A draw that feels like a loss isn't common in Seattle Sounders history. Especially not after last year's last minute heroics. This isn't last year. In 2012 the Sounders are -3 during the final 15 minutes of play. Not only did they give up that last goal to tie, when Seattle gives up the first goal in an MLS game they are now 0-5-4. The highlights show that from the start there was again miscommunication on the backline. While the assistant referee missed the offside nature of the Saer Sene on his goal, Seattle's defenders had let he and other attacking New England Revolution players get open inside the box a few times already. The mix & match defense that was a strength at the quarterpole is now a weakness.
When you watch the video just rewatch Eddie Johnson's performance again. Goal one is set-up through a brilliant pass by Mauro Rosales (as good as he's looked all year) and a great run by EJ. He nodded the ball down nicely and evened it up. His second goal though was pure power and athleticism. More tightly marked than on the previous play, he rose up over Soares and Reis by about a foot. The force behind his header could have beat a second keeper if one was there. This was not Eddie Johnson the poacher. This was not Eddie Johnson of singular flash. This was the Eddie Johnson that left MLS in 2007.
Seattle had troubles though. They played a more conservative game. Possession, Duels, Pass Completion, Shots, Open Play Crosses, just about every measure was against them. If they'd won they would have done so despite being the worse team on the 90 minutes. Except fouls, Seattle delivered more of those.
Johnson addresses that a bit in his quotes. Seattle is focusing less on their traditional playing style and formation, instead they are trying to fight out results. Sigi addresses the need to bunker is brought about not due to having a goal lead on the road, but because of the loss of a sub compounding the weary legs from the total number of games within a short stretch. Perhaps, if Andrew Weber plays the full match Seattle sticks with the first half tactics that were working. Then again, the Revolution would have played differently too.
A draw that continues the winless streak. Now at eight games with four points the Sounders look to their next challenge at Real Salt Lake on the 4th of July.
NE - Saer Sene (Blake Brettschneider) 12'
SEA - Eddie Johnson (Mauro Rosales) 23'
SEA - Eddie Johnson (Marc Burch) 36'
NE - Diego Fagundez (Fernando Cardenas) 90+4'
Seattle Sounders FC: Andrew Weber (Bryan Meredith 46), Adam Johansson, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Brad Evans (Alvaro Fernandez 56), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Leo Gonzalez 80), Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes Not Used: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa, Cordell Cato.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Johnson 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Johnson 2); FOULS: 20 (Rosales 5); OFFSIDE: 5 (Johnson 4); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Rosales 2); SAVES: 2 (Meredith, Weber 1).
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Florian Lechner (Diego Fagundez 81), A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms (Kelyn Rowe 70), Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Blake Brettschneider (Fernando Cardenas 71).
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Sainey Nyassi, Darrius Barnes.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Sene 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players, 1); FOULS: 8 (Soares 2); OFFSIDE: 1 (Brettschneider 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Tierney 3); SAVES: 1 (Reis 1).
SEA - Andy Rose (caution) 18'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 50'
SEA - Leo Gonzalez (caution) 90'
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, James Conlee
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Clear and 81 degrees
All Statistics contained in the boxscore are unoffical.
MLS POSTGAME QUOTES
Seattle Sounders FC at New England Revolution
June 30, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
I think the game was an emotional game, obviously. And what we did, when we came out we changed up, obviously, you could see what we did tactically and took advantage. And we scored and I thought we could have scored again. I thought we could’ve had two, three goals in the first couple of minutes. And then we made two mistakes and they scored two goals, and the rest of the game was trying to get back in. Credit our guys – they keep believing we can get back in games. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win, but it’s better than zero points. We’ll take the one.
Tactically, I don’t know if you guys noticed, we went with a little tactical shift. I thought that by putting Saer (Sène) wider, it opened up some space for him and it paid dividends right away when he almost could’ve scored. But unfortunately as the game went on, we made the exact same mistakes we made in Toronto. And believe me, we worked on that all week, so that’s even more frustrating.
(Tonight’s formation) was more to open it up so Saer (Sène) didn’t have to get a knee up his back all the time, and to get into a spot offensively. We felt that Flo (Lechner) – it was Saer’s job to take the outside back and Flo was to cover the … wide midfielder. But I thought that, tactically, things were going our way. We didn’t get close enough on a cross, unfortunately, on the second one, it was bad all the way around. It was bad pressure, it was bad by Matt Reis, he’s got to come out and get that, and A.J. (Soares) can put a body on. So there’s three guys who’re at fault.
Did I sub the kitchen sink in at one point? I think if you noticed, we tried to play up through them. So rather than just bringing in just bodies, we wanted to try to piece them apart because they were sound defensively. I didn’t think we were going to get a goal on a header – and I didn’t think it was going to be Diego (Fagundez) on a header – but I thought that we were going to pick them apart and we had a lot of chances to do so … we certainly should’ve had more from this game.
It also had a lot to do with (Osvaldo) Alonso. You’ve got to give respect where respect’s due. Alonso is a good midfielder and he basically plays the position of two players out there. And they can lean on him. So we didn’t want Benny (Feilhaber) to go man-on-man with him and have to defend Alonso going forward and back. So we went with two defensive midfielders allowing Benny to be where he was and free to get the ball. But Benny did put a good clip in defensively and in the second half had more energy it looked like to orchestrate. He almost got through there at the end a couple of times when he was moving, but he had a lot of legs left. And that’s why we wanted to have that triangle in the middle.
