MLS- Seattle Sounders

Agudelo's first MLS goal leads Red Bulls past Sounders

Juan Agudelo (ISIPhotos.com) 

Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

For all the hype surrounding Juan Agudelo heading into the 2011 MLS season it was easy to overlook the fact that he had yet to score an MLS goal.

That changed Saturday night, with the 18-year old delivering his first score in dramatic fashion, finishing off a strong run with a pin-point finish to help the Red Bulls post a 1-0 victory against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.

The goal delivered a well-earned win for a Red Bulls side that dominated possession but failed to produce as many dangerous chances as a Sounders side content to counter-attack.

After squandering several chances, including a Thierry Henry penalty kick saved by Kasey Keller, the Red Bulls finally broke through in the 70th minute when Teemu Tainio sent a long ball to Agudelo, who raced past Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and muscled off Nelson Gonzalez before firing a shot past Keller for his first career MLS goal.

The Red Bulls started strongly and looked ready to take an early lead when Agudelo drew a penalty after being tripped up by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Henry took the spot kick and hit a hard shot Keller stopped with a diving one-handed save.

Seattle had its share of chances, mainly on the counterattack, but missed chances and some clutch saves from Red Bulls goalkeeper Greg Sutton kept the Sounders scoreless.

Seattle nearly equalized late on a Montero free kick, but the rebound fell to a wide open Lamar Neagle, who shanked a clear look from close range.

The night was a good showcase for New York's new faces, including Tainio and right back Jan Gunnar Solli, who both impressed. Sutton, who was chosen as a starter over a healthy Bouna Coundoul, rewarded the team's confidence in him by making key saves and cleanly handling possession when teammates sent him passes.

Seattle's offense found chances, but struggled to apply consistent pressure without winger Steve Zakuani, who missed the match with an injury. Right winger Alvaro Fernandez showed promise after a slow start, while Erik Friberg had a quiet night in his second MLS match.

Here are the match highlights:

Seattle will look for its first win on Friday against Houston, while New York returns to action on Saturday against Columbus at Crew Stadium on Saturday.

 What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Red Bulls? Still worried about Henry's injury issues? Think the Sounders are in dire need of some attacking reinforcements? 

Share your thoughts below. 

  • The Dude

    These are my two teams, so to see them play each other is a real nail-biter. I thought NY deserved to win. Henry looked very lively and had several excellent passes. (I hope his hamstring is okay), and basically everyone on the team looked sharp, including Tainio, who is obviously the man in midfield. Agudelo is clearly the real deal, and he best keep Rodgers on the bench. On balance, Seattle played well, creating more clear-cut chances. Montero should have buried 1 or 2 of them. El Flaco was great, but Zakuani was definitely missed. The two poor showings were Parke and White, who just aren’t good enough, IMHO. White looks out of his league in MLS. I’m hoping to see Rosales paired with Montero against Houston.


  • cajun

    Well said The Dude, NYRB certainly had the run of play throughout and Agudelos goal was fantastic. That said, the patchwork Sounders had many more legit chances in this game and Sutton was much more busy than Keller. Montero could have easily had 2 and Neagle shanked a sitter at the death. I thought Parke played great, it was Hurtado that gave up the PK and was beaten (along with Gonzales) on the Agudelo winner….Entertaining match nonetheless, no full house on First Kick was definately a downer though…


  • Daniel

    Parke was definately the stronger of the CBS. He was clutch in a number of instances. I thought Flaco was looking dangerous before he was subbed. He did appear winded but who knows. That said, Seattle is substantially better with Zakuani. Obien white has looked average at best and I question Sigis sub choices. I know we are injured right now but Levesque just isn’t the type of player you need to jump start an offense. Hold a lead, yes. We need a goal in 2011, I’m hoping it comes soon.


  • mikey

    Parke was arguably one of the best Sounders on the pitch tonight.

    There is so much talent on that Red Bull team, it’s scary. They’re entertaining to watch though. O’brian White is picking up where he left off at TFC – dude should have never left college. Ever.

    The Sounders miss the baby giraffe, bad. It’s obvious.


  • Jose

    Very nice! Charlie Davies, Juan Aguadelo, Jozy, etc, is too early to say US Nats are starting to get more strikers in the waiting room 🙂


  • abc

    These are your two teams?

    Do you also root for casinos to take money from poor uneducated old people on social security?


  • Richard, UK

    Agudelo shrugged off Leo Gonzalez. Nelson Gonzalez is with Salt Lake.

