Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sounders come away with a point against the New York Red Bulls, 2-2 draw

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders looked to pick up where they left off from their Open Cup semifinal victory against Chivas USA during midweek and pick up three points against the New York Red Bulls in their final trip to the east coast this season, but in the end both teams settled for a point. The Sounders didn't get the win, but they did come away with a valuable road point after a 2-2 draw against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey. The Sounders return home this Wednesday for a friendly match against European Champions Chelsea. Their next league game won't be until July 28th when they travel to Dicks Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids.

The Sounders had control of this match early on and their first real opportunity came in the 11th minute. Brad Evans fed the ball to Eddie Johnson who did very well to get around Rafa Marquez. Evans continued his run and Johnson found him with a great through ball and Evans had a chance to put it away but Bill Gaudette came out and got a hand to it. This is the second time the Sounders faced Gaudette this season. The first time they faced him was when the LA Galaxy traveled to Seattle. Gaudette, who was acquired a couple days ago from the Galaxy, was making his Red Bulls debut in replace of rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara who was out with a hip injury.

Five minutes later, the Sounders would open the scoring. Adam Johansson joined in on the attack and was found by Ozzie Alonso. Johansson took one touch before setting himself up to whip in a very good cross to the far post and Alvaro Fernandez was there to volley it home for his second goal in as many matches and the Sounders took a 1-0 lead. Brandon Barklage got caught at the wrong place at the wrong time and Johansson read it perfectly and found a wide open Fernandez and there was nothing Bill Gaudette could do there.

In the 21st minute, the Red Bulls had to make a change defensively. Rafa Marquez, who has been criticised by the media all season, left the game with a hip injury and was replaced by Wilman Conde, Jr. After the sub the Red Bulls changed their tactics offensively with Thierry Henry pushing up top. By the way, that was the only sub the Red Bulls made in the game. That just goes to show that head coach Hans Backe doesn't trust his bench.

In the 24th minute, the Red Bulls pulled one back and leveled this match up. Joel Lindpere poked the ball to Connor Lade who maneuvered around Adam Johansson. Lade fed Kenny Cooper who gave it a go from 25 yards out which was punched away by Bryan Meredith, but right there was Sebastien Le Toux to tap home the rebound and level it up on his Red Bulls debut against his old club. Le Toux was acquired by the Red Bulls from the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for Dane Richards, so we won't see him in Seattle this year. As a matter of fact, his return to Seattle last year during his time with the Philadelphia Union may be his last visit because his contract expires after this season and there are rumors that suggest that he'll move to Europe during the winter. Anyway, on the play that resulted in the goal. It looked like Marc Burch wasn't paying any attention. You cannot expect Bryan Meredith to do all the dirty work defensively, when he punches the ball aside, somebody has to get over there and clear the ball out of danger.

In the 32nd minute, the mistake nearly led to a Sounders goal. Connor Lade gave the ball straight away to Alvaro Fernandez. Fernandez sent Eddie Johnson away down the left hand side. Johnson put on the breaks and slowed things down before cutting to his right foot and drilling a shot to the far post which forced a big time save from Bill Gaudette. That mistake in the midfield showed that Connor Lade, who signed with the Red Bulls as a homegrown player during the offseason, has quite a bit to work on as the season progresses as well as his young career.

The score remained level until the 61st minute when the New York Red Bulls took advantage of a mistake in the midfield and took a 2-1 lead. The Sounders started the second half with some sloppy passing and the Red Bulls would make them pay as Brandon Barklage found Joel Lindpere who was kept onside by Jeff Parke and Adam Johansson. Lindpere cut inside of Jeff Parke and slid the ball inside the near post for his third goal of the season. You may think that Bryan Meredith could've made the save, but two things here. One, when Lindpere cut to his left foot, Meredith started to cheat toward the far post. And Two, as the shot came in, Meredith was screened by Jeff Parke which resulted in a late reaction by the goalkeeper because he couldn't see where Lindpere was going.

Following that goal, the Sounders brought on Fredy Montero in place of Mauro Rosales and in the 67th minute, the Colombian would make an impact. Adam Johansson found Brad Evans making the good run down the right hand side. Evans squared the ball across for Fredy Montero to slam it home for his fifth goal of the season and his fifth against the New York Red Bulls. There were a few more chances on both ends of the ball, but in the end, the Sounders come away with a good point on the road in a tough venue. They still sit in third place with a record of 8-5-7.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Alvaro Fernandez 2 (Adam Johansson 1) 16'

New York Red Bulls - Sebastien Le Toux 5 (unassisted) 24'

New York Red Bulls - Joel Lindpere 3 (Brandon Barklage 4) 61'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 5 (Brad Evans 1, Adam Johansson 2) 67'

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Marc Burch (caution; foul) 44'

New York Red Bulls - Connor Lade (caution; foul) 53'

Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose (caution; handball) 66'

New York Red Bulls - Thierry Henry (caution; dissent) 74'


Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch; Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 85'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Leo Gonzalez 77'), Alvaro Fernandez; Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero 62'), Eddie Johnson

New York Red Bulls - Bill Gaudette; Brandon Barklage, Markus Holgersson, Rafa Marquez (Wilman Conde 21'), Roy Miller; Joel Lindpere, Dax McCarty, Connor Lade; Sebastien Le Toux, Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry

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