Last night’s match was considerably more ugly than the previous one at Portland which is saying something because the Portland match was horrible. Instead of going through the match bit by bit, I’m going to try a new style here and breakdown some highlights from this match.
- The Almost Comeback
It looked like this would be the same deal with Portland: a very poorly played bit that puts New York at a deficit early but then they come back and walk away with a point. A goal by Dane Richards and an own goal to start the second half brought New York back to a 2-2 split after giving away two goals within the first fifteen minutes of the match. By the second goal, New York had settled down and had gone back to its dominant play — despite the 2-2 score, they had been controlling the possession of the ball by a wide margin. But control of the ball doesn’t matter when…
- You can’t defend set pieces?!
16 games into the season, and I can’t believe I still have to write about this. This New York squad cannot defend set pieces for anything. Three goals — THREE!!! — were given up on corner kick set pieces. If there’s anything this squad has been consistent about this season, it’s a) not defending set pieces well at all; b) giving up penalty kicks. Yes, I know that we’re missing Marquez and Ream and are trotting out there a makeshift defense of Mendes and Keel (yikes), but there has to be a better performance than that. I know that there is a lot of chaos, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that you really have to clear that ball, and no, getting the ball a few feet ouside the penalty area does not count as a clear. It is going to be a long second half if this continues.
- Just say “No!” to Greg Sutton
Greg Sutton has performed adequately as the back up man, but the fact that coach Hans Backe has continously given him starts in place of Bouna is mind-boggling at this point. Yes, Sutton has had several dramatic saves, especially in those two penalty kicks he defended the last two games (but, to be fair, one of those penalty kicks was given up by Sutton, so I feel that gets negated at some point). Other than that though, the guy simply does not have the range or the agility to be given starts over a healthy Coundoul. His egregious error last night on a misplay that led to Seattle’s fourth goal is simply inexcusable — if the ball is passed back to the keeper, you have to manage it. Sutton has done a decent job filling in, but it’s time to admit that starting him over Coundoul is not the right move. After last night’s match, I do not see how you start Sutton over Bouna Sunday against Chicago.
- How about that Dwayne de Rosario fella?
The guy played like an absolute beast last night despite the fact that he has basically been playing two matches a week for the last month or so now. Still, he came out of the gate running last night, and played a very aggressive and great game. Hats off to him, for being a very bright spot in a very sore game.
- Reality Check
Given last night’s state of the team roster going into the match, a loss against Seattle does not seem completely unexpected. Sure, it’s frustrating to see the team play so poorly and drop a match that they had seemingly salvaged, but keep in mind that for 60 minutes, the team went toe-to-toe with a very, very good Seattle team while missing: Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Luke Rodgers, Tim Ream, Juan Agudelo. When you realize that all of our major offensive pieces had to miss the match and we basically had Dane Richards, de Rosario and…that’s it on our front lines, you can’t help but blame lady luck for the cards drawn.
- Looking Forward
As we look to Sunday match against Chicago, things will improve a bit. The team should have Thierry Henry back from his (bogus) red card suspension (grumble grumble). Luke Rodgers still seems MIA, and his condition does not seem to have improved much, but at least having Henry back to play alongside Richards should make our offense way more potent as is. While the Gold Cup will end Saturday evening, it’s unrealistic to expect Marquez, Ream, and Agudelo to return to the team and be able to play Sunday’s match, so it looks like we will have to wait just one more match before New York is back at full strength. So be excited, it looks like our international-absences nightmare is coming to a close.
- Recap and Highlights
Go here for the video highlight reel from the match.
SEA — Erik Friberg 1 (unassisted) 11
SEA — Osvaldo Alonso 2 (unassisted) 12
NY — Dane Richards 3 (Joel Lindpere 3) 31
NY — own goal (Zach Scott) 58
SEA — Roger Levesque 1 (Leo Gonzalez 1) 67
SEA — Roger Levesque 2 (unassisted) 78
NY — Teemu Tainio (caution; Reckless Foul) 28
NY — Austin Da Luz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 50
SEA — James Riley (caution; Reckless Foul) 52
SEA — Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 60
SEA — Leo Gonzalez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
NY — Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Reckless Tackle) 93+
New York Red Bulls — Greg Sutton, Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller, Mehdi Ballouchy, Teemu Tainio (Corey Hertzog 89), Joel Lindpere, Austin Da Luz (John Rooney 79), Dane Richards, Dwayne De Rosario.
Substitutes Not Used: Sacir Hot, Mike Jones, Matt Kassel, Tyler Lassiter, Bouna Coundoul.
Seattle Sounders — Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Servando Carrasco 72), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 81), Mike Fucito (Roger Levesque 58).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ianni, Lamar Neagle, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: -Bill Dittmar; Paul Scott
4th Official: Mark Declouet
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 63 degrees