Every once in a while, the performance of one player can define an entire game, and mark an entire season. Yesterday afternoon, in Harrison, Adam Johansson showed everyone what Seattle has been missing for two months, with a pair of assists and a crucial goal-line clearance. They were his first appearances on the score sheet for the Rave Green.
A first look at the stats doesn't reflect well on the Sounders squad, and may show some signs that the oppressive heat may have played a factor in the result. The team as a whole continued a somewhat troubling trend of losing the possession battle (finishing at only 43.9%), a habit that haunted them throughout the nine game losing streak. Worse still, Seattle had a tough time of winning the ball. Their duels won percentage clocked in at only 42%.This may have reflected itself in the "blocked shots" category, of which the Sounders have only one to NY's 4.
While the stat sheet judges New York keeper Bill Gaudette and Seattle's Bryan Meredith, the eyes tell a different story. Both had three saves, but Gaudette's were lunging, impressive blocks in the first start for his new team, while Meredith's almost appeared in his hands.
In more positive news, the match saw Fredy Montero's first goal since mid May, and his fifth since 2010 coming off the bench. Fredy took three shots in his half-hour of play, but the only one he put on frame was the only one that earned points for Seattle on Sunday.
win draw puts the club back in third place, passing a Vancouver squad that lost to Chicago on Saturday.
The roster will now get a well-deserved break, without a competitive game for two weeks. But before then, Chelsea comes to town to celebrate the career of Roger Levesque, followed by All Star appearances for Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson.
On the match:
Quite a rough start for us defending-wise, I would say they could play in between our defense a little bit too easy. But after some adjustments I think we just improved in the second half. I mean we should have won it- I mean three, four huge chances to finish this game off. But at the same time it's brutal out there. After the first 20 minutes the way we (played) I can live with that.
On Kenny Cooper, Sebastien Le Toux and Thierry Henry playing together:
I think with another balance in midfield the other three guys to play Thierry behind these two, I think it's possible. But you need more box to box plays around Thierry. Then I think it’s definitely a possibility.
On not using many substitutes:
(I was) thinking about both Mehdi (Ballouchy) and Victor (Palsson) as options to replace some of the guys. But as long as we controlled the game and created chances, I just had a feeling to keep going. Then we have to look into the Wednesday game if we need to replace two to three players to start against Chicago.
On the debut of Bill Gaudette:
I am pleased with his performance. I've seen Gaudette when he was with us in our training camp and I don't think he should come out because it’s a one-versus-one and it’s more that Brandon (Barklage) misjudged the cross. That should be the right fullback who battles that better.
On Dax McCarty's performance:
I think it’s more the way we try to build up, and it depends if we play against one, two, or three strikers the way we decide to come out. He still has a lot to work on. He still has to work on his passing game, he has to be sharper, he needs to come out quicker when we attack. He can’t just stay back playing center back, we need him in central midfield. Overall it could be this position for him for the future, I think he’s much better when he has the whole field in front of him.
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD THIERRY HENRY
On the game:
Well, it was hot and difficult to play, as you saw. No pacing to the game – very sloppy on both sides. I think the second half was a bit boring for you guys. It was for us too. Overall, that game was like a tie right from the start. Although we had a lot of chances in set pieces, it was a weird one. From a personal point of view, that was my third game in the last two months and I felt it today, as you can imagine with the heat. I don’t know how the game is going to be against Chicago at one o’clock. Let’s hope we can do the business in the first half because trust me the second half wasn’t easy today.
On the chemistry today:
We weren’t able to find any chemistry today. You find out you need to repeat movements and have a go at the defense and we didn’t do that. I’m not going to put everything on the weather, but I’m telling you today wasn’t easy to play. I think saying that, we might actually find some opportunities on set pieces. We had a lot of chances to finish the game and bury it, but we didn’t. It was kind of a hard one, especially as a striker, you want to put pressure on a defender, move, repeat runs, and we couldn’t do that today. Having said that, Sebastien [Le Toux] had a great game. Scoring a goal in his first game for us was great. Bill [Gaudette] also played well. I know Seattle traveled, but we were all talking to each other at times and saying how hot it was.
On not initially playing up front:
At the beginning we tried something that clearly didn’t work because we were not touching the ball. And then I went to see the boss and decided to go back to a 4-4-2 and then we were in better shape I thought. We started to play way better, if I can say that, because the rhythm was a bit slow. We did what we had to do: we came back into the game and put ourselves in front. On their second opportunity in the game, they scored. Great finish at the end of the day. As I said to you earlier on, we could’ve scored and we didn’t on set pieces. That’s the way it is in this league, now we have to regroup and refocus and win against Chicago.
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD SEBASTIEN LE TOUX
On his first match with the Red Bulls:
I didn’t really think about it. It went pretty fast since two days ago. I came late. Yesterday was my first day with the team. I feel like my mind was really off tonight but I’m really happy to score my first goal in my new uniform. Just disappointed that we didn’t win tonight but we have to continue on Wednesday and get a win against Chicago.
On his whirlwind season; playing on his third team this year:
It’s crazy. I had to be on the east coast, west coast, east coast. But I’m living my dream. I’m really glad to be in New York. It’s a great organization like Vancouver and like Philadelphia. I’m pretty lucky I play for a team who play for the top. I’m just looking forward to the next practice tomorrow and next game on Wednesday. After, I just hope to progress.
