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Monday, May 16, 2022

Sports

THE PEOPLE’S GAME: Dynamo expects to stop Sounders


The Houston Dynamo enters Sunday’s final leg of the MLS opening round after barely making it through the first match with the Seattle Sounders. After playing to a 0-0 draw, the two teams now face a winner-moves-on scenario at Robertson Stadium.

Playing in front of a packed Seattle crowd, the Dynamo was not intimidated and used the crowd to its advantage.

Fans took exception to Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad and booed him every time he touched the ball. Onstad shouldered Fredy Montero to the ground after the two bumped into each other inciting a scuffle in front of the Houston goal box.

The referee was able to calm everyone down and the match continued, but the fans were not about to let Onstad forget about it. If nothing else, it will provide an interesting storyline heading into Sunday’s match.

Houston’s record against Seattle going into the match was 0-1-1, one of only three MLS teams they have a losing record against. The other two are top-seeds Columbus and Los Angeles.

The match was tight with plenty of back-and-forth action. Fans got what they paid for as the ball was hardly in the middle of the field. In the second half, however, Seattle seemed to be more eager, outshooting Houston 14-9 and controlling most of the play.

The Dynamo had to play solid defense for 90 minutes, but especially during the final 20.

There were several close calls and it seemed as if it was only a matter of time before Seattle would take the lead. A pair of former Dynamo players, Nate Jaqua and Patrick Ianni, had headers hit the crossbar and cleared off the goal line, and the game stayed 0-0.

Houston will have to limit Seattle’s corner kicks with formidable force in the air if it wants a shot at winning the next game. The Dynamo has until Sunday to rally back and make those final adjustments before playing at home.

All things considered, most fans are pleased with the result. Going into an environment where the crowd was fired up and playing away from home, coming away with a tie is not the worst possible scenario.

Now all the Dynamo has to do is use its home-field to its advantage and come away with a win.

In the 2008 playoffs after coming away with back-to-back championships, the Dynamo tied the New York Red Bulls, 1-1, on the road and seemed to have the upper hand, but lost their home game by three goals, shocking everyone in attendance.

Houston will host the match at 2 p.m. Sunday at Roberston Stadium and tickets are still on sale.

For those unable to attend the game, it will air on ESPN2.

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