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Seattle Sounders Fall to Red Bull New York 1-nil - Quick Recap

One of many times that Tim Ream and the Red Bull defense kept the ball away from Fredy Montero
One of many times that Tim Ream and the Red Bull defense kept the ball away from Fredy Montero

It was another game where a supposedly deep starting lineup was forced into two adjustments. O'Brian White continues to fill in for Blaise Nkufo both spatially, and in his hold up play, but missed a few opportunities to score. The larger adjustment was made when Coach Sigi Schmid was forced by lingering injury pulling Steve Zakuani from the lineup.

The shift was intriguing. Erik Friberg went to the outside and Sounders fans got to see draft pick Servando Carrasco. The two CDM formation played at times like a bucket 4-4-2 and at other times like a 4-2-3-1. Either way it should have been better against the counter than we saw against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and for a majority of the game that was true.

Except for on the one goal by Juan Agudelo. Another game where Seattle died by the counter. A long ball and release where a young skillfull, technical and fast player had to beat one centerback and an aging fullback. He did, and the New York Red Bulls rode that goal to victory.

There were long stretches where Seattle didn't just absorb the pressure, but took the pressure and bounced out of it into the attack. Many of these plays involved two of Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero and White. In the end Greg Sutton was the mediocre keeper who played better than he should and prevented what would be a tying goal.

We continue to see a pattern of substitution choice that could be only baffling. Flaco wasn't the problem, there actually wasn't a problem. He didn't seem tired. A better choice if more offense was needed would have been Lamar Neagle for Servando Carrasco. Roger Levesque is a better lead protector, than goal scorer against MLS first teams. And that sub should have been at about the 61st minute. Seeing Mauro Rosales in the game was a solid preview of his ability, but he likely should have been the 2nd sub, with Levesque as the third.

Part of this has to do with injury. A fully healthy Seattle club probably doesn't see ANY of those three on the pitch. Part of it has to do with Sigi's choices not making sense to us.

The original tactics were solid. The concept was true. Seattle got beat by an MLS Cup contender. Sure, Kasey Keller stopped a Penalty from Thierry Henry, but this was a match where Seattle was capable of a result and lost. They were not dominated. But, it is still a loss and next Friday's game increases in importance as many in the League will be down men for international friendlies, while Seattle will be a week closer to health.

 Later this week we'll look at the Counter, and Rafa the upback.

Quotes & Stats below the break

Scoring Summary:

NY – Agudelo (Tainio) 70’

Misconduct Summary:

SEA – Hurtado (61’)


Seattle Sounders (4-4-2, right to left): Kasey Keller (captain) – James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo 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 (4-4-2, right to left): Greg Sutton – Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy MillerDane Richards (Danleigh Borman 90’), Teemu Tainio, Mehdi Ballouchy (Tony Tchani 68’), Joel Lindpere – Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry (captain)


Seattle Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid

On tonight’s match:

“I thought New York had more of the game in the first half, the possession for sure. We knew that was going to happen. I thought we created some good chances of the counterattack during the first half but at the end of the day we gave up a bad goal. We got to be better than that.”


On kicking off the season with two straight losses:

“We have to move on. The league gave us the toughest schedule to begin the season with. It’s a punishment for having good crowds, you know that’s why we end up playing the opener and we have to go again on the road. It would have been nice to only play one game but it is what it is and we know we are a better team. When we play two of the better teams in the league and show that we can play them pretty even. Now we just have to make sure that we come out with the results.”


On starting midfielder Servando Carrasco:

“I thought it gave us the best chance to win the game. We knew Carrasco could help out defensively, which is something that we needed. We knew we wanted to counter and Carrasco is one of our better long passers of the ball. He can get the ball forward and open up the counter for us. (Erik) Friberg has got a good engine and you know he can get up and down which can help us double back on (Dane) Richards, which I thought we did a good job on him for about 65 or 70 minutes and then when the game opened up and he got some chances.




On tonight’s match:

“Tough match. We can see once again that whoever doesn’t score gets scored on and that’s the truth.”


On the difference between the first and second half of the game:

“We lost possession of the ball in the second half. We gave up on the counterattack which is the way we wanted to play and they managed to score a lone goal that gives them the victory and the three points.”


On the next match versus Houston:

“We have to come up with a new game plan and we have to win. We have got to keep our head up and realize that this is not the end. We have to keep on moving forward. We have done some good things on the pitch but it is obviously not enough. We have got to give more.”


