The Houston Dynamo attack had a tough time gaining traction Friday night at Qwest Field in their 1-1 draw in Seattle. The host Sounders outshot the Dynamo 26-6 on the night, and Houston managed on just two shots on goal in the match.
One of those was enough to earn the draw, but it certainly didn’t ease concerns for the club going forward.
“It wasn’t a great game,” said midfielder Geoff Cameron, who gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 42nd minute, the club’s first of the young season. “We had to weather their storm the first 15 or 20 minutes and had a tough time dealing with the slick surface and weather. But honestly, we just didn’t play our best.”
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Cameron’s goal came after a Lovel Palmer free kick slammed off the crossbar and bounced back into the box just before the break. Cameron was there to clean it up and salvage a first half that left the Dynamo wanting for chances.
[inline_node:332241]“We held the ball a lot better in the second half, especially the forwards,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “They gave us possession farther up the field. In the first half, we struggled to hold the ball and that’s why we were pinned for the period that we were.”
Cameron was a bright spot for the Dynamo throughout the night. His footwork and passing allowed the Dynamo to break pressure and get forward, and he scored his first goal since the season finale last year – also against the Sounders.
“We played well last week and dominated the game, but didn’t win,” Cameron said. “This week we didn’t play well but we got a point out of it; I guess that’s just the way soccer is sometimes. Now we’re going to go back home and look at some video, go over our mistakes and look forward to next week playing at New York.”
Forward Brian Ching made his 2011 debut Friday night, coming on in the 75th minute for rookie Will Bruin. Ching battled hamstring injuries the last three weeks of preseason camp that kept him out of the season opener. He was active in his 15 minutes in Seattle and had the best chance of the second half for the Dynamo heading a late Cameron cross wide.
Dynamo Start Two Rookies for First Time
Kofi Sarkodie joined fellow first-round SuperDraft pick Bruin in the starting lineup, marking the first time in franchise history that two rookies started an MLS match for Houston. Kinnear made it clear when he drafted both players that he thought they would play important minutes for the club this season, and it’s already reasonable to assume they’ll continue to play an important role for the team going forward.
Big Apple Beckons
The Dynamo head east on Saturday to play the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. New York will be close to full strength with Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo (US), Rafa Márquez (Mexico) and Dane Richards (Jamaica) returning from international duty. Houston dropped a heartbreaker on their first visit to Red Bull Arena, courtesy of a Juan Pablo Angel 94th-minute free kick goal that beat the Dynamo 2-1 last June.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. You can follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.