HOUSTON, TEXAS – Sounders FC opened the 2017 MLS campaign Saturday evening with a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Clint Dempsey scored the lone goal for Seattle in his first competitive appearance since last August, but it wasn’t enough to overcome two first-half Dynamo strikes from Erick Torres and Romell Quioto. Brian Schmetzer’s club continues its two-match road swing to start the season next Saturday at the Montreal Impact (4:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Torres opened his Dynamo scoring account in the 20th minute of play, after winning a free-kick just outside Seattle’s area. The 24-year-old took full advantage of the dead-ball scenario, beating the Sounders FC wall to finish at Stefan Frei’s far post. With his first goal for Houston since joining the Texas club in in 2015, Torres handed the home side a 1-0 lead.
Seattle responded minutes later, with Nico Lodeiro leading a Rave Green counterattack, playing the ball to onrushing fullback Joevin Jones down the left flank. Jones played a square ball back across Houston’s six-yard-box, just missing a sliding Jordan Morris for the equalizer.
However, it was Houston that scored next, as Quioto made a run down the left, before cutting inside to fire a crisp right-footed shot past Frei. The strike came in the 42nd minute for the former CD Olimpia player, giving the Dynamo a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime.
Making his return to competitive play following an irregular heartbeat that forced a premature conclusion to his 2016 campaign, Dempsey pulled the Rave Green back into the contest by opening his 2017 scoring account in the 58th minute. After Jones played a dangerous cross from the left flank into Houston’s area, Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric was forced into a reactionary save, with Dempsey pouncing on the loose ball. The U.S. National Team forward calmly slotted home the goal, his 35th strike for Seattle since signing with the club in August of 2013.
Sounders FC heads back on the road for week two of MLS action, this time traveling to Quebec for a showdown with the Montreal Impact. That match is being played at the Olympic Stadium, with kickoff slated for 4:00 p.m. PT, and broadcast coverage being provide by JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS (outside of Seattle), KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM.
Seattle opens its home slate on Sunday, March 19 in a nationally-televised contest on FS1 against the New York Red Bulls at CenturyLink Field. Capacity has already been expanded for Seattle’s home-opener due to demand. 2017 Season Ticket Memberships are still available by calling 877-MLS-GOAL or emailing Sales@SoundersFC.com. Complete information on all Sounders FC ticket packages can be found at SoundersFC.com/Tickets.
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Gustav Svensson (Henry Wingo 85’), Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso – captain, Cristian Roldan, Alvaro Fernandez (Will Bruin 76’), Clint Dempsey, Nico Lodeiro; Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Zach Mathers
Houston Dynamo – Tyler Deric; AJ De La Garza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Eric Alexander (Andrew Wenger 86’), Ricardo Clark (Boniek Garcia 70’), Alex, Alberth Elis (Vicente Sanchez 74’), Romell Quioto, Erick Torres
Substitutes not used: Calle Brown, Dylan Remick, Jalil Anibaba, Mauro Manotas
- Sounders FC is now 5-4-0 all-time in season-opening matches. Saturday’s contest marks the first time in club history Sounders FC began a campaign away from CenturyLink Field.
- Seattle is 5-4-6 all-time against Houston in regular-season play, including a mark of 0-4-4 in Houston.
- Clint Dempsey appeared in his first MLS match since August 21, 2016 after being sidelined last season due to an irregular heartbeat. He scored in the 58th minute for the club’s first goal of the 2017 MLS season.
- Homegrown Player Henry Wingo made his professional debut in the 85th minute, coming on for Gustav Svensson.
- Defender Gustav Svensson made his MLS debut with 85 minutes at right-back.
- Forward Will Bruin, who was traded from Houston to Seattle in December, came on for Alvaro Fernandez in the 76th minute, marking his first appearance for the Rave Green.