Three big takeaways from Sounder’s 1-0 win at Houston

Sounders FC    1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo Saturday evening was one of those weird, wacky, and frustrating games. One might also add heartwarming in there. Wacky because  Dynamo was down to nine players for the last quarter of the game.  Weird was the weather delay eight minutes into the game then a restart. Due to inclement weather, the game was delayed for 30 minutes.  The frustration was due to the Sounder’s inability to be creative in the last third and break down a team sitting back and packing the middle.


Notch another clean sheet for Stefan Frei and the backline of Jackson Ragen, Yeimar  Gomez,  Alex Roldan at the right back, and Cody Baker at left-back.  The clean sheet was Frei’s seventh of the season which is an MLS best.Give  Baker credit for his solid positioning when marking Dynamo players with and without the ball. On Several instances, Baker cut the angle and intercepted balls intended for an on-rushing attacker. Baker was also solid in his passing. In the 16-minute Baker executed a perfect slide rule pass to Nicolas Lodeiro out of the back.  Head coach Bria Schmetzer mention the play in his post-game press conference. While Baker is not ready to replace Nouhou this was a coming out party for him meaning he could challenge Kelyn Rowe as the backup left back.


The second young gun who was given an opportunity to start was Dylan Teves at the right midfield/ swing position.   Schmetzer rolled out a 4-2-3-1 formation requiring Teves to push forward on offense but track back on defense. The youngster had a good game, but he is no replacement for Leo Chu who was out due to his wife delivering their first child. How deep and talented are the Sounder’s young guns? Teves was replaced by Ethan Doubbelaere in the 71st minute.

Doubbelaere suffered a knock and was replaced in the 83rd by  Paul Rothrock who scored the game-winning goal in four minutes later.  Reed Baker-Whiting replaced Joao Paulo at the same time Doubbelaere replaced Teves. Josh Atencio replaced  Alex Roldan in the 90th minute.  Significant shift by the young guns given the Sounder’s next game is in just four days. The Rave Green take on Austin  FC Wednesday at Lumen Field.


Despite a man advantage the majority of the first half the Sounders first shot on goal was not until the 60th minute. Granted once they were two men up the Sounders were able to find space and pockets to exploit. Creativity in the final third has been lacking for several games. Heber seems to be playing out of position at times. Having to come back a retrieve the ball. At the beginning of the season, Heber was receiving the ball much close to the goal box. While he has the dribbling and passing skills to retrieve the ball and carry it for long distances, his talents are better suited close to the box where he can unleash his lethal shot.


The positives are the Sounders earned all three points in the road win. The win no matter how it came about was a gut check for the Sounders squad that suffered a shock home loss to Sporting Kansas City and were bounced out of the U.S. Open Cup Tournament.  The objectives in the contest were not quite the same outside of playing your best and winning if possible.  The record showed Sounders were 0-2 in their last two games. Winning on the road with nonstarters was huge given the Sounders return home to face Austin FC on Wednesday night.



  • Tonight’s win keeps Sounders FC in first place in the Western Conference with 23 points, two points clear of second-place LAFC. Seattle’s seven wins this season are the most in the West.
  • Saturday’s match came to a halt in the ninth minute of play due to lightning in the area. Play resumed nearly an hour later due to the inclement weather.
  • Seattle leads the regular-season series 14-5-6 between the two sides, including a 4-5-4 road mark. Since the start of the 2015 season, Sounders FC holds a 5-2-3 road record at Houston (including postseason play).
  • Tonight marked Houston’s first home loss of 2023 and the first time that the Dynamo conceded a goal at home this season.
  • With the winning goal this evening, Paul Rothrock has scored in all three of his First Team appearances this season. The Tacoma Defiance midfielder tallied a strike in Sounders FC’s 5-4 third-round U.S. Open Cup win over San Diego Loyal SC on April 26, followed by a goal in Wednesday’s Open Cup loss at the LA Galaxy. He appeared in all three matches via short-term agreements from Tacoma.
  • Houston forward Amine Bassi was issued a red card in the 21st minute of play, forcing the home side to play with 10 men for most of the match. Hector Herrera was then issued a second yellow card in the 78th minute, forcing the Dynamo down to nine men.
  • With the shutout this evening, goalkeeper Stefan Frei is now first in MLS in shutouts so far this season with seven.
  • Joining the First Team via short-term agreement from Tacoma Defiance, fullback Cody Baker made his first MLS start on Saturday. Baker appeared as a substitute last weekend vs. Sporting Kansas City. Rothrock made his first MLS appearance for Sounders FC when he came on as a substitute late in the second half.


Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Houston Dynamo FC 0

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Venue: Shell Energy Stadium

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez

Assistants: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Brooke Mayo

Fourth Official: Diego Blas

VAR: Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 14,061

Weather: 77 degrees and rain


SEA – Paul Rothrock* 87’


HOU – Amine Bassi (ejection) 21’

HOU – Hector Herrera (caution) 58’

SEA – Nico Lodeiro (caution) 62’

SEA – Jackson Ragen (caution) 64’

HOU – Hector Herrera (ejection) 78’

HOU – Ethan Bartlow (caution) 90’+6’


Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan (Josh Atencio 90’), Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Cody Baker*; João Paulo (Paul Rothrock* 83’), Albert Rusnák, Dylan Teves (Ethan Dobbelaere 71’, Reed Baker-Whiting 83’), Nico Lodeiro, Jordan Morris; Héber (Fredy Montero 71’)

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Sota Kitahara

*Tacoma Defiance player on short-term agreement

Total shots: 12

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 8

Offside: 1

Corner-Kicks: 5

Saves: 0

Houston Dynamo FC – Steve Clark; Franco Escobar (Aliyu Ibrahim 88’), Ethan Bartlow, Daniel Steres, Micael dos Santos; Artur, Hector Herrera, Coco Carrasquilla (Luis Caicedo 80’); Ivan Franco (Brad Smith 60’), Amine Bassi, Corey Baird (Nelson Quinones 88’)

Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, Sebastian Ferreira, Griffin Dorsey, Thor Ulfarsson, Brooklyn Raines

Total shots: 3

Shots on goal: 0

Fouls: 12

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 1

Saves: 1

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