HOUSTON – The Sounders, once again, melted in Texas.
Dynamo forward Giles Barnes scored twice and Will Bruin added his sixth of the season as Houston cruised to a 3-1 MLS win over Seattle in front of 22,289 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The defeat snapped Sounders FC’s three-game winning streak and four-game unbeaten streak as Clint Dempsey made his first start.
In the series between the two teams, the home team has gone 8-0-3 when including the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup playoffs, and Seattle is 0-4-1 in Houston.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Sounders (10-8-4) cut into the lead in the 65th minute when Shalrie Joseph headed in a free kick from Marc Burch in a crowded penalty box. It was Joseph’s first goal with Seattle, but the Sounders’ comeback hopes didn’t last 10 minutes.
Houston (10-7-6) reclaimed its two-goal advantage in the 75th minute when Bruin slammed in a rebound after a header by midfielder Warren Creavalle hit the cross bar.
The Sounders’ best chance to pull a goal back late came in the 81st minute, but Lamar Neagle’s skillful back-heel redirection bounced off the inside of the post and into the arms of Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
It was Seattle’s seventh road loss of the season, which is a franchise worst.
The Dynamo improved to 25-4-11 in games where the kickoff temperature was 80 degrees or more, as it was 88 degrees at the start.
Houston opened the scoring in the 17th minute on a wild scramble that saw goalkeeper Michael Gspurning out of position and away from the net trying to chase down Bruin. The Dynamo capitalized when Bruin laid a pass off to Barnes, who hammered a shot in as Sounders defenders raced to cover the goal.
Barnes doubled the lead in spectacular fashion in the 21st minute on a wonder-strike from about 30 yards that sizzled into the top left corner of the net.
Houston was dangerous throughout the first half, creating nine shots. The lead might have been worse if the hosts were able to convert a 3-on-1 breakaway in the fourth minute or if Bruin could’ve finished an open chance five minutes later.
Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis had an open look in the 31st minute, but his driven shot was pushed just wide of the goal by Gspurning.
The Sounders, who fell to 0-17 all-time when allowing the first two goals, had chances in the first half, but couldn’t finish any of seven shots.