HOUSTON - Seattle Sounders FC saw its club record nine-game unbeaten streak end as the Houston Dynamo edged Sounders FC, 3-1, at Robertson Stadium on a hot Saturday evening.
Alvaro Fernandez converted a first-half penalty for Sounders FC but Brian Ching netted a brace and Colin Clark added a goal and an assist for the Dynamo.
Sounders FC (10-5-8, 38 points) lost for the first time since May 25 and remains third in the Western Conference.
Houston (6-7-9, 27 points) improves to 6-3-3 at home and leads the all-time MLS series at 3-2-3.
An eventful first-half featured three of the game's goals as well as three key saves by Kasey Keller.
Sounders FC allowed a pair of early goals as Houston quickly built a 2-0 lead. Clark struck in the 7th minute when Ching chested down a Geoff Cameron cross and Clark put the ball past Keller.
Houston doubled its lead in the 23rd minute after Brad Davis and Cameron combined on the flank. Cameron served a cross into the box that Ching headed into the back of the net.
Sounders FC pulled a goal back after Fernandez converted a penalty kick in the 36th minute. Osvaldo Alonso regained possession just outside the box and sent a cross to Roger Levesque at the back post. Levesque headed the ball back in front of goal where Fredy Montero was fouled by Dynamo defender Corey Ashe.
Fernandez is now the team's co-leader with six goals and Seattle has converted four of five penalty attempts this season.
Keller kept the game close with back-to-back saves in the 33rd minute. Ching turned and fired a shot from inside the box that Keller blocked followed by Adam Moffat's long-range follow-up attempt that Keller dived to grab.
Keller also denied Moffat in the 39th minute when he tipped his long-range attempt over the crossbar.
Houston extended the lead to 3-1 in the 71st minute as Ching netted his second goal of the match. Clark served a cross in front of goal that the unmarked Ching knocked into the back of the net.
Keller made another crucial stop coming out of halftime after Cameron slipped behind the defense and fired a shot from 6-yards in the 49th minute.
Erik Friberg's late attempt in second-half stoppage time hit the post before it was cleared by the Dynamo defense.
Seattle is now 4-4-2 away and saw its six-game road unbeaten streak end. Sounders FC had previously won five out of the last six league contests.
Rookie goalkeeper Josh Ford made the 18-man gameday roster for the first time in MLS play. Terry Boss stayed home due to injury.
Seattle will play twice again next week, first hosting Panama's San Francisco FC in the second deciding leg of the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary series on Wednesday, August 3 at 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Major League Soccer play continues on August 6 as Sounders FC visits Sporting Kansas City.
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