On meeting fellow countryman Thierry Henry:
I was young and I used to watch him in World Cup ’98, him scoring goals and being the superstar he is. It’s just great and some of my friends were jealous, it’s funny. He’s a great guy too and just a great player. I’m just lucky and I’m just going to enjoy all the moments I can have over here with him.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER MARKUS HOLGERSSON
On how he worked in the center of the defense with Rafa Marquez versus with Wilman Conde:
I didn’t know what happened with Rafa. You could see it was a little bit slow and we didn’t find our position so fast as when we worked in the week. With Conde, beside the goal, we worked good together.
On how the hot weather affected the game
The weather was awful. It was because of the weather. You have to take it easy sometimes and then you have to tempo up. It was a slow game because of the weather.
On his header that hit the crossbar off a Theirry Henry corner kick before halftime
I should have scored on that one. I was sure and (Henry) gave me a perfect ball. That should be a goal. And also we had Dax (McCarty) and we had Roy (Miller) in the last minute. So, we are strong on set pieces.
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER BILL GAUDETTE
On the match:
It was hot (laughs). No, you know, 2-2 is a decent result. Obviously at home we would like to get more points being up 2-1 but with the conditions and everything out there and Seattle being a tough team, 2-2 is a decent result. It’s always good when you get points. Obviously three is better than one, but we’ll take the one.
On what his last 48 hours have been like since being traded to New York:
It happened pretty quick. You get that phone call; you get on that plane, next thing you know you pack whatever you can and you get on a flight back. It’s one of those things, it’s part of the business. I’m just happy to be here and be a part of this team. It’s a good feeling to be back in New York and to get the start today was incredible. It was nice, I wish we would have got three points but it was pretty exciting day and we’ll get back to work tomorrow.
On his memories from previous stints with New York:
Yeah, I’ve been a part of this team on and off for a couple of years. In 2010 I almost signed on and it just wasn’t the right time. The most important thing is here and now and I’m excited to be here and help the team anyway I can. Obviously, Ryan’s (Meara) done a great job for them so it’s me just coming in and doing whatever I can to help the team and that’s the most important thing.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On the match:
Obviously we’re pleased to come out with a point. I thought in the first half we played fairly well. The first goal was a great goal. They got a little bit more into the game in the last ten minutes of the half and at the beginning of the second half they knocked the ball around a lot in their half of the field. I think the fatigue from us playing on Wednesday coming into this game started to show a little bit. But, I thought we showed a lot of character going down 2-1, then coming back getting the equalizer, holding on for the tie at the end of the day.
On the play of Adam Johansson:
He saved the one ball off the line and he was the one, I’m sure he’s not used to this humidity being from Sweden, but he was the one who kept running at the end of the game too. He was one of the guys who didn’t play on Wednesday so that was a good situation for him.
On the play of Eddie Johnson, and his second half performance:
For Eddie, I thought he was good in the first half, second half not so much anymore. But what people fail to realize is that it’s not just the three games in a week, it’s the cumulative amount of games and the cumulative wear and tear. So we’re about ready we got Chelsea on Wednesday then we get a little bit of a break. The guys need a mental and physical break right now to recharge their batteries and get themselves back in a groove. We’re fit, there’s no doubt about that, or else we wouldn’t be able to get through a game like that. For Eddie he’s played a lot of minutes and it’s been a long time since he played so many minutes in a short period of time. But, I thought in the first half he was very good.
On Fredy Montero’s "up and down" season:
All forwards are streaky. Eddie’s on a good streak right now and Fredy is on a streak where he hasn’t scored as many goals. Montero played well for us on Wednesday, he started for us and played a lot of minutes On Wednesday he got taken down for a PK, got an assist on a goal, he was very active for us. So, today we came differently with (Mauro) Rosales again underneath, but Fredy came in and I think that’s his fourth goal off the bench for us in seven games, so he has shown his ability to come off the bench and impact the game.
On the team’s success against the Eastern Conference this season:
Half those games were on the road, and we continue to be a decent road team although we’d like some of those ties to be wins, I think today was our sixth tie. We knew we don’t get to play these teams more than once so we wanted to win the season series against teams, so we won the season series against four of the east coast teams. Now we go into the Western Conference primarily and it gives us the opportunity now to win the season series against some of the west coast teams.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC FORWARD FREDY MONTERO
On the match:
I believe we rescued a point; we rescued a point on a very tough venue to play in, with weather that was really bad to play in. The game seemed to slow down due to the heat and humidity on the pitch.
On coming off the bench and scoring:
I’m happy because I got a chance and I was able to put it away. In other occasions I’ve had chances but I haven’t been able to make the best of them. (Thankfully) today I was able to capitalize on the chance. Hopefully when we get back home the team can continue the same level that we’ve had, playing solid defense and making sure we score up top.
On not starting today’s match:
I don’t question the decision; I’m not the type of player that asks those questions. I won’t second guess the coach’s decision. If I’m on the bench I try to help my team when I step onto the pitch and today I was able to go in and score… The players don’t dictate who starts, that’s up to the coaching staff and the Head Coach and he made the decision, I would’ve liked to start but that wasn’t the case, the case is that I came onto the pitch and scored.