In front of a record crowd for an MLS match in Seattle, the Seattle Sounders(7-4-7) did not disappoint as they defeated the New York Red Bulls(5-3-8) 4-2 as the fan favorite Roger Levesque found the back of the net twice for the Sounders. The win pushes Seattle into a tie for 2nd place with FC Dallas in the Western Conference and are 6 back of the Los Angeles Galaxy for 1st place. 3 of the Sounders 4 goals have come off set plays which Hans Backe's team has had issues defending. With Defenders Tim Ream and Rafa Marquez still on Gold Cup duty for their countries as well as 18-year old Forward Juan Agudelo, Backe went with Carlos Mendes and former USL Seattle Sounder Stephen Keel at Central Defense and with Theirry Henry suspended for this match and Luke Rodgers out injured, Backe partnered up Dwayne De Rosario with Dane Richards. But now the question for them is, should they take Goalkeeper Greg Sutton's starting job away for his error he made which lead to the forth goal? I mean really, for a guy who represented Senegal at the 2008 African Cup of Nations, I'm pretty sure Bouna Coundoul wouldn't have made that kind of mistake.
Despite a pretty shaky start, the Sounders got on the board first in the 11th minute. Mauro Rosales sent in a corner from the near hash mark to the middle of the penalty area which was headed away by Teemu Tainio but right to Erik Friberg who cut the ball to his right foot to get rid of Dane Richards who was defending and curled it into the far post. Friberg did very well to position himself for a shot on goal and all he had to do was try to curl it, which he did. And a minute later, another set play, and another goal for the Men in Rave Green...
Rosales took the corner again and again it was headed into a bad spot again and Osvaldo Alonso stepped up and volleyed a short clearance which appeared to deflect off a foot of Roy Miller and into the net for Alonso's second goal in 3 matches. Alonso has started to push forward on the attack more than what we've seen his first two season's here in Seattle.
In the 31st minute the Red Bulls pulled one back. Dane Richards had about 5 yards between him and Zach Scott. After receiving a pass from Joel Lindpere, Richards took about 2-3 touches to beat Scott and send a floater to the far post off the hand of Keller and into the goal to cut the Sounders lead down to 2-1. Zach Scott had a terrible game, giving the ball away in his own area too many times, poor defending, and also scoring an own-goal.
In the 58th minute, this was the own-goal. Right back Jan Gunnar Solli made an excellent run down the right hand side and was fed beautifully by Dwayne De Rosario. Solli sent in a low driven cross that deflected off Scott and into the net to tie the match at 2-2.
Both teams threatened with the score tied but in the 67th minute, it was Seattle scoring on a set play for the 3rd time in the match. Leonardo Gonzalez, who was playing with a heavy heart, took the corner this time, and I thought it was weak, but he found Roger Levesque lurking at the near post and Levesque knocked a glancing header over his shoulder and inside Sutton's far post. He would get another one 11 minutes later. In the 78th minute, Greg Sutton misplayed a simple back pass from Jan Gunnar Solli, allowing Levesque to pick-pocket him and tap the ball into an empty net to put the match beyond reach.
The Sounders will look to close out the month of June unbeaten as they host the New England Revolution on Sunday while the Red Bulls travel to Toyota Park in Bridgeview and take on Chicago Fire the same day.
Seattle Sounders FC - Erik Friberg 1 (unassisted) 11'
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso 2 (unassisted) 12'
New York Red Bulls - Dane Richards 3 (Joel Lindpere 3) 31'
New York Red Bulls - Own Goal (Zach Scott) 58'
Seattle Sounders FC - Roger Levesque 1 (Leonardo Gonzalez 1) 67'
Seattle Sounders FC - Roger Levesque 2 (unassisted) 78'
New York Red Bulls - Teemu Tainio (caution; Reckless foul) 28'
New York Red Bulls - Austin da Luz (caution; Reckless tackle) 50'
Seattle Sounders FC - James Riley (caution; Reckless foul) 52'
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless tackle) 60'
Seattle Sounders FC - Leonardo Gonzalez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90'
New York Red Bulls - Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Reckless tackle) 93+'
New York Red Bulls - Greg Sutton; Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller; Mehdi Ballouchy, Teemu Tainio (Corey Hertzog 89'), Joel Lindpere, Austin da Luz (John Rooney 79'); Dane Richards, Dwayne De Rosario
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Servando Carrasco 72'); Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 81'), Mike Fucito (Roger Levesque 58')
The Atmosphere at the Stadium:
I've been asking myself the exact same question over and over and over again. "When will they increase the capacity?" Now I don't know if it's gonna stay this way from now on. But 46,000+ in attendance for an MLS soccer match is pretty legit. Well have a bigger crowd like this when Manchester United come to town for a friendly match next month. Seeing a huge crowd like this for a league match itself? Man, 36,000 fans isn't enough anymore. Will they open up the entire stadium? Not at this point, unless we host the Conference final match in the MLS Cup playoffs or maybe even the CONCACAF Champions League, if we make it that far of course.