The Seattle Sounders opening preseason 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the annual Mobile Mini Sun Cup at Kino Sports Complex Saturday evening had what one would expect in a pre-season friendly soccer match. Decent soccer coupled with some inexperience and lack of execution on both ends of the pitch.
Given the fact, the game was a preseason friendly the number one objective for both sides was to break more than a sweat and stay off the training table. Obtain those two objectives and a win would be welcome but not mandatory.
Sounders head coach Brian Schmezter started a first-team line up that included Jordan Morris, Brad Smith, and Chad Marshall. Three players who finished last season in the training room due to injuries.
Houston forward Mauro Manotas had a chance to give the Dynamo the lead three minutes into the game when he turned and rifled a right footed shot that beat Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei but not the crossbar as the forwards shot bounced off the bar and out for a goal kick.
Seattle took the lead in the 14th minute when midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro slammed a Victor Rodriguez pass into the back of the Dynamo net for the 1-0 lead. After a signature spectacular save from Frei defender Brad Smith fed a wide open Raul Ruidiaz who slotted home the slide rule pass to give the Sounders a 2-0 lead in the 18th minute. The Sounders held the lead all the way to the halftime break.
The Dynamo had a chance to get back into the game in 49th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick but the chance went begging when Romell Quioto skyed the spot kick.
The Sounders held on to the lead until the 63rd minute when the starters were substituted for the second unit. Unlimited substitution is one of the preseason friendly agreements. And as will all preseason friendly anything is possible.
Houston’s Aljaz Strun was shown in the 64th minute for an unnecessary high elbow against the Sounders Alonso Ocampo -Chavez who left the game as a result of the blow to the head. The Houston starters were still on the field and showed their superiority over the Sounders second squad made up of Sounders Academy and Tacoma Defiance players with a Juan David goal in the 70th minute despite being down a man.
The Dynamo pulled their starters in the 76th minute and the game resembled more of a scrimmage than a professional soccer game as the youth and inexperience of both sides resulted in disjointed soccer. Dynamo forward Ronald Pena leveled the game in the 80th minute and Marlon Hairston sealed the victory with his breakaway goal in the 88th minute.
Sounders FC is scheduled to play two more preseason games in Tucson, facing the Portland Timbers (February 13) and FC Dallas (February 16) at Kino Sports Complex.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Houston Dynamo 3Mobile Mini Sun CupKino Sports ComplexSaturday, February 9, 2019
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (Víctor Rodríguez) 14′
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Brad Smith, Víctor Rodríguez) 18′
HOU – Juan David (Alberth Elis) 71′
HOU – Ronaldo Pena (Marlon Hairston) 80′
HOU – Marlon Hairston (Ronaldo Pena) 88′
HOU – Juan David Cabezas (caution) 31
‘HOU – Matias Vera (caution) 41′
HOU – Aljaz Struna (ejection) 64
‘SEA – Marlon Vargas (caution) 72′
SEA – Kyle VanAlstine (caution) 78′
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC LINEUPFirst Group –
Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Brad Smith; Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson, Jordan Morris, Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez; Raúl Ruidíaz
(beginning at 63′) – Trey Muse; Marlon Vargas+, Josh Atencio+, Amr Mokhtar*, Connor Draught^; Ray Serrano+, Joel Rydstrand*, Danny Robels+, Azriel Gonzalez+; Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez+ (Kyle VanAlstine 70′), Alec Diaz+ + Player currently signed to Tacoma Defiance roster* Unsigned SuperDraft selection or preseason guest player^ Sounders FC Academy Player
HOUSTON DYNAMO LINEUP
Joe Willis; Chris Duvall (Memo Rodriguez 76′), Aljaz Struna, Maynor Figueroa (Kevin Garcia 76′), DeMarcus Beasley (Adam Lundkvist 76′); Matias Vera (Óscar Boniek García 76′), Juan David Cabezas (Darwin Cerén 76), Tomas Martinez (Tommy McNamara 76′); Alberth Elis (Ronaldo Peña 76′), Mauro Manotas (Alejandro Fuenmayor 67′), Romell Quioto (Marlon Hairston 76′)
Substitutes: Michael Nelson, Andrew Samuels