assist on the season and 40th overall in club history across all competitions. The assist moves him to second on the club’s all-time assists leaderboard. No. 1 on that list is Dynamo legend Brad Davis, who has 120 assists.

But the Dynamo comeback would be for naught as the Sounders added an insurance goal in the 87th minute via Raúl Ruidíaz. The Peruvian striker got a pass from Lodeiro in the box and sent a low shot effort. Deric got a touch on it, but the ball rolled under him and into the back of the net.

The insurance goal proved to be needed as a minute later the Dynamo would get one back.

Quioto, operating on the right wing, sent a cross that took a deflection off Mauro Manotas head before going into the back of the net. For Manotas, it was his 17th goal in the season.

But the goal was too little, too late as the Sounders held on for the 3-2 victory.

Mauro Manotas is a bright spot for the Orange this season. The Colombian striker is up to 17 goals in league play, and 23 across all competitions. But despite his personal achievements, the striker said they don’t matter since Houston didn’t make the playoffs. 

“I would change all that [personal achievements] for the Dynamo to be in the playoffs,” Manotas said. “It doesn’t matter if I score many goals if the team doesn’t get into the playoffs. That’s what matters in the end, for the team to make the playoffs.”

The loss notwithstanding, the Dynamo faithful were in good spirits after the game.

 

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