By MARK MOSCHETTI
SEATTLE (AP) – With one hard shot by Marco Pappa, a rare scoring drought became a thing of the past for the Seattle Sounders.
Pappa scored in the 69th minute, Gonzalo Pineda converted a penalty kick just six minutes later, and Sigi Schmid picked up his 200th MLS coaching victory as Seattle snapped a two-game losing streak on Sunday by beating the Houston Dynamo, 2-0.
The win for the Sounders (13-6-2) in front of 50,276 fans lifted them back atop the Western Conference and overall standings with 41 points. They had gone 253 minutes since their last goal, that coming late in a 2-0 win against Portland on July 13.
Houston (6-12-4) has just one victory in its last 10 games (1-7-2).
Pappa put Seattle on the board with his third goal of the season. His hard shot from the left of the penalty area restraining arc ricocheted off the foot of Dynamo defender David Horst past goalkeeper Tally Hall into the back right corner, though Pappa still was credited with the goal.
"The more important thing is we got the points after two difficult games when we didn't score any goals. That's the past," Pappa said. "Now, we have to live in the moment. We had a good game, we scored the goals, and we got the save from (goalkeeper Stefan) Frei on the penalty kick. That gave us the confidence to continue."
Schmid is now 200-136-103 in 15 seasons in the league. That includes an 87-50-46 record in six years with Seattle.
"I've been coaching a long time. It's fantastic to finally get it," Schmid said. "I was starting to wonder if we were going to get it. It's a reflection of I've had a lot of great players who have played for me. If this can be the year I get 200, that's part of even bigger success at the end of the year."
Pappa also factored into Pineda's 75th-minute penalty kick. Pappa drove a free kick into the box, and Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark was called for a foul. Pineda's PK try went off Hall's hands and into the upper right corner for his third goal of the year.
Sounders goalkeeper Frei saved a penalty kick by Houston's Brad Davis midway through the 26th minute on the way to his seventh shutout.
The PK was the result of a hand ball call against Sounders defender Djimi Traore. But after stutter-stepping up to the ball, Davis didn't get enough on his left-footed kick, and Frei leaped at the shot and easily saved it with his left hand.
Frei said it was the first time he could remember saving one in his entire six-year MLS career, including four tries this season.
"It's more of a guessing game," Frei said. "I try to show them an early sign that I was going left to make him feel like I was faking it and going back to the right. But in the end, it's all just luck. You can see in the game it gave us some energy, and we were able to create some chances after that."
Houston had the run of play through most of the first half before the Sounders got on track.
"We made a couple mistakes, and a little bit of luck goes their way, and there you have it,," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I thought we looked real good in the first half. They came with a good push of energy in the second half, but I thought we looked good.
"It just takes a little deflection to swing the momentum their way."
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