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Late rally lifts Sounders over Red Bulls


Photo by Jane Gershovich


SEATTLE– It wasn’t pretty, but the Seattle Sounders earned a gritty comeback win against the New York Red Bulls in front of 40,194 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon.

Late substitute Chad Barrett scored the game-winner in the 91st minute, putting a toe on a surefire Clint Dempsey goal as the ball crossed the line for the 2-1 victory. Dempsey initially sent a far-post cross from Tyrone Mears back across the face of goal.

Marco Pappa equalized in the 69th minute, electrifying a somnolent CenturyLink crowd with a left-footed rocket from 15 yards out to even the score at 1-1.

“For our team to show resiliency and battle back and win it in injury time speaks a lot about the team’s character,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. “To be able to put in the effort they put in today, I was extremely proud of them.”

It was the second goal in two games for Pappa, who also provided the lone goal in Seattle’s 1-0 midweek victory over the Colorado Rapids.

“He’s a player that is very talented,” said Schmid. “Sometimes I want him to be higher up on the field to expose those talents. He is doing that better. He is getting more touches on the opponent’s end of the field and when he gets those touches on the opponent’s end of the field then he can make things happen, and that’s what we look for.”

The Sounders (8-3-2, 26 points) have now won six of their last eight matches and boast the best record in MLS.  The Red Bulls (4-3-5, 17 points) have won just once in their last seven games.

“It’s gut-wrenching right now,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, “because we put a lot of good things together on the day and it’s another game where we feel like there’s a lot of good moments, but we don’t make them add up enough to good chances and then to goals.”

Lloyd Sam opened the scoring in the 37th minute, finding himself in the right place at the right time to head in a deflected free kick from point-blank range. It was Sam’s fourth goal of the season.

Mike Grella almost doubled New York’s lead in the 62nd minute, forcing Stefan Frei into a fingertip save from 20 yards out. Despite outplaying the Sounders for much of the match, the Red Bulls left Seattle with nothing to show for it.

“I think we gave up two pretty easy chances at the end of the game,” said Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan, “and they punished us for it.”

Playing their third game in eight days, the Sounders struggled with New York’s high pressure throughout the first half. Bradley Wright-Philips and the Red Bulls midfield continually made it difficult for the Sounders to get the ball out of their own half of the field, while central defenders Damien Perrinelle and Karl Ouimette closely shadowed Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.

The result was a frustrated Sounders’ attack that frequently turned the ball over and ultimately left Dempsey playing far deeper than usual. But Seattle began to find gaps in the pressure in the second half, eventually finding the two goals they needed to remain atop the Supporters’ Shield race.

Rookie Cristian Roldan nearly headed in the first goal of his career in the 12th minute, redirecting a Pappa free kick and forcing goalkeeper Luis Robles into a fabulous diving save. It was the second straight match the 19-year-old has started over Lamar Neagle.

Pappa and Brad Evans both left the match with injuries. Evans went to the bench with a bruised calf, while Pappa twisted his ankle.

Looking forward, both teams are back in action next weekend. The Sounders visit Sporting Kansas City (5-2-6, 21 points), while the Red Bulls travel to Houston to face the Dynamo (4-5-5, 17 points).


    • In the one RBNY II game I saw Tyler Adams played in midfield and looked pretty good in my opinion – particularly since he’s 16 and was playing against grown men. Not saying he’s first-team material yet but definitely someone to keep an eye on.

  1. BTW – whither Leo Stolz? All the fuss about what a coup it was to get him down the draft order. Is he dealing with an injury? Is he just not good enough? Nothing?

  2. I’ll say it again – there were multiple posters on this site about a month ago that ridiculed the notion that this team could be improved upon and said no DP signings were necessary. I hope they were watching yesterday. There’s a reason Clint makes the money he makes. He didn’t have his best game but there’s no one on this RBNY team that would’ve provided the finish he did for the winner. (I know Barrett vultured the goal but that was all Clint).

    This team is paper thin, even by MLS standards and there are two open DP spots if ownership would get its checkbook out. A DP striker and center back are top of my list, although a left-sided midfielder wouldn’t hurt either.

    Also, why on Earth is Dane Richards on this team? I think he gave the ball away roughly 100% of the time yesterday and that’s pretty typical. His poor play is even more annoying due to the huge cheers he gets when he’s brought on from fans who think because someone is fast, they must be good.

    • Slow,

      What did the Who sing,….”Can you see the real me? Can ya? Can ya?”

