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Roldan’s tally holds up as Sounders blank Dynamo

(Image: Twitter/@SoundersFC)

Cristian Roldan gave the Seattle Sounders an early lead, and they hung on for a 1-0 victory against the visiting Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

The Sounders (6-1-4, 22 points) moved past Houston (6-2-1, 19 points) and into a tie for second place in the Western Conference standings with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Dynamo have never won at Seattle, dropping to 0-8-2.

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei made one save for his fourth shutout of the season, the first time the Dynamo were blanked in nine matches. That gave Frei 39 saves this season, tying San Jose’s Daniel Vega for the MLS lead.

Roldan scored on a 25-yard strike following a Seattle corner kick in the 5th minute. The ball was headed away from the top of the 6-yard box directly to Roldan, who trapped the ball with his chest and put a half volley into the upper left corner of the net past leaping Houston goalie Joe Willis.

It was the second consecutive game in which Roldan scored from outside the penalty area, after putting a 25-yarder into the lower right corner last weekend at Minnesota United in a 1-1 draw.

Houston’s Alberth Elis had a chance to tie the score off a free kick in the 25th minute, but his diving header from just outside the 6-yard box went off the turf and bounced over the crossbar.

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro nearly made it 2-0 just before the half, striking the crossbar with an 18-yard shot in the 43rd minute.

Sounders midfielder Victor Rodriguez suffered a left hamstring strain early in the match and was replaced by Harry Shipp in the 15th minute.

Shipp nearly scored in the 50th minute on a shot from 12 yards out on the left edge of the penalty area, but Willis made a diving fingertip save to push the ball wide of the right post.

Frei’s only save came in the 79th minute, as a pass from Darwin Ceren sent Elis free down the right wing. But Frei sprinted off his line and slid to smother the ball off Elis’ foot, sending the Dynamo midfielder flying to the turf.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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