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Sounders at New York Red Bulls, recap: Attempted theft thwarted early

Daniel Royer and Bradley Wright-Philips put RBNY up 2, and then Harry Shipp made the score look respectable even if it shouldn’t have been.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at New York Red Bulls
New York Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Royer (77) scores a goal against Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei (24) during first half at Red Bull Arena.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

It looked like a formation and strategy set-up to absorb the New York Red Bulls attack early and then start to pounce. Head coach Brian Schmetzer ran the Seattle Sounders out in a 5-4-1 with a midfield that, in its proper state, should be able to pass through the Red Bulls press. They failed at that and the defense, especially the left side, failed to absorb. Seattle went into halftime fortunate to not be down three or four goals.

At the half Schmetzer started to deploy his attacking talent. Clint Dempsey entered at for Tony Alfaro. Harry Shipp earned 31 minutes. Magnus Wolff Eikrem played the final twelve minutes. It wasn’t enough of an attack. It wasn’t even all that much better than the first half. BWP netted his goal a few minutes before Shipp came on, so the attacking subs were chasing a two-goal deficit. Shipp notched his first MLS goal of the year, but that goal only created a 2-1 loss and false hope.

Key Moments

Red Bulls pounded that left side defense in the first half. They knew where the weakness would be with Francis and Alfaro shielded by an Alonso who has lost a step. In that first half eleven of their fifteen passes that originated in the final third were from the left side of Seattle’s defense. It wasn’t a surprise that a goal came from play in that area.

Talking Points

Two Good

  • Will Bruin will play through any kind of pain. I’m certain he’d volunteer as tribute.
  • Stefan Frei set a personal record with 11 saves.

Four Bad

  • In a defensive alignment it cannot be the defense that fails.
  • Per 538 the Sounders over-performed expected Goals.
  • Alonso did not appear to be fully fit yet.
  • Bruin is clearly still injured.


1st half in 5-4-1: Stefan Frei; Waylon Francis, Tony Alfaro, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-Hee, Jordan McCrary; Victor Rodriguez, Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro; Will Bruin

2nd half in 4-2-3-1: Frei; Francis, Marshall, Kim, McCrary (Wolff 78’); Alonso (Shipp 59’), C Roldan; Rodriguez, Dempsey (46’), Lodeiro; Bruin


37’ Royer (Valot, Kutler)

52’ Wright-Phillips (Kutler, Davis)

87’ Shipp (Bruin, Francis)


Man of Match at New York Red Bulls

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Stefan Frei
    (266 votes)
  • 14%
    Kim Kee-Hee
    (60 votes)
  • 4%
    Cristian Roldan
    (19 votes)
  • 17%
    Harry Shipp
    (71 votes)
416 votes total Vote Now

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