On his hopes of being called up to the Colombian National Team:

“I have to get back to my highest level, two games have passed and I want to score. If that’s enough to go back to the National Team then I will welcome it. Every Colombian player wishes he can wear the jersey for the National Team.”




On tonight’s match:

“You know it’s up and down. They ran us over the field the first 25 minutes and then we settled in a little bit. In the second half, I felt that we had a better level of play but we missed on some chances and they capitalized on one of theirs. It’s frustrating and tough to swallow but we have a new game next week so we have to move on.”


On how the team can move on to face Houston:

“Finish our chances. We are going to come up with chances and we have to do better defensively keeping them off the board so that we can give ourselves a chance to sneak one at the end for three points.”


On coming back to New York:

“It’s beautiful. It’s nice. It’s good to be back. It’s even better to see they have a great stadium and a great crowd and I look forward to playing here in the future.”





On if he thought the missed penalty kick by Thierry Henry early on would come back in hurt the team:

“Yeah, it happens in most of the games. We started very well in the first 15 to 20 minutes. [We] missed a penalty but, anyhow, created some decent chances and then suddenly we looked a little bit wide open for Seattle’s breaks. I think they had four good, really good chances in the last 25 of the first half. In the second half, I think we controlled it in a good way. I liked our intention, the build-up, so we don’t force it too much as we did last year and fully deserved to win at the end of the day.”


On the emergence of Juan Agudelo in tonight’s game:

“Yeah, he surprised me today. We all know that he has decent pace, that he is an athlete. He is very hard to play against but I was very happy with his decision making today. In our build-up, I don’t think he had many, many lost balls or unforced errors compared to last year. He played safe now.”


On Thierry Henry’s penalty kick and who decides who takes the penalty kicks:

“In the preseason, we didn’t have that many. [Rafa] Marquez scored against Atlas from the penalty spot. I can’t remember the shootout we had against Atlante in the friendly but we scored, I think, four out of five. Normally, it is good that the captain steps up and takes the penalty after nine or 10 minutes.”


On the play of Greg Sutton:

“Great. He had some key saves in the first half. With a tricky guy like [Fredy] Montero, he’s definitely a player who can make a difference, I think he saved two or three from Montero. Yeah, he had a great game today, [Greg] Sutton.”




On scoring his first MLS Goal:

“It feels good. I know people have been saying, have been waiting for me to get that MLS goal and it’s great to do it at the opener. There’s a lot of people here. I’m just really happy.”


On the goal:

“I noticed that they had a high line and the defenders were biting a little bit behind me when I was trending toward the ball so I just cut and looked for the long ball.  It was a perfect ball by Teemu (Tainio), couldn’t have been played better.  I just tried to get my body in front of the defenders, saw the goalkeeper come out, took a shot and it was 10 times better because that’s what I was trying to do, curl it toward the far post. As a player I think that’s special, when you try to do something and it works out perfect.”


On Seattle’s defense on the goal:

“I knew he (Leo Gonzalez) was going to try to come hard, and if he would have fouled me it would have been a red card. I just tried to get in front of him and if I got fouled, I got fouled, if I didn’t get fouled I’m going to take a shot. And I was able to take a shot and score.”




On setting up Agudelo’s goal:

“I saw there was a big space behind him and he made the first cut, so all I had to do was play the ball behind the defense in front of Agudelo and he did the rest.”


On the match:

“We didn’t create that many great chances. Of course, it’s the first game of the season, you have to remember that, it’s the early days, so when guys get to know each other and play more games I think it will come more easily.  But I think when teams come here they try to close us down.  We were able to keep the ball on the ground and play the short passes. But like I said, sometimes we have to play the direct balls. We have to find the solution when to play the long ball or when to keep it on the ground.”




On his first MLS match:

“I think I played a safe game.  I wasn’t trying to do too much, it was my first game as a right back.  I played seven friendly games and none of them as a right back. Me and Rafa (Marquez), we managed to – and also the back four – I think we were pretty solid. Of course we gave away a couple of chances but that’s not only our fault, it’s a whole team and, I think we gave away a couple of too easy big chances. But in the end we controlled the game, we didn’t get dragged into too much in the way Seattle plays.”


On playing with Rafa Marquez:

“You have to listen to a guy like him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s really good at making me stay in the right positions all the time. I think we did well in the way we communicated and the way we were helping each other”.

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