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November 21, 2017

Brian Schmetzer

Houston, Texas

Seattle - 2, Houston - 0

Q. In your last series against Vancouver when you were in Vancouver your guys came out very tentatively, very conservatively in that opening game. Was there a more concerted effort by you guys going into this one to be more aggressive right from the start?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: I would disagree that we came out tentative. I think the game up in Vancouver manifested itself in a tentative kind of chess match, but our intent was always to go and try and score goals. Now, the set piece that we scored early certainly helped, some of our attacking movements when Joevin Jones coming down the wing, some of those things that we worked on, yes, they manifested themselves into goals tonight. So, obviously, it looks like or it feels like that in the first half we were playing with a little bit more attacking punch, but that's the goal from the outset. Home or away, we feel that we have a good enough team to score on our opponents.

Q. Two quick questions, sir. First, were you surprised that this game was not refereed by FIFA certified referees, rather than just U.S. Soccer referees. And secondly, were you, the conditions of the field, did it make it more difficult to play the type of game that you're accustomed to play over at your stadium?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: Number one, whether it's FIFA or U.S. Soccer, whoever, we don't talk about referees. That's out of our control.

I thought the referee did a fine job. As far as the field is concerned, I know that the people here in Houston did a very good job trying to get that field playable and I felt it was playable. I didn't think that the field was poor. So they did an excellent job in getting it ready for the match.

Q. No team has come in here and done this to the Dynamo this season. Maybe you don't think it's a statement, but what does it say about your team's performance to do this?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: Well, again, just -- we put a lot of work into our set pieces, that attacking movement with Joevin Jones getting in behind for the penalty and the red card, those are things that we work on. It's part of who we are. I wouldn't call it a statement against Houston or any other team that we play. I think that's just who we are. We tried to dictate tempo throughout our strengths and, again, it just manifested itself for -- in a good way for us.

Q. What was your approach for coming in tonight in this particular game? I understand you always play to win, but what was the actual tactical approach? And now that you're going home with a two-goal lead, how does that change for the game in Seattle?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: The actual tactical approach is the same thing that I've said. So we have Will Bruin trying to keep the team as high as he can. Dempsey and Lodeiro playing in between the lines, getting our outside backs forward. I know Joevin Jones who is usually an outside back played up a line today, but you saw his quality. Our set pieces, we're dangerous on our set pieces because we have guys that are good in the air. That is who we are. The tactics against Houston, I mean we know they're a good team. We scouted them on film, we knew it was going to be hard, but we play to our strengths and try and dictate tempo to other teams.

So as far as coming back to Seattle up 2-0, we will approach the game the same way. That team is too dangerous to sit back and let them dictate tempo on our home field. That would be a mistake.

Q. You've sort of mentioned it a couple times and alluded to it in your last answer, but you had a lot of success coming down the left side attacking Houston's right side tonight. You mentioned that that was something that maybe you saw on film and that you guys generally try and do anyway. But Joevin Jones playing up, I guess his attacking that side in general, it seems like that was something that you saw earlier. Was that something that you were sort of looking to do tonight? And what did you see specifically?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: I'll open that up a little bit because I like the pair of Nouhou and Joevin Jones. I think both of them are pretty dynamic, although in different ways. Nouhou is all power and speed and Joevin has a little bit more subtlety to his game. I think what you find is when Dempsey plays in between the lines and Nico goes over there, and you have overloads on that side of the field, it creates problems for opposition defenses. It wasn't necessarily, again, a tactic that we said, okay, we're going to only attack down the left, because on the right side of our field we have a pretty good right back as well. So, again, keeping possession, maybe to your point, we wanted to make sure we established good possession, and we wanted to make sure our attack was going through the wing channels without forgetting about Nico and Dempsey in between the lines.

Q. It is only halftime, what was the message after this matchup, two goals headed home?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: We're obviously pleased with the result, but we could have played better in the second half. And in my message to the group -- my message to the group is we understood that we could have played better and we could have put that game away at 3-0 and then it would have made it -- made it more challenging for Houston to try and come back with a three-goal deficit. So the messaging after the game was you cannot fall asleep for any, any moment in time. This league, this Houston team, Wilmer does a great job, it's not over yet.

And so what we have to understand is that we could have played a little bit better, a little smarter, gotten that third goal, and then we would have had a little bit more ability to improvise tactics.

Q. I'm not sure if this was asked, but can you talk about Tyler Miller's performance coming in for Stefan Frei.
BRIAN SCHMETZER: Great. We have a mantra in this club, next man steps forward, and he did exactly that tonight. He made the saves that he had to, I thought he had good command of his box, he got a couple crosses early. So I thought he was very, very strong.

Q. Did you feel like the break, the long break, maybe hurt Houston a little bit. They didn't feel like they were very sharp in the opening minutes and y'all kind of took advantage of that.
BRIAN SCHMETZER: I would probably have to, to answer that question, I would probably have to watch the tape, because I was kind of focused on my team in those first 15, 20 minutes, because we knew that could have changed the game. If they were on top of us in the first 15 minutes versus us dictating tempo to them, I thought that was critical for our success tonight.

Q. The work that Gustav has done, not just in his game, but this season, what can you say about him?
BRIAN SCHMETZER: Well, he was a big part of that game in Italy and pushed his team into the World Cup, and he's done a tremendous job for us all season long. You can tell he has a veteran presence, he's a very strong physical player, but he also has a good touch. His passing is very good, so we are really, really pleased Jesus to find, to find him in the off-season and we're very, very happy that he's here.

Q. What do you think about Bruin coming back and scoring here, a place where he used to play and about his play this season overall, kind of a comeback season for him.
BRIAN SCHMETZER: Okay, I like that, we could have two comeback players of the year. How about that? Will's goal was a really well crafted goal. The ball that Joevin put in and Will's header was a very, very good header. I mean that was a very good piece of technical soccer skill, so it's just testament to Will. He again has been a real good pickup for our club.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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