Drilling down on: at Seattle 2, Houston 0
Man of the Match: For all of Houston’s possession and considering the supply of left-sided crosses from Brad Davis and Corey Ashe, the visitors didn’t really throw a lot at Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Much of the credit goes to Seattle’s right center back Patrick Ianni, who cut out more than his share of crosses at the near post. Ianni also did his part to battle Houston target man Brian Ching.
Packaged for take away:
- Games like this happen from time to time. One team is quicker, has the initiative and creates the chances … and then finds itself down by a goal. Or two. So it went on Friday, as David Estrada’s 23rd minute deflection came against the run of play. Brad Evans’ penalty kick came four minutes later. Houston won’t walk away from this one feeling too badly, although Dominic Kinnear would probably have liked to see his team create a couple more quality chances. But matching the Sounders’ energy and keeping good possession over the first two-thirds isn’t the worst a visitor has ever done at CenturyLink.
- Estrada’s opener was originally an own goal, then changed to his fourth on the young season; all goals are routinely reviewed by the league,so there’s still a chance it could be reversed.
- Estrada’s busy running off the ball continues to be a boon for Montero, who remained higher up the field Friday, where he’s always more dangerous.
- Around Seattle, goals by anyone other than Fredy Montero have something of a “double word score” effect. Because Montero’s goals are out there; he’s one of the really streaky players of MLS. Once he gets a goal or two, they’ll fall in a bunch and Seattle will benefit in term of results. So, when the wins fall without Montero’s goal-scoring contributions, that’s a bonus.
- It’s too hard to count the number of times over the last three years Seattle created more chances and enjoyed more of the ball in Seattle, only to see the finishing fall off the table and not turn up a result. So Friday’s result may have been a little payback from the universe.
- With his team up by two goals, at home, past the 80th minute, there was absolutely zero reason for Seattle’s Alvaro Fernandez to grab his face after a little shoulder in the chest area from Brad Davis. Davis had no business giving Fernandez a little something extra off the ball, although it wasn’t much. Still, that’s the kind of thing that will give Fernandez a bad reputation. At that moment, the other Sounders had their focus right where it needed to be: on nursing home the win, not baiting the referee into bookings. A veteran like Fernandez should know better.
- At some point, Houston is going to need more from right midfielder Colin Clark, because his impact on a matches is consistently underwhelming.