The 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs officially kicked off yesterday, as our boys in orange played the Sounders FC to a 0-0 draw in Seattle. The match was a hotly contested one, with the Dynamo trying to bully the smaller, more finessed Sounders squad. Even though both teams finished with three yellow cards each, the Dynamo ended up 18 total fouls. The Sounders, being the flopping pricks that they are, finished the game with six fouls.
The Dynamo's game plan was simple, go into Qwest Field (where the Sounders play well) and disrupt the flow of the game. The Dynamo did a good job of keeping Seattle's Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero off balance, making it difficult for them to get a good shot on goal -- especially Montero, who was involved in an scuffle with Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad in the 16th minute. Going back to the Sounders being flopping pricks, Onstad didn't take kindly to Montero flopping in the box to draw a penalty. Onstad shoved him to the ground and both teams exchanged words. In the end, both Onstad and Montero received yellow cards.
One of the biggest stats of the night was the inability for both teams to find the goal, although both Onstad and Seattle keeper Kasey Keller had a lot to do with it. Seattle finished the game with nine corner kicks, two better than the Dynamo. Seattle had 12 shots, but only two tested Onstad. Houston only had nine shots, but made Keller make four saves.
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The result is favorable for the Dynamo. Since this round in the playoffs is two-game aggregate score series, the Dynamo will have a chance to advance to the next round at home on Sunday, November 8 at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo will do well not to relax too much though, as the memory of last year's playoff debacle is still fresh. After drawing 1-1 in Giants Stadium against the New York Red Bulls last year, the Dynamo were heavy favorites going into the second leg in Houston. The Red Bulls, however, put a 3-0 shellacking on the Orange and ended their chance at a three-peat. The Dynamo will still be the favorites in second leg, as they look to close out the flannel-wearing hippies from Seattle, and move on to a date with one of the LA teams in the Western Conference Finals.