    Bit of morning pedantry. Lovely.


  • Chris

    Looked like RBNY shooting practice at the start of the game. Seattle should have had 2 at least, but so should RBNY. Agudelo is one strong dude.

    I can’t get over Sutton > Coundoul. Sutton looked pretty awkward in USOC games last year.


  • Brett

    Watching Seattle is frustrating to me. I have no geographical or historical reason to support them, but I like them and want them to do well because of their fan support. They frustrate me because they seem to have good passing control and movement off the ball, but they choke up in the final third. Almost no quality there.


  • Adam M.

    Agudelo was dangerous and creative all night. Henry was solid all around, though you want him to be in position to shoot more. Keller made a tremendous save on Henry’s penalty. Tchani came on as a sub and was an immeidately noticeable improvement in every respect over Ballouchy. Sutton had a fine game, as did Ream and Marequez (and the new signings). The crowd was over 20K, but not a sell-out (they can’t seem to get the wings of the upper deck sold, but there are no bad seats in the place). On the other hand, it was bone chilling frigid. Finally, nice to see the Red Bulls logo visible on top of the stadium at the main entrance. An attractice addition that was indicated for a while in Red Bulls press about the Arena (which, if you haven’t been, is truly spectacular except for the absurdly long concession lines).


  • StevenG

    I feel kinda bad for Bouna. Had a career year last go round, and then gets benched. What’s a guy to do? lol


  • Ron

    Great Day for American strikers in MLS and hopes this translates well for the USMNT soon…

    CD9 looked like CD9 in 2009 on that second goal….

    Agudelo is learning from the best w/ Henry and it showed last night – drawing a PK and having the physicality to fend off Gonzales and score the goal….

    Cooper shouldn’t be written off just yet – even though the Timbers got shellacked in their debut.

    Now if Jozy can start scoring, Omar can get FIFA clearance to play for the W’Caps, and Teal can come strong from his injury, things might get interesting in the USMNT striker pool

    Keep up the good work!


  • chris

    after watching both of seattle’s games i have to say Leo Gongzalez really blows


  • Troy

    I froze my butt off in red bulls arena last night but it was a great game all around. RB defense was shaky (and super lucky) but when it came time, Agudelo sealed the deal.

    What I am struck by is how confident he is. He seems to play like a veteran.

    Also, Teemu Tainio is a great, and I mean great player. I am very pleased with that signing. He had the long ball assist to Agudelo and countless good plays and a fantastic workrate. Hope he stays long term.


  • Dainja

    Can I get an AAAAAA-MEN on the concession lines??? sweet jesus. I once lost almost the whole second half in the KC game last year, cuz I was waiting on my food. Ridiculous.

    (puts down the glass of Haterade)

    Ok, but bump that, yesterday was incredible day for USMNT fans after an awful start (Holden, Lichaj, Chandler). And though Charlie’s game bout brought tears to my eyes, to me, it was Agudelo’s goal that most impressed me. When knew Juan had ball skills and speed…BUT POWER?? Kid is pretty skinny and only 18? and yet he straight BODY CHECKED that Seattle defender like a hockey player. Wow. As both a Red Bulls fan and US fan…I’ve caught the vapors like Biz.


  • inkedAG

    It was quite a cold night at RBA. Agudelo’s goal was a good goal. I loved how he muscled off his defender.
    SAs an Arsenal fan, I can’t believe I’m thinking this, but Thierry Henry is disappointing me. He’s heading into the direction of Claudio Reyna 2.0


  • Happy Camper

    Juan Agudelo is the best Colombian born player in very long time. It is the pride of Colombia.



  • Darwin

    I’ll never understand why people can’t go 90+ minutes without eating nasty, unhealthy, overpriced garbage. I swear I saw an $8.00 Miller High Life at a game. WTFIT?


  • Tony

    I think it bodes well for Juan’s game going forward (from this point on). It has been said by footballing minds greater than mine that Jhon Kennedy Hurtado is the best 1-v-1 marker in MLS, he proved it on Tuesday with a good performance vs. L. A., against what may be inferior competition no doubt, yet, from reports, Agudelo was consistently beating him last night … so what does that say about Agudelo’s play?


