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Sutton error highlights wild night in Seattle

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Greg Sutton had a night to forget at CenturyLink Field — to put it lightly.  

The New York goalkeeper not only allowed four goals on the night but gaffed in a bad way in the 78th to condemn his side to a 4-2 defeat in front of 46,065 fans in Seattle.  

Sutton was caught napping in possession just outside his own area by Sounders super sub Roger Levesque, who subsequently robbed the ball from the error-prone stopper and slotted home for the hosts and the final scoreline.

"I thought we stepped up and did what we had to in order to win.  We capitalized on a mistake by their goalkeeper and being able to get three points at home is a great feeling.  It was very important," said head coach Sigi Schmid.

The error capped off what would have already been a dramatic night in the Pacific Northwest.

A fan favorite, Levesque had previously found the score sheet to put his side back on top of clash as nodded home a Gonzalez corner in the 68th minute to put the hosts in pole position for all three points.  The corner came following a good save from Sutton on an Alonso effort.

But Levesque was quick to downplay his brace on the night.

"On the first one, Leo whipped in a great ball and I was lucky to get a head on it.  We always talk about getting a guy to that near post on corners.  The second was just running and putting pressure on the goalie.  Fortunately, tonight was one of those nights where I got into good spots and the ball went in," said Levesque on the goals.

"I'm so proud of him.  Nobody works harder.  You love to see good people have success.  Sometimes when it's your day, it's your day," said captain Kasey Keller.

The goals were the two first for Levesque this season, but he wasn't the only one to open his account against the Red Bulls.

The action got underway early at the newly-named CenturyLink Field with Erik Friberg opening up the scoring in just the 11 minutes for his first goal of the MLS season.  The Swedish midfielder had been out with injury for several weeks and rewarded coach Sigi Schmid with a classy turn and finish to Sutton's far post following a weak clearance following a corner.

But the early fracas wasn't over as fan favorite Osvaldo Alonso struck a full volley just one minute later, again off a poor corner kick clearance.  The goal is the second in three games for the Cuban, both of which were left footed.

New York, having started sluggishly, steadily grew into the game, eventually resulting in a quality goal from Dane Richards.  Having just returned from international duty, there were questions about the Jamaican's fitness, but he answered them with aplomb when he found the top corner of Kasey Keller's side net to bring his side back into the game.  Keller got a hand to the shot but couldn't do enough to keep it out of the net.  

The Red Bulls continued to push Seattle, control large portions of possession and look likely to draw level on several occasions in the first half.  They would eventually, but it would have to wait until after the break to do so.

A revamped back line from the Sounders paid dividends for the visitors when Jan Gunnar Solli skipped past Leo Gonzalez with a little too much ease and fired a cross into the box that took a deflection off Seattle's Zach Scott to equalize for New York in the 58th.

But it wasn't meant to be for New York, and the team fell apart late in the game.  Though Richards caused the Seattle back line problems all night, the presence of Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers, and Juan Agudelo was sorely missed by Hans Backe and the Red Bulls.  Furthermore, the calming presence of Tim Ream and Rafa Marquez would have undoubtedly improved the visitor's odds of producing a result in Seattle.  Nobody will be happier to welcome back the star players than Backe.

A former Red Bull, Seattle defender Jeff Parke came into the match with a chip on his shoulder after enjoying five successful seasons in New York before being suspended 10 games for using banned substances. Parke had stated previously that he felt like the club abandoned him following the incident. It was an emotional night for the defender and he had to be separated from Dwayne de Rosario following the final whistle after the latter came in late on Parke near the end of the game.  

Seattle entered the game on a high following a dramatic late victory in Toronto through Fredy Montero free kick, but New York went on its own roller coaster ride after a hectic 90 minutes in Portland. Captain Thierry Henry was controversially sent off after scoring a beautiful goal to put his team back in contention. 

The red card meant that New York was without Henry, Rodgers (injury), Agudelo (Gold Cup), Ream (Gold Cup) and Marquez (Gold Cup).  It was, however, able to welcome back Jamaican ace Dane Richards and threw him straight into the Starting XI.

The result sees Seattle rise into the second spot in the West, just ahead of FC Dallas on goal difference, but the Texans play Saturday and have two games in hand.  The Sounders will now prepare to host the New England Revolution on Sunday, a game which will not see the likes of Osvaldo Alonso and Leo Gonzalez, both due to yellow card suspensions.

Will the team miss the two players?

"We have a bench, different people have to step up.  We think Evans should be ready to go for Sunday.  Carrasco got a few minutes today and he's ready to go again.  I think we'll find enough people," said Schmid. 

New York will see the return of Henry for its next match as it travels to Chicago to take on the Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday.  The game will be the last of a three-game road streak, one which, so far, has only yielded a lone point.  But with the Gold Cup Final falling on this Saturday, a return to action for Ream, Agudelo or Marquez won't be possible.


What did you think of the Sutton error?  How badly is New York missing its key players?

Share your thoughts below


  1. Both teams played on the same surface. Seattle won. Deal with it.

    Yes, it would be nice to have grass. But talk to the people with money. That means talk to someone that has no affiliation with MLS.

  2. Grass was only mentioned as an option when internationals –70K+ attendance– were being played.. I voted on that stadium Referendum and that is what was promised.. ALl this chatter about Allen breaking turf / grass promises is total Rubish

  3. Lalas is a different sort of nightmare, but they’re both nightmares. I agree that at least Harkes makes sense. But that’s a pretty low bar for an analyst. Lalas tries to sound off-beat and opinionated but there’s no basis for his opinions. Harkes makes valid observations, but then wraps them in trite phrases.

  4. This thread is hilarious. C’mon Red Bulls fans – your team did OK, minus the set piece defending and the goalkeeping. To my eye from the cheap seats, Lindpere was very good. Da Luz looked a little out of place, but your midfield was good enough to have 60% possession against a very good possession team in Seattle.

    DeRo – well, maybe he’s not what he used to be. Everybody gets old, right? Toronto may have been smart to sell him when they did.

  5. Bouna would have made the same gaffe, probably even worse as he would have done some wack move that looked like Gollum trying to breakdance first. That or he would have biffed the ball off of Levesque, into his left elbow and backhanded the ball into the net. Bouna is a joke.


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