      Anyone who thought that this team couldn’t be improved upon was drinking Ali (“I’m so great, I’m so great” G’s cool aid.

      The team has a solid nucleus in Robles, McCarty, Sam and BWP,…which has nothing to do with the current front office. Most of the offseason moves smack of penny pinching,…but I fairness, if the ownership/organization has decided that it will not import big dollar DPs,…what can Marsh/Curtis do? Richards and Grella are bargain signings. Klestjian and Martins have been OK,…but not all that Marsh/Curtis have been spouting on about. Lawrence has been the real find,…pity he can’t seem to stay healthy. A mixed bag.

      Now that all of the brouhaha about Ali G’s grand plan and Jesse Marsh’s genius have blown over,…we are seeing “the real me!” This is an average team. The big concern will be if Marsh starts to lose the locker room now that the curtain has been pulled back on the great and wonderful OZ.

      It all boils down to this,…it’s June and Red Bulls can go out and sign two DPs if they like. If they open the check book,…we will know ownership is committed to the team. If they don’t,…then supporters can assume that all of the rumors about Red Bull bailing on MLS are true. Furthermore, the fact that Ali G and Jesse (“I went to Princeton, and Petke didn’t”) Marsh got one year deals is what we think it is. I hope it is the former,…because the core of the team is there and seem to be good guys worthy of support. We shall see.

      • Supposedly they were in on Jozy this winter which hopefully is true. McClean would be a decent signing but this team really needs help up front and in central defense. I know they are missing guys but who knows when Zubar is going to play and it’s not like Perrinelle is a long-term keeper although he has played well. Would love to see an experienced CB alongside Miazga.

        I don’t blame Marsch or even Curtis for this because I assume it’s ownership pinching pennies. Obviously, if ownership is willing to spend and they are saying “no, we don’t need anyone” then that’s a different story. But I don’t think that’s the case because RBNY hasn’t used the third DP spot in a while and even when Petke was still around he was saying that they’d be spending less this season.

        That said, they were two minutes away from a nice result yesterday so hopefully they can play well in Houston and get healthy during the bye week.

      • They were in on Jozy but ownership didn’t want to cough up the cash to Toronto in addition to the cash they would have to give Sunderland. I agree though we was a couple of minutes away from a tie and that was the best most of us expected going in.

    • They are better than you thought they would be too.
      But I don’t disagree with what you are saying. They should bring in one player and contend, rather than stay and just hang in there, because I pick 6 teams for sure better and it could be 10-12 if they drop in form.

      That being said, 16 of the teams have GD with +5 to -5 goals. And I don’t see that changing much as the season goes on. NYRB ( all right I will type the extra letter from now on, but NYC stays NYC) is one of those teams on the positive side.

  3. NYR played a good game.

    I dont agree that they outplayed Seattle, but they have a good team, a lot better than I thought going into the season.

  4. I am not giving up on this team, but I am suspending any further deposits in my emotional investment account. The team’s flaws have been obvious for months, and not a peep out of Curtis. They need upgrades at several positions, they have two open DP slots, and they trot out Mike Grella while the opponent can call on Martins *and* Dempsey. As soon as Duvall made his favorite mistake against Pappa — backing off instead of shutting him down — I knew the game was tied. It’s all just too predictable at this point. I can’t wait for the guy from the marketing department to call me again . . .

  5. Pity,…Seattle in Seattle was a tall task for the Red Bulls. They gave it a good go,…and deserved a PK when BWp was clattered into. That said,…Luis Robles made some great saves to keep the Red Bulls in it.

    Red Bulls have won once in their last seven matches….not good but not surprising. 17 points out of a possible 36,…officially below .500. They need some help and they are not going to find it in Ali G’s 300 page plan.

    • Saying they deserved the PK is a bit hard since wright phillips clearly handled the ball to even bring it under control. Evans obviously fouled him but the play should have been blown dead before it came to that.

    • I agree with your assessment for the most part but the .500 stat doesn’t make any sense. The way you calculate it a draw counts as 1/3 win, 2/3 loss.

      • “The way you calculate it a draw counts as 1/3 win, 2/3 loss.”

        Dude,…are you you pulling my chain? Are you serious?

        That is EXACTLY what I am saying! Why do you think they changed the rules all those years ago to award 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie. Ties/draws are bullsh!t,…a complete waste of time. You are looking at it like,…”Hey we didn’t lose,…” Yeah,…but ties are like kissing your sister.

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