  • Crosebud

    I was one of the late arrivals at the game last night (I need to work out how long the commute via PATH will actually take). What really surprises me over the past two seasons is what good football RBNY is playing. Seriously as I watched Seattle’s clumsy traps, long passes out of bounds and frequent loss of possession I thought, boy the Red Bulls looked like that (much of MLS looked like that)only two or three years ago. Seattle played with about nine guys in the defensive third and depended on counter attacking play to generate all of their offense. I remember Dane Richards and Jozy Altidore attacking the same way a few years back. Anyhow, Red Bulls played a very beautiful game last night glad to see truly good play in MLS!


  • ciscokid

    “(which, if you haven’t been, is truly spectacular except for the absurdly long concession lines).”

    As a Seattle fan working in NYC this week I was thrilled to get a chance to check out this new “Jewel” of MLS Stadiums. I don’t mean to come off as a hater but i thought it was really a very poor fan experience.

    The good part is the actual game experience: Great pitch, seats right on top of action, not a bad seat in the house…truly a great place to watch a game.

    But everything else seemed substandard to me. The concourses are narrow and virtually impossible to negotiate because they put so many stands and kiosks next to each other, fans are lined up across the concourse choking traffic. The bathrooms are porrly designed to have minimum folks lined up inside and maximum lined up into the concourse, futher making traffic impossible.

    The food options semmed very pedestrian and corporate to me. There’s no real fan experience going on except the game itself. No buzz, nothing. Even the pregame for Opening night was non-existent. No build up and sense of anticipation. 20 minutes of canned music, introductions and we’re off.

    While I’m not a fan of the marketed totally canned experience, the Red Bull FO just don’t seem able to be bothered to even try.

    Last 2 points: from an outsider perspective, the stadium location feels very foreboding and unwelcoming. Rundown, no shops, restaurants, hardly even streetlights. Not a place I want to come back to again and again. Hopefully they have some plans to develop that surrounding area.

    And where were the fans? No way 21,000 in the house last night. Maybe 15K tops. That’s disappointing.

    Overall: the game experience is an A, but the total fan experience is probably a C- or D.

    All that said, it was an entertaining game and the folks in NJ/NY have a fun team to support. I hope they start to.


  • ciscokid

    As a seattle fan I’m forced to agree with your observations regarding both teams. Sigi insists Seattle will always play uptempo “beautiful game” football but with the injuries and short week, he obviously chose a conservative strategy that was almost doomed to fail from the moment of the opening kick.

    What I saw from NY in the first half is what we’ve been promised in Seattle. We get glimpses but still waiting for the real deal.


  • Machista Gay

    Sutton was a struggle, old man did not “cleanly handling possession when teammates sent him passes”….Guy made the crowd nervous


  • hudson

    Note to Bob Bradley: Juan Agudelo is the real deal. Let’s forget all the talk about bringing him along slowly–the kid can flat out play and deserves a starting spot in the U.S. lineup in Saturday’s friendly against Argentina. After all, the game’s being played in the Red Bulls own backyard so Agudelo should feel right at home.


  • Hopper

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about with Parke. He was always in the right position and broke up several NY attacks. He was Seattle’s best player last night. El Flaco was the one who disappointed.


  • canchon

    I was also at the game last night and also left most impressed with the midfield control and distribution by Tainio – as the DM sitting in front of the back four, he was constantly controlling the play and keeping the ball moving. He was fantastic.

    One thing I noticed about RB’s defense is that although Ream and Rafa are great distributors, it looked like Seattle’s plan was to try to beat them with speed, and almost succeeded. I remember one instance where Rafa just watched a Sounder blow by him. The defense is organized, though.

    Whereas Tainio controlled the bottom of the diamond, Ballouchy seemed like he was trying to do too much at the top, and his passing was off. He should have been subbed out at the half.

    It is clear how RB wants to play as a possession-based side, which is enjoying to watch. Funny though that their goal was pure Route 1 – long ball over the top. Class finish by Agudelo.


  • timmy75

    Great way to start the season for NYRB. Juanito is the truth for sure. Confused also about how Sutton starts over Bouna. I have to agree w/ our out of town guest, for a such a beautiful viewing experience for a game, the concessions are an absolute joke, and the people that staff them are even worse. BS corporate, disgusting food, a shame to the NYC area, and neighboring portugese population. they have to figure out a way to make the experience better, and def have to remodel the joke of a PATH train station where 10K people have to funnel through three friggin turnstyles, gotta be some sort of fire code violations or something??? thanks for letting me rant. GO NYRB!!


