HARRISON, N.J. – Sounders FC and the New York Red Bulls each led and each came from behind Sunday before settling for a 2-2 draw at Red Bulls Arena.
“We’re pleased to come out with a point,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought in the first half we played fairly well. ... I think the fatigue from us playing (in U.S. Open Cup last Wednesday) started to show a little bit. But, I thought we showed a lot of character going down 2-1, then coming back getting the equalizer, holding on for the tie.”
Forward Fredy Montero came off the bench in the second half to score his fifth goal of the season, saving Seattle from a loss in the Major League Soccer standings.
In the 67th minute, Montero took a feed from Brad Evans and pushed it past goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who was making his debut after being acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday.
The result moved each club into third place in its respective conference: Seattle at 8-5-7 in the West, New York at 9-5-5 in the East. The match also concluded Seattle’s regular-season play against Eastern Conference opponents, going 4-2-4.
“Half those games were on the road, and we continue to be a decent road team, although we’d like some of those ties to be wins,” Schmid said. “... We don’t get to play these teams more than once so we wanted to win the season series.”
The Sounders moved ahead in the 16th minute, when Adam Johansson sent a pass into the penalty area, and Alvaro Fernandez one-touched it into the back of the net.This would become the first time this season that the Sounders would score first and fail to win.
New York struck back in the 24th minute on a goal by Sebastien Le Toux, a former Sounder who was acquired from Vancouver on Friday.
The scoring sequence began with a scorching shot from Kenny Cooper. Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith knocked it away, but Le Toux beat the defense to the rebound.
“(Saturday) was my first day with the team,” Le Toux said. “I feel like my mind was really off tonight, but I’m really happy to score my first goal in my new uniform.”
The Red Bulls moved ahead in the 61st minute when Joel Lindpere got behind the Seattle defense, lost defender Jeff Parke with an inside move, and then beat Meredith to the near side from about 20 yards.
Schmid almost instantly subbed Montero into the game. The move paid off about five minutes later with Montero’s tying goal.
“We rescued a point on a very tough venue to play in, with weather that was really bad to play in,” Montero said. “The game seemed to slow down due to the heat and humidity on the pitch.”
A crowd of 19,414 showed up on an afternoon where the temperature topped out at 91 degrees with 75 percent humidity.
Both teams played with reserve keepers as New York’s usual starter, Ryan Meara, was held out with a hip injury. Sounders’ No. 1 keeper Michael Gspurning traveled with the team but remained off the game-day roster due to a hip injury. He’s been out since May 2.
The Sounders return to the pitch Wednesday, meeting Chelsea FC in a friendly at CenturyLink Field.
Their next MLS match is July 28 at Colorado.
Sounders will send two to all-Star game
Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and forward Eddie Johnson were added to the MLS All-Star roster Sunday.
It is the second All-Star selection for Alonso, 26, in his four MLS seasons. He is one of the league’s top defensive midfielders, and leads the Sounders with an 81.4 passing percentage.
Johnson, 28, made the All-Star team twice during his initial seven-season run in MLS. He leads Seattle with eight goals.
The All-Stars will face Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
The current roster: GK – Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Jimmy Nielsen (Kansas City); D – Steven Beitashour (San Jose), Aurélien Collin (Kansas City), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver), Heath Pearce (New York), Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia); M – Alonso (Seattle), David Beckham (Los Angeles), Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C.), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Graham Zusi (Kansas City); F – Thierry Henry (New York), Johnson (Seattle), Chris Pontius (D.C.), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose).