After a tough 1-0 loss at home to the LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders traveled to Red Bull Arena to take on the New York Red Bulls, looking to bounce back and get at least a point. Instead they came away with nothing to show for as they lose their 2nd straight match 1-0 thanks to a 70th minute goal by 18-year old Juan Agudelo, it was his first MLS goal. Remember he made his international debut for the United States national team on November 17, 2010, against South Africa at 17 years of age and scored in that match which made him the youngest player in U.S. soccer history to score on his international debut.
New York had a chance to go ahead early when Thierry Henry's ball found Juan Agudelo behind the Seattle defense. Agudelo with his brilliant piece of skill, cut the ball back and drew contact from Jhon Kennedy Hurtado which resulted in a Penalty Kick. Of course, you would expect Thierry Henry to take the penalty because he's one of the best PK takers in the game. However, Henry tried to go low into the bottom left corner of the goal but Kasey Keller read it perfectly and tipped it wide.
The game was pretty much a back and forth battle for the rest of the first half since the penalty miss by Henry. Seattle had few good scoring chances. In the 16th minute, Fredy Montero sent Alvaro Fernandez alone behind the Red Bull defense, but his touch sent the ball to the right of goalkeeper Greg Sutton. Montero would test Sutton again in the 27th minute as he tried a shot from just inside the half-way line as he caught him well off his line but Sutton punched it away. In the 39th minute, Fernandez and Montero hooked up again as Montero ran onto a weighted ball and ripped a shot from a tight angle that was tipped by Greg Sutton who recovered the loose ball before O'Brian White could follow in on the rebound. The two combined again in the final minute of the first half as Montero beat Tim Ream before hitting the post from an impossible angle.
In the 51st minute, the Red Bulls tested Keller long range when defender Rafa Marquez lashed one that just sailed over. Seven minutes later, a corner from Marquez found his teammate, Mehdi Ballouchy but his touch just rolled wide right of Kasey Keller.
In the 70th minute, the Red Bulls found the breakthrough when Teemu Tainio's long ball found Juan Agudelo behind the defense. Agudelo shrugged off Leo Gonzalez and off the outside of his boot, slotted the ball past Kasey Keller into the net for his first MLS goal to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead with 20 minutes to go.
In the 88th minute, New York nearly put the game away from the corner when Rafa Marquez found Tony Tchani unmarked, but his header was punched over the bar by Kasey Keller.
Seattle had a golden opportunity to draw level when Fredy Montero's free kick was punched by Greg Sutton and Lamar Neagle's rebound sailed over the bar. And that proved costly as Seattle ends up getting shut out again and are off to an 0-2 start to begin 2011.
Area Seattle needs to improve on next game:
Finishing is one, but the most important one is to get more people to commit forward. I cannot remember one time in this match when we had 5-6 players on the attack. Also, an even bigger problem, go after the ball at all times. Every time New York has had position of the ball, rather than going after them, the Sounders just back off and let their opponents burn them in every way. Having only your two strikers commited and 8 other outfield players in their own area backing away and not going after the ball is unacceptable and it's never Seattle's game. Their game is ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK, go after the ball for 9o minutes, and they obviously didn't do that, which is never good and that needs to change in their match against the Houston Dynamo.
New York Red Bulls - Juan Agudelo (Teemu Tainio) 70'
Seattle Sounders FC - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 61'
Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller (captain); James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez; Alvaro Fernandez (Mauro Rosales 68'), Servando Carrasco (Lamar Neagle 80'), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg; Fredy Montero, O'Brian White (Roger Levesque 73')
New York Red Bulls: Greg Sutton; Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller; Dane Richards (Danleigh Borman 90'), Teemu Tainio, Mehdi Ballouchy (Tony Tchani 68'), Joel Lindpere; Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry (captain)