The Seattle Sounders were never in this game. They looked tired, sluggish and second-best from the very beginning while the Houston Dynamo executed their game plan to perfection and coasted to a surprisingly easy 3-1 victory at Robertson Stadium. Seattle's difference-makers in attack were neutralized thanks to the Dynamo's physical play and their lone goal game from a penalty won by Fredy Montero while headed away from goal. On the other side of things, the Sounders defense was uncharacteristically disorganized, giving Houston's most dangerous players more than enough room to hurt them. It was one of Seattle's worst performances of the season, and the pressure will now be on Sigi Schmid to right the ship before the Sounders CONCACAF Champions League and Supporters Shield chances desert them.
There's little doubt that fixture congestion, extensive travel and heat took a lot out of Seattle on the evening, but these are things that elite teams should be able to overcome. There's been nothing about Seattle's play this past week to suggest they're an elite team and though there's still a fair chunk of season left to play, things have got to improve quickly if the club hopes to look back on this season and say that they've truly taken a step forward.The talent is there; they've shown that on numerous occasions. The Sounders need to remember that, and they need to find a way to bring their game back to the level at which they're capable of playing. If not, this team is going to have some serious questions to ask themselves during the off-season.