The Red Bulls had gone 27 regular season road games without a victory – a streak dating to May 10, 2008. But that came to an end tonight at Qwest Field, where they made a single goal stand up for a 1-0 win before a cold, wet crowd of 36,066.
For Seattle, it was a frustratingly familiar story -- chances, chances, chances, but no goals. They set a club record with 12 corner kicks. They took 17 shots. They put five of those on goal. But nothing got past New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul.
“Statistically sometimes you can dominate a game and you come out with nothing at the end of the day,” Sounders coach Sig Schmid said. “That’s the way soccer is, more so than any other sport. For sure, we had a ton of opportunities. … We had a ton of corners; we had a ton of free kicks. We have to be more effective on those things. That’s something that we have to make sure we go to the training ground and we become more effective doing that. (I’m) not displeased with our effort, not displeased with our ability to get forward, but displeased with our ability to finish it off.”
“I don’t want to say the same story as last year, but it was a game that we dominated, I think,” Steve Zakuani said. “New York was dangerous on the counter, but we were in control of the game. We had several chances in the first half, even more in the second half and just couldn’t get one to go in. Definitely disappointed.”
“It’s night and day between that team and last year’s team the way they’re organized and fighting for one another and the way they worked hard,” goalkeper Kasey Keller said. “We have to give them some credit. They came in here, they were well disciplined, they were well coached, and they got the goal that we didn’t.”
The lone goal started on a corner kick in the 21st minute.
“Leo Gonzalez got turned around in there and couldn’t get a good clearance on it,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “The ball just fell to (Macoumba) Kandji, and he just turned at hit it on goal and got it up. Usually you expect a guy to drive it, so Kasey was like down a little bit, and he just got it up and on the underside of the crossbar. But obviously we have to do a better job on the first ball.”
At the time, it didn’t seem destined to be a fatal mistake, as more goals seemed likely. Both clubs opened with aggressive, end-to-end soccer until New York drew more conservative in the final half hour.
The Seattle offense also got a late boost from Pat Noonan, who made his Sounders debut in the 56th minute.
“It was good to get the minutes in,” Noonan said. “Disappointing that you come out with a loss; but a lot of good possessions, some good chances but just couldn’t convert.”
First-round draft pick David Estrada made his MLS debut in the 83rd minute.
The Sounders’ first road game of the season awaits Saturday, when they will visit defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.