BY Todd Dybas 11:12PM 03/23/2012

Dybas: Sounders’ Estrada gets a little help

David Estrada received bi-coastal assistance Friday night, which aided the Sounders’ dispatching of the Houston Dynamo.

David Estrada scored his fourth goal of the MLS season Friday night. / File photo by Drew Sellers

David Estrada has reached the point where he should be thankful his name does not rhyme with insanity.

There’s no contortion of “Estrada” to link him to the puns that trailed Jeremy Lin’s week-long burst of success for the New York Knicks.

It’s a consideration since Estrada struck again Friday night in the Sounders’ 2-0 shutout of the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field. Four goals in four games will have to do in lieu of word play.

Estrada’s goal was proof of his current charmed life. He received bi-coastal assistance to make it happen. A lottery win and fawning supermodels are expected to follow in short order.

Friday, Estrada drove a shot that began to bend left and would have been covered by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. It was crisp, hence rapidly running out of space to be on frame.

But it deflected off a Houston defender and was rerouted to the open right side of the net in the 23rd minute. The goal left Estrada in mild disbelief at two points. First, immediately afterward when he jogged in half celebration with his hands out to the side. Second, when he learned at halftime that his score was ruled an own goal.

A call via Bat Phone to MLS headquarters from Seattle to New York and the subsequent discussion changed the score back to Estrada’s personal ledger. He’s shot on goal six times and four have gone in. Everything is coming up Estrada.

“When it’s going good, it’s going good,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said.

Brad Evans tacked on the second goal with a penalty kick four minutes later. The typically sound Dynamo had scored an almost-own goal and committed a penalty in the first half. It was odd.

The match carried more pugilistic sensibilities than elegance. Houston set-piece maestro Brad Davis even discussed the fouls with Schmid at one point during the second half.

Part of the clunky ground game for Seattle on Friday was because of Mauro Rosales’ absence. Rosales sprained a right knee ligament when he was kicked by Toronto FC’s Aaron Maund last Saturday and did not play Friday.

Rosales’ ability to make Seattle’s offense flow was often missed while he watched from the press box.

“I thought it was a little disjointed at times,” Schmid said. “I thought at times we had some good combinations.”

Rosales told Sportspress Northwest he will not be very active the next week. He knew right away it was not the same knee injury he dealt with last season, since the pain was in a different spot this time. He came away from the MRI thankful he would not need surgery.

“I have one more week to recover, then another month to try to play again (full on),” Rosales told Sportspress. “It was a bad thing that in the last part of the game I got injured, my knee, same leg, but I’m fine. I think the rehabilitation is going fast and I hope that I can play as soon as possible.

“I’m not putting some date to come back. I’m just trying to figure out the problem. The knee is something that can be worse if you don’t take care of (it) and probably in one week, two weeks … in two weeks, I can play again.”

Schmid said Rosales is day-to-day and began jogging Friday. His assessments of Rosales’ timetable remain open-ended.

The Sounders also removed Evans in the 61st minute after he felt hamstring irritation.

“(I) just figured there’s 20 minutes left in the game, better safe than sorry,” Evans said.

A fair mantra at this point. Estrada’s blend of unexpected magic supported by multiple playmakers has staked the Sounders to a 2-0 start. Fresh goalkeeper Michael Gspurning flashed his talent Friday night on the way to a shutout.

Together, it’s an early formula in an almost interminable season that makes hope swell.


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