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Sounders claw back to 3-3 draw against Revs

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Defensive cracks let the Revs go up early, but the Sounders came back to secure a point

Ozzie, you magnificent bastard, we love you.
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer sent the same lineup out against the Revolution that won 3-0 in LA last weekend. Defensively, he had no real choice as many of the presumed first-choice defenders were unavailable; Roman Torres made the bench, but no sign of Chad Marshall, Oniel Fisher, or Brad Evans. The good form shown by the attack against the Galaxy surely gave Schmetzer the confidence to give them another shot against New England. The defense certainly didn’t impress, giving up two in the first half to New England and another in the second, but the constant attacking finally paid off for the Sounders as they scored three goals in the last 15 minutes to make it 3-3.

The Sounders attacked early and often, though it was one of those attacks that allowed New England to get downfield with a numerical advantage after just a few minutes. Faced with a 2v2, center back Tony Alfaro made a brilliant last-ditch slide tackle to deny Diego Fagundez. Seattle marched right back down the pitch and earned a corner after a well-worked attack, but they only earned a corner kick. The initial set piece wasn’t much, but after some slick passing near the edge of the box Cristian Roldan took an excellent shot from distance that flew just over the bar.

New England’s 3-5-2 attempted to pack the midfield and limit the effectiveness of Seattle’s creative players, but the home side exploited the space behind the Revs wingbacks often. Sounders fullbacks Joevin Jones and Jordy Delem found pockets of space in their opponents’ half that they exploited to kick off multiple promising attacks. Jordan Morris and Will Bruin both had excellent runs through on goal in the first 10 minutes, but they weren’t able to find the net.

Despite the away side’s occasional counter attacks, the run of play was mostly in Seattle’s favor for the first 15 minutes. That didn’t matter, though, in the 16th minute when Revs midfielder Daigo Kobayashi took a pretty hopeful shot from distance right at Stefan Frei; the Sounders goalkeeper looked to be making a routine block with his legs that somehow hit him and then slipped into the back of the net. Just minutes afterward, the Sounders almost equalized from a curling shot by Osvaldo Alonso, but it was parried wide by Revs keeper Cody Cropper.

Seattle tried to get back into it quickly after conceding, but the away side were much more confident and willing to attack after going up one, and the cracks in Seattle’s back line finally started to show. After a cleared corner was wasted by Clint Dempsey near the top of the box, the Revolution were able to start an easy attack as Kelyn Rowe crossed it into the box for Juan Agudelo to head into the goal and put his team up 2-0. Nicolas Lodeiro almost came through for the Sounders with a free kick in the 35th minute from a tight angle that flashed across goal to Bruin’s head before deflecting out for a corner. Seattle attacked and attacked constantly, dominating possession and completing a tremendous number of passes—but they just couldn’t turn that into worthwhile chances on goal.

The second half was much of the same, though a little more open in the first few minutes. Sounders (yet again) nearly scored through Alonso, whose volley smacked off the crossbar. Dempsey had a free kick a few minutes later that didn’t make it past the well, springing another counter from the visitors that was ultimately stopped by a last ditch block from Gustav Svensson. Just minutes later the Revs pushed back down the field and caught Seattle’s defense off guard; they pushed downfield with a 3v1 that was easily slotted in by Agudelo in the 54th minute.

Unsurprisingly, Seattle nearly broke through yet again in minute 64 after a silky through ball from Dempsey to Morris, but his ultimate shot—get this—bounces off the post. Morris may have taken a knock on that play, as he stayed down for a couple minutes before picking himself up and walking around pretty gingerly. He was soon substituted off for Harry Shipp as the Sounders tried to push for three (!) goals to rescue a point.

The home side continued their first-half trend of maintaining a ton of possession high up the pitch, but even when they were able to work the ball into the box not a single player could get a clean shot. At one point, Cropper parried the ball into a sea of Sounders players, who passed and took blocked shots multiple times before New England finally cleared it away. Just a few minutes after that, a dangerous shot from Jones was parried by Cropper.

It took nearly 75 minutes, but the Sounders finally broke through and scored a goal after Lodeiro’s shot from the middle of the box deflected off a Revs defender and past a wrong-footed Cropper into the back of the net. 3-1 with 15 minutes left in regular time. The Sounders pushed and pushed, while the Revolution wasted as much time as possible. Seattle’s desperation showed when Schmetzer brought on the recently healthy Roman Torres in the 84th minute in attempt to get the goals they need.

Seattle’s cross-heavy strategy, whether intentional from kickoff or not, finally paid off as they broke through yet again with just minutes to go. Jones crossed high into the box for Bruin to nod it past Cropper and make it 3-2 in the 86th minute. The Sounders were barely finished celebrating when they charged back down the pitch; Lodeiro curled the ball in from the right flank to Alonso, who headed it down and past Cropper from the six-yard box to tie it up in the 88th minute.