MLS Regular Season
Score: Sounders FC 1 vs. Houston Dynamo 0
Goal-scorers: Obafemi Martins (39’)
Site: CenturyLink Field
Man of the Match: Obafemi Martins is off to a hot start in his second full season with the club, scoring his third goal in as many games on Saturday. In the 39th minute, Martins received the ball from Clint Dempsey a few yards outside the box, dribbled towards goal, spun around Jermaine Taylor with the ball at his feet and found the far corner with a right-footed shot. Martins nearly added another tally late in the second half, firing a shot just over the bar after dribbling around three Houston defenders inside the box.
Telling Stat: 3. Starting goalkeeper Stefan Frei and the Rave Green have recorded three shutouts in their first four matches of the season. In 2014, Frei finished the season with nine shutouts, his career high and the third most in MLS.
What You Missed: Injuries forced four of Seattle’s starters out of the last match against FC Dallas, but all four of them were on the pitch Saturday night. Osvaldo Alonso made his first appearance of the season following his recovery from offseason groin surgery, while forwards Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins and defender Chad Marshall returned after missing one game.
Seattle midfielder Gonzalo Pineda was sent off in the 56th minute for a challenge on Houston’s Ricardo Clark. Three of the first four Sounders matches this season have featured a red card, with the previous two being shown to a player on the opposing team.
So What: In front of 39,860 at CenturyLink Field, the Rave Green got back in the win column and improved to 2-1-1 on the season. Martins and Dempsey are now tied for second on the MLS scoring list with three goals apiece in the early going. Sounders FC will next face the LA Galaxy on April 12 in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Championship.