Brian Ching (25), who returns to Houston's line-up after serving a suspension for a red card against Sporting Kansas City, will be vital to Houston's success against Seattle Sounders. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Final: Dynamo Rain On Seattle's Parade, Win 3-1

Tonight the Houston Dynamo host Seattle Sounders FC in a game that has season-defining implications. While that may sound dramatic, it is unfortunately true. After tonight's match against the Sounders, could Houston's season effectively be over? Yes, that's why it is important.

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Final: Dynamo Rain On Seattle's Parade, Win 3-1

After playing like Mr. Hyde for most of the season, the Houston Dynamo had a Dr. Jekyll worthy showing against the Seattle Sounders. The team gave fans the performance they have been craving for months, and pick up a vital win at home. An extra bonus is that no Dynamo players received red cards, something fans haven’t seen in the last two week’s of play.

Some quick thoughts on tonight’s match:

  • Colin Clark had an excellent game. He provided the service the forwards needed and was the midfielder Coach Kinnear hoped for when he signed him last season.
  • Brian Ching may not be as young as he once was, but the Dynamo captain still plays with a fire in his belly and his emotions on his sleeve. Captain Ching scored two of Houston’s goals against the Sounders and was the driving force for Houston.
  •  After a few lackluster performances this season, Hunter Freeman played and distributed the ball like a proper right back. His distribution, which has been lacking at times, was excellent. He also managed to be a part of a Dynamo defense that only allowed one goal, which was a penalty.
  • Adam Moffat had an excellent match. How do I know this? Well, he didn’t get kicked out for foul (cough, Lovel Palmer, JeVaughn Watson), he wasn’t afraid to take long range shots on goal, and he anchored Houston’s offense all night, distributing the ball to his teammates and creating attacking opportunities.

All in all, a very good night for Houston, one that, for better or worse, shows how good this team can be when it wants to play with heart and fire. Next weekend’s test in Philadelphia against the Union will show fans if this team’s new found fire will burn a few weeks longer.


Goal: Ching Gives Houston 3-1 Lead In 71st Minute

Brian Ching scored his second goal of the night in the 71st minute, giving Houston a 3-1 lead. Hunter Freeman set up the ball to Colin Clark, who fired a cross from the endline into Ching’s feet, who was alone at the back post. That was Ching’s third goal of the season.


Goal: Fernandez Converts Penalty To Halve Houston's Lead

Alvaro Fernandez converted a penalty kick in the 37th minute to pull a goal back on Houston’s lead. The penalty kick was given after Dynamo defender Corey Ashe kicked out and fouled Fredy Montero in Houston’s box. Montero may have made the most of the foul, but it was definitely a foul.


Sub: Will Bruin Exits Match Early With Knee Knock

Will Bruin exited the match in the 30th minute after picking up a knee knock in the first 15 minutes of the game. Bruin initially received treatment after the injury and re-entered the match, but it seems the trainers felt it was better long term to pull the player off before the injury worsened. Cam Weaver, who is coming off of an ankle injury, entered the game in Bruin’s place.


Goal: Ching Doubles Houston's Lead With Lethal Header

After a give and go with Brad Davis, midfielder Geoff Cameron whipped in a cross from the edge of the box, managing to curl it between Seattle’s defenders and onto the head of Houston Dynamo captain Brian Ching.

After looking like a service-deficient team for much of the first half, Cameron served in a highlight reel-worthy cross.

Houston’s goal was scored in the 23rd minute.


Goal: Colin Clark Grabs Early Lead For Houston

Colin Clark grabbed the early lead for the Houston Dynamo in the fifth minute after scoring from a close range shot. Brian Ching was the initial player who received the ball in the box, but lost control after chesting the ball down. Seattle defender Tyson Wahl slashed at the ball in an effort to clear, but only managed to deflect the ball into Colin Clark’s feet. Clark then shot across the outstretched Kasey Keller and into the back of Seattle’s net for the game’s opening goal.

This is exactly the start Houston needs against a strong Seattle Sounders team.


Line-Ups: Ching Returns, Cruz Not On Gameday Roster

Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear has a few surprises in store with his starting XI, moving players around, pulling some off the bench, and moving some off the line-up. Notably absent is right-midfielder Danny Cruz, who is not in the starting line-up or on the bench for Houston.

Here’s your Houston Dynamo line-up:

F: Will Bruin
F: Brian Ching
LM: Brad Davis
CAM: Geoff Cameron
CDM: Adam Moffat
RM: Colin Clark
LB: Corey Ashe
CB: Andre Hainault
CB: Bobby Boswell
RB: Hunter Freeman
GK: Tally Hall

Subs: Tyler Deric, Alex Dixon, Jason Garey, Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Cam Weaver


Preview: Dynamo Host Seattle Sounders In Season-Defining Game

Tonight the Houston Dynamo host Seattle Sounders FC in a game that has season-defining implications.  While that may sound dramatic, it is unfortunately true.  The Dynamo's season so far has been defined by sloppy performances, failed signings, and an occasional flash of class amongst the grit and grime.  Is this a rebuilding year? It looks like it, though no one is saying so.  After tonight's match against the Sounders, could Houston's season effectively be over?  Yes, that's why it is important.  Don't believe me?  Let's see what Zach from our Houston Dynamo blog, Dynamo Theory, has to say.

Originally Posted On Dynamo Theory

Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium, the Houston Dynamo play what could be one of their most important matches of the 2011 season. After an embarrassing 3-0 demolition at the hands of Chivas USA, the Dynamo have had a week to stew on that loss and hopefully come to the realization that if they don't start getting points soon, any hopes of making the playoffs are going to sink faster than the US Government's credit rating.

So of course it doesn't help that the generally meaningless MLS All-Star Game was on Wednesday and all four representatives from the Dynamo saw significant minutes. Of course it doesn't help that it will likely rain at some point before the match adn then heat up to the roughly the temperature of the surface of the sun (ie. humidity beyond belief). It does help that Brian Ching and Colin Clark will be available after their questionable behaviour against Sporting KC. It also does help that the Seattle Sounders will be playing their third match in a week, with the middle one being a massive road trip to Panama for a CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.

What I'm saying is simply this: Houston needs to win this game. It's set-up for them to win and since the chances of them getting three points at PPL Park against the Union next week are pretty slim, they really need to get three points tomorrow.

I'm going to say it and some people are not going to like it...THIS IS A MUST WIN GAME. THE SEASON IS ON THE LINE.

I realize this team is only two points out of a playoff wildcard spot with three months (and 12 matches after Saturday) left to go...but allow me to smother some pessimism on that point, like gravy on a couple of open face biscuits.

Only five of those 12 matches are at home and not one of those home matches is easy; the Dynamo will face Portland, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Chicago and LA. Houston only has one home league match in September, which means an entire month of traveling and playing in less than friendly environments. Still not concerned about the importance of Saturday's match?

Houston needs points and they need them now and there is no better, or more vital, place to get points then at home. I've stressed this point over and over again and I will continue to do so until it's firmly embedded in your psyche...because it's important!

So far this season, the Dynamo are 5-3-3 at Robertson. In 2010, the Dynamo went 6-6-3 at home and missed the playoffs for the first time since moving to Houston. From 2006 to 2009, the team went 34-8-19 at Robertson.

8 losses at home in the first four seasons, 9 losses at home in the last two...and 2011 isn't done yet.

In other words, tomorrow's match against the Sounders is, it's a must win.


Check back here and over at Dynamo Theory for in-game updates, thoughts, analysis and more.

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