Seattle Sounders FC flashed its star power in a town that knows something about stars.
Sounders designated players Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey produced all of their team’s goals Sunday in a 3-1 win over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
Martins scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season, while Dempsey picked up his fifth goal and fourth assist.
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And in this nationally televised match from the Big Apple, they were just goals but jaw-droppers, each in their own ways.
In the 23rd minute, Marco Pappa sent a pass to Martins behind the New York defense. He carried just inside the penalty area and beat keeper Josh Saunders to the near post.
In the 58th minute, Martins worked defender Chris Wingert near the end line until he finally created enough space to send a pass across the box. Pappa ran it down and then dropped it back to Dempsey, neat the top of the box. He made a quick move and then placed a slow-rolling shot inside the far post.
In the 66th minute, the Sounders strung together a sequence of 17 passes. The 18th was a a back-heel from Dempsey to the streaking Martins, who split the defense and fired past Saunders inside the far post.
New York actually controlled much of the action through the first half, dominating possession and shots.
And they tied the game in the second half on a goal by Mehdi Ballouchy. However, that lasted for only four minutes before Dempsey’s game-winner and Martin’s finale.
Seattle became the first team to score more than two goals on New York, and also the first to score more than two on the small Yankee Stadium pitch.
The result moved Seattle to 5-2-1, third in the Western Conference by points but first by points per game.
Expansion New York failed to win for the seventh straight game in falling to 1-5-3.
The Sounders will return home to train this week before heading East again to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Final: Sounders 3, NYCFC 1. Seattle goes to 5-2-1. Third in West by points, first by PPG. Visits Columbus next weekend. New York 1-5-3.
88' Second yellow to Watson-Siriboe, and NY will play it out a man down.
66' GOAL Seattle. Brilliant Dempsey pass to brilliant Oba finish. Sounders 3-1.
58' GOAL Sounders. Clint Dempsey finishing nice sequence from Pappa with ball originally kept alive by Oba. Seattle, 2-1. Soft rolling shot properly placed.
54' GOAL New York. Threat after threat. One from Ballouchy pays off, nicely placed between two Sounders defenders and inside near post. Now he subs off and David Villa on. 1-1.
Second half: ... has begun. No changes, but David Villa is expected to come on for NYC early in second half.
Halftime: Sounders 1, NYCFC 0. Shots and possession way to NYC.
Schmid tells FS1 it took 15-20 minutes to get used to field, then better, and can do better still.
44' Yellow to Mears.
39' Yellow card to Marco Pappa.
23' GOAL Sounders. Obafemi Martins behind defense and finishes. Seattle 1-0. Oba's fifth of the season, slipping ahead of Dempsey's four.
NYCFC scores and allows less than a goal per game. Sounders allow less than anyone in MLS. First goal figured to be huge.
First 20 minutes: Scoreless. One good chance for Sounders through some Dempsey brilliance. But mostly NYCFC driving the action.
First kick: ... has been struck. We're under way. NYC in blue/white; Sounders in pitch black alternate kits.
Lineups: For Sounders: Frei; Mears, Evans, Marshall, Remick: Rose, Alonso, Pineda, Pappa; Dempsey, Martins. Reserves: Perkins, Scott, Gonzalez, Azira, Roldan, Neagle, Barrett.
Interesting that it's Rose starting and Neagle on the bench.
For New York: Sounders; Facey, Wingert, Watson)siriboe, Brovsky; Diskerud, Gradavoy, Ballouchy, Alvarez; Shelton, Mullins.
Pregame: The Sounders first meeting with New York City FC and first visit to Yankee Stadium begins at 4 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on FS1, heard on 97.3 FM, and blogged here, with updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
Here's our preview story from today's TNT. Next news is likely to be the lineups, with Sounders coach Sigi Schmid expected to have a true first-choice 11 available to him.