I think it shows a good resolve. It shows that we have that instinct that says, “uh uh, not today – we’re going to fight to the end.” Unfortunately, the two games were almost mirror images of each other – to give up two unanswered goals on two headers. To me, it makes my blood boil – not blood boil, that’s a bad expression. It makes me upset that because we work on those things and it’s not anything other than owning up to it. Owning it’s coming in and you’ve got to do better … it’s just got to be on the player at that point.
He was sharp. He’s been sharp all week and he was sharp last week. He was due. He was due. I wanted to get him in earlier, but I didn’t want to over-sub. Sometimes you just sub, sub, sub, sub. Sometimes you want to stagger the subs.
New England Revolution forward Saer Sene
I had the first action, but I didn’t score. On the second one, Blake (Brettschneider) did well and I scored. After that they scored … and then we scored a goal at the end. We’re lucky we scored one in the end.
I think (Seattle) only had two chances to score today, and personally, I had two good chances to score. Normally we have to win this game today. If you start to play like in the second half, I think we score maybe four or five.
We let them score. The concentration on the two goals … we have to be careful for that in the next game. The good point is we kept going and we scored at the end. It is nice. We got one point.
Today we played with one striker, and I played on the right side. This is a position I feel good, on my left foot. This is not new for me. We do it well. If we start the game like in the second half, we will win this game. I have a lot of options, I can go inside on my left foot or play in my right back. We will see next game.
New England Revolution forward Diego Fagundez
Yeah it’s been a while actually … the first thing (Jay Heaps) said of course was, “You go in there, this is your night and let’s get the first goal of this year right now” … It was a good ball by Fernando (Cardenas). He does his little moves, beat the defender, crossed it, and Saer (Sène) went near post. He was trying to go for the header, got fouled and I just followed through behind him. It was there.
I don’t know where Fernando was going; it could have gone either way. But we scored so that’s all that matters right now … I don’t think it’s about battle, I think it’s about whoever gets the ball first. So usually when I’m looking for that spot I’m looking to get open instead of (trying to) hit the defender. So I’m open, at least.
When you’re losing the first thing you think is let’s go forward and let’s try scoring. So going into the 81st minute, I was thinking we need to score. I just gave it all I had.
Last year, I had a good goal against Seattle. This year I get another goal, so I guess this is a step forward right now. I’m going to keep working hard in practice and keep going forward.
Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid
Obviously, it's a difficult game for us. We play a ton of games, playing on Sunday and coming back and playing on Tuesday and then flying cross-country and playing here, it puts a big burden on the team physically. So I was very pleased with how we responded. I was pleased with how we responded in the first half, in the second half, and we did what we had to do.
You don't expect to have to make a goalkeeper sub so that would have given me one more field sub. We could have brought on fresh legs. I think you saw a lot of tired people out there at the end. Andy Rose played 90 minutes on Tuesday in a very hard-fought game, when (Alex) Caskey got out, he was pretty tired as well. Mauro (Rosales) was tired. Eddie Johnson was pretty tired at the end. So if we had one more sub that could have made a difference for us, as well.
(Eddie Johnson) did well. We thought we could open up their center backs and we did. Two good crosses - one from Mauro (Rosales), one from Marc Burch, and two good headers by Eddie who put us in the position to win the game.
We felt (Marc Burch) could get forward on that side because (Saer) Sene doesn't defend as much on that side, so we felt we could get a little forward on the left hand side. And he obviously served a great ball.
We didn't give up the first goal against San Jose, but playing from behind is obviously difficult. But we came back today and we got ourselves on top. But it's just a situation like I said. In the second half, we have to do what we have to do in terms of (not having) the legs anymore to be able to get forward, our fitness and travel and everything else. They moved the ball well and they created spaces and created openings and we have to bunker in and defend. That was a reflection of where we're at right now physically with the amount of games we played.
Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso
It's really hard, to be winning 2-1 and then they score in the last minute. But now we have to focus on the next game and move forward.
We just played a team that was ready to play. I think everybody had the opportunity to play a full 90 minutes, so I think today is a little disappointing with the tie. Now we look forward to our next game against Salt Lake.
We just stayed thinking positively and we played with energy, we played with passion. We know we are team that's able to play good soccer and beat that team. We came back and we scored two goals and unfortunately they scored in the last minute, and we're just disappointed in that.
(Eddie Johnson) was good. He scored two great goals - two headers so we're happy for that. He's going to be scoring more goals for us, so that's really good for us.
We should have gotten out of this game with a win, and we have a good team to win. So we just have to look forward. We play good enough to win and we showed last year that we can do it.
Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson
I was talking to the boys, and the goals don’t mean anything if we’re not winning when we score goals.
It’s just something we practice on, the out-back passing forward, back and then out wide. One of our strengths is getting the ball out wide and serving the ball in the box. We’ve got guys who can score, who are dangerous on crosses. We’re a big team and were playing to our strengths, and we kind of went from playing to our strengths as the game went on.
We’re all just fighting right now. We know it’s not going to be pretty soccer anymore. We got to go away from the style that this team’s known to play and win games scrapping, and fighting and battling. We showed character coming from behind, but at the same time, a draw doesn’t mean anything if your 20 seconds away, leading 2-1. It doesn’t mean anything, not really. This is a competitive league. Any time you can steal three points you’ve got to take the three points. I’m not just saying that cause I’m scoring goals now. It’s just that mentality within our team. We got to find ways to win games. We’re not finding ways to win games, you know? We just keep putting pressure on ourselves; it’s frustrating. You look around the locker room at the guys and it hurts. We’re going out and putting everything in and we’re just making mistakes at the end.