Updated Aug 3, 2011 - 4:01 pm
Match review: Houston Dynamo 3 -1 Seattle Sounders FC
By John Zielonka
The 90 degree conditions, travel to Panama and Houston, and a busy fixture schedule may have finally caught up with a weary Seattle squad. Poor defending in front of 'keeper Kasey Keller led to three goals.
In reality, the tallies could have totalled six if not for the efforts of the veteran goals. Keller faced 16 shots during a long night that featured Brian Ching's two goals. Colin Clark notched the other strike for Houston.
Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez notched the only tally for the Sounders, his sixth of the year. He scored on a penalty kick with nine minutes to go in the first half.
Man of the match: Houston forward Brian Ching
Ching scored once in each half to lead the struggling Dynamo side in the victory of Sounders. The goals were his second and third of the season.
"All the goals came from great crosses. The first one goes right over [Osvaldo] Alonso, and I trap it, was about to shoot it, and the defender kind of bumps me, and Colin [Clark]'s Johnny-on-the-spot with a good finish. On the second goal, Geoff [Cameron] crosses a great ball that Pat Ianni misjudged, and it was a classic goal for me inside the six, how I like them."--Brian Ching
"I thought Brian Ching showed his leadership abilities. I think he carried that team and was the Man of the Match without a doubt."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
Unsung hero: Kasey Keller
Despite a leaky front four, the 41-year-old goalies make the outsanding saves in the first half. He stopped Ching's point-blank shot and Andy Moffatt's long-range strike in the 33rd minute of play. Six minutes later, Keller frustrated Moffat again on another shot that he deflected over the bar.
"Getting beat on something special, it happens and I'm making them earn it. But just giving them chance after chance is something we really need to get out of our game if we want to continue to make a run. "--Kasey Keller
Too many matches?
Seattle appeared tired, mentally exhausted and lacking desire in this defeat. A usually stellar defense has given up 14 goals in its last four matches, including a 7-0 shellacking to Manchester United.
Besides the friendly against the EPL champs, U.S. Open, CONCACAF Champions League and regular season matches may be stretching Seattle's squad to the limit.
The Sounders play again on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League matchup against the San Francisco side from Panama. Three days they return to MLS play when they face Sporting KC in Kansas City.
"We are not going to make excuses; we expect more from ourselves. We expect to be able to travel for a week long and still be sharp, and we weren't."--Tyson Wahl, Sounders FC defender
"It just feels like a long stretch. I think right now their minds are a blank slate. I don't know what they are feeling. I think they are feeling tired and disappointed and embarrassed."--Sigi Schmid
They said it:
"They have some good players, a good team over there, some good attacking players, so we wanted to try to make sure they didn't get a lot of space to play to get into any type of rhythm." Dominic Kinnear, Houston Dynamo head coach
"They obviously are a good team, possession-wise. They have good combination play, they like that early through ball and getting guys to push up early, so we knew that if we intercepted the ball, we'd have to give a nice quick pass to release pressure and we were on our way."--Geoff Cameron, Houston Dynamo midfielder
"I think we have been a little bit shaky defensively for weeks now...We have to clean up our game. We have been talking about it the past few weeks, and today we got punished for it. It's been a long trip and you can make whatever excuses you want to make, but today Houston was better and they deserved to win."--Kasey Keller
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