Sounders FC Opens Preseason Play in Arizona with 3-2 Loss to Houston Dynamo
TUCSON, ARIZ. - Sounders FC kicked off its second stint of preseason camp in Tucson, Arizona this week, taking part in the annual Mobile Mini Sun Cup, with Sounders FC falling to the Houston Dynamo 3-2 at Kino Sports Complex. Nicolás Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz scored to give Seattle an early 2-0 lead, but the Dynamo scored three second-half goals to complete the comeback.
Head Coach Brian Schmetzer put forward a First Team starting lineup before a wholesale change in the second half to give a younger group comprised of Tacoma Defiance, Sounders FC Academy and unsigned SuperDraft picks playing time.
Houston had the first solid scoring chances, the first just three minutes in, as forward Mauro Manotas fired a shot that bounced off the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. At eight minutes, goalkeeper Stefan Frei made a strong save that freed forward Raúl Ruidíaz for an attack by the Rave Green, but the Peruvian's shot went high.
Seattle struck first in the 14th minute, as midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro received a ball from midfielder Víctor Rodríguez in the box to find the back of the net, resulting in cheers from the Sounders-heavy crowd. The Dynamo looked to even the score in the 18th minute, but Frei again produced an impressive save and allowed his teammates to regain possession, with defender Brad Smith earning an assist on a Ruidíaz goal to extend Sounders FC's lead to 2-0.
Opening the second half, Manotas won a penalty in the 49th minute, but forward Romell Quioto's attempt went over the bar to leave the Dynamo scoreless. Both teams continued to press and create chances, with Houston coming close in the 58th minute on a midfielder Juan David Cabezas header, but the 2-0 score was preserved going into the 63rd minute, where Schmetzer switched out the entire lineup to feature his younger players.
Houston's Aljaz Struna was shown a red card at 64 minutes following a high elbow to Seattle's Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, leaving the Dynamo to play down a man against the Rave Green's new lineup and forcing a substitution after Ocampo-Chavez could not continue play. The Dynamo were then able to capitalize with a goal by Cabezas in the 71st minute, before making lineup changes of their own in the 76th minute. Newly substituted forward Ronaldo Pena equalized the score 2-2 with an 80th-minute goal.
Sounders FC came on with two strong chances in a row, with forward Alec Diaz breaking in in the 82nd minute before being denied by a great save by Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis, followed by midfielder Ray Serrano serving a cross in the 84th minute that bounced off the crossbar. However, Houston took the match with a final goal in the 88th minute, earned by midfielder Marlon Hairston, and the game would end on the 3-2 score.
Following the evening's match - and an earlier scrimmage in the day between Houston and Seattle's reserve players, which ended on a 1-0 Dynamo victory - Sounders FC now prepares to take on Cascadia rival Portland Timbers on Wednesday, February 13, followed by FC Dallas on February 16 before returning to Seattle. The Rave Green's complete 2019 preseason schedule can be found via the following link: www.SoundersFC.com/preseason
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Houston Dynamo 3
Mobile Mini Sun Cup
Kino Sports Complex
Saturday, 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 LINEUP
First Group - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Brad Smith; Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson, Jordan Morris, Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez; Raúl Ruidíaz
Second Group (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 (?"scar 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
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