  • GSScasual

    LOL are you comparing every OTHER team as poor uneducated elderly???? LOL thanks for the compliment…. COYRB


  • GSScasual

    You being from seattle, i’ll give your a slight break…. but if you think there was nothing around there….well good.. cuz the hundreds of authentic portuguese, spanish, brazilian restaraunts/bars will now be free from outsiders for now… As for the stadium, the FO built this and managed it as EVERY stadium in europe… perhaps you enjoy a fat guy selling cotton candy walk up and down the rows, or other disgusting american football stadium experience…. but we are here to watch the game. and the game was sold out, but only 21000 showed up. that was correct.


  • Set

    The real deal because he scored ONE goal in MLS?!?!? Simmer down dude!!! He has bags of potential but he needs to be brought along slowly for him to reach his full potential!!!


  • Troy

    Um…talk to me 5 to 10 games into the season. If it wasn’t for Keller’s good guess I doubt you would be saying that about Henry.


  • Troy

    As long as the average attendance keeps rising I think they are on the right track. They aren’t going to go from 10K average to 22K in 12 months without signing an entire team of EPL and Liga all-stars.


  • ciscokid

    Guess I can’t let that mis-impression stand. There are wonderful restaurants with great Portuguese and Brasilian food in the greater area. I understand that. And you’re making my point for me. You may not want outsiders at those restaurants but the restaurants sure as hell want outsiders. It’s the heart of the argument that stadiums and teams spur economic development, tourism, jobs etc.

    So why is the stadium set up to not better take advantage of the situation? I was referring to the actual land immediately surrounding the stadium.

    Walking from one of those restaurants, especially in that cold, is not exactly convenient, but I was surprised that the stadium exists sort of in the middle of a giant vacant field or something. It just looks abandoned and rundown. Like I said, I hope there’s a plan to develop that area…maybe practice fields or an Academy or some mixed retail combining restaurants and shops. I’m not putting anyone down, I was making observations.

    And it’s quite silly to say the staduim is designed to be euro-authentic. Seriously? I agree the stands and pitch are great, but to an objective outsider, the concourse, food choices, facilities etc are subpar to other stadiums I’ve been to in MLS. I hate cotton candy and I never buy beer from vendors, but without them at RB stadium it seems you’ll have to be prepared to miss 20 minutes of running clock. How’s that a positive experience for fans?

    You have every right to be proud of having a SSS, but you should also be prepared to confront your FO and not settle for conditions that take away from your experience as a fan. You’re paying top dollar to line their pockets. Get your money’s worth. Or is that not a euro-authentic position?

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the attendance. Red Bulls were offering 50% discount on tix yesterday so they obviously were having issues selling out. A redbulls fan next to me told me it looked like maybe 15-17K to him.

    So maybe next year I’ll come out for a game, you’ll take me to your favorite area restuarant and give me the full tour. I’ll treat.


  • Mikey

    that was supposed to be the reason they drafted Tetteh, but we haven’t seen anything from him since draft day :facepalm:


  • Joamiq

    If you didn’t think there was anything in terms of “fan experience” outside the stadium last night, you must have been at a different game.

    The food options are worse this year. For whatever reason, they seem to have gotten rid of the better choices.

    The surrounding area hasn’t been developed yet. It’s in the works.


  • TBE

    Sorry, but as a long-time RB/Metro season ticketholder, I have to agree with ciscokid. I was really disappointed with the lack of just about anything(other than cheesy fireworks during the national anthem)to suggest it was opening night.

    A dude doing wheelies on a motorcycle?
    A gigantic SUV thingy with some guy spinning awful music? All to advertise the Red Bull brand.

    And the comments about there not being anything there around the stadium is actually right on. You’re talking about a 10-15 minute walk over to the Ironbound. Sure, that’s fun. But if you exit at Harrison, a first timer would say, “What the F is this?”


  • Mark

    I grudgingly missed the game on Saturday night due to family commitments, but I think it’s worth mentioning that the ground surrounding the stadium will be developed. The original plan was to have restaurants/bars, shops, condos, etc.. I’m guessing the economic downturn impacted the development, but due to the transportation options there with the Path train and Newark Penn just over the bridge, someone will develop that area. That’s why there aren’t any parking lots but rather fenced off open spaces.

    Eric Stover sent out an apology letter to season ticket holders earlier today about the poor service and promised a makegood. I’ll be interested to see what they got rid of and what, if anything has been added.


  • Large Johnson

    Tainio’s ball was world-class. Agudelo’s finish was strong and accurate, but without that pinpoint lob onto his foot, he never gets the chance to be off to the races.


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