Friday night was a tough one for the Houston Dynamo, but they still managed to earn a 1-1 road draw against Seattle Sounders FC. It wasn't a pretty game for the Orange, as they struggled to maintain possession throughout the match.
The Dynamo stunned the crowd of 36,000 at Qwest Field in the 42nd minute, when Geoff Cameron netted his -- and the team's -- first goal of the season. Lovel Palmer took a free kick that bounced off the top crossbar, and an opportunistic Cameron came up the middle with the rebound to finish it for good. Seattle applied the pressure the remainder of the match, until they were finally able to equalize in the 80th minute off a Steve Zakuani put-back.
Here are five things we learned from the Dynamo's draw on Friday night:
5. Defense a work in progress Seattle's attack was tenacious the entire match; they did everything they could to try to tie the match -- and eventually try to win it. Credit to the Dynamo's defense, they lasted 80 minutes before they finally conceded the goal. However, the defense still showed moments where they would lose focus. One bright spot for the Orange: Rookie Kofi Sarkodie looks to be an emerging player in MLS.
4. Tally Hall is a legit MLS goalkeeper Probably the biggest reason why it took so long for Seattle to score was the play of goalkeeper Tally Hall. He finished the game with seven saves, which seems a bit modest because it felt as though he had to fend the ball off every other second of the match. He was saving shots from point-blank range and from distance. If the defense can hold up this season, Hall could be a goalkeeper of the year candidate.
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3. Midfield needs more possession The Dynamo had good possession in their first game against the Philadelphia Union; not so much against the Sounders. It all started with the midfield, which kept losing one-on-one battles, and would constantly throw the ball away. They showed a flash of brilliance after Cameron's goal, but weren't able to muster much else. This team is built to maintain possession, and it will be difficult to win with it.
2. Midfield also needs to test the opposing keeper more The Dynamo's goal came via a free kick. Palmer's shot, although he missed, stayed within range for Cameron to kick it in. That was really the only time the midfield tested Seattle's goalkeeper with a long-distance shot. Brad Davis, Palmer and Cameron each have the ability to shoot from distance, and should take more. If they can keep the defense honest, maybe that can create more opportunities for the offense.
1. The offense needs Brian Ching Ching only saw 15 minutes of action Friday night, as he came in as a sub for rookie Will Bruin. Before he came in, the offense struggled to put anything together. Ching brings veteran leadership to a young offensive corps. He's also great at holding the ball, allowing the midfield to make cuts toward goal. He also draws many fouls, which allows for Davis to take freekicks from dangerous positions.
The Dynamo travel to Red Bull Arena this Saturday, April 2, to take on the New York Red Bulls. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.