Final: Sounders 1, New York 1.
I know the announcers were making the case that you've got to be happy with a point on the road. And maybe especially when playing your third game in eight days.
But the Sounders dominated, and its really not hard to feel that they left two points on the table for the second match in a row; hard to feel these eight days shouldn't have produced nine points instead of five.
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All of that said, I thought this was the best game I've seen Fredy Montero play. He was inches from a hat trick, putting one header off the crossbar in the first half and bouncing another off the left pole in the closing minutes ... in addition to his brilliant steal and goal in the first half.
Now exactly halfway through the season, the Sounders are 5-3-7 with 22 points. They're soundly in playoff position, despite the general feeling that they've underachived a bit lately. So, I guess there's something good in that.
New York, meanwhile, falls to 2-10-4 and the absolute bottom of the MLS standings after San Jose and Dallas each won today.
Game details are available at the MLS Match Center.
And here are some quotes provided by the Red Bulls:
SEATTLE SOUNDERS HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On tonight's match:"We gave away a goal that we shouldn't have given away. But we were able to get one back, you know they made a mistake as well. So as we said at halftime, it was all even; they gave us one, we gave them one. On the second half, I thought battling is something we may be didn't do at the end of the game against D.C. (United), but I also thought we created some good chances at the end. It was a little unfortunate when (Roger) Levesque was in there that one time, (Fredy) Montero was in a couple of times, he hit one off the post and one off the crossbar."
On Montero's Goal:
"I mean, that was an unbelievable goal, you know when he strikes all of the ball and he gets all of the ball. Then, there's not much anybody can do to stop it, and he just ripped it. I think it's got to be one of the candidates for Goal of the Week."
On playing without some key starters:
"Well guys did well, I mean (Patrick) Ianni played well for (Jhon Hurtado) Kennedy, and obviously Nate (Jaqua). We've had some injuries up front, so it's almost like we have five starters there anyway, but I thought the guys balanced off fairly well. I thought (Fredy) Montero put forth a really big effort tonight on terms of just being active, moving around the field. His fitness is getting better all the time which is a big plus for us."
On tonight's match and the goal:
"It's a ball that I recovered on the right flank, I quickly got into the box and I managed to strike it well to the far post. It helped us breathe a little easier to go into halftime and work on the mistakes we made during the first half. On the second half, I believe we stepped out with a different attitude, we had all the chances to score. Sadly, that is the way football works, sometimes we win and some other times like today, we tie having all the chances in the world.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS GOALKEEPER KASEY KELLER
On tonight's match:"I just don't know how you play on that surface. I mean, it's a shame, I've heard it was bad but I didn't believe it was this bad. It's a shame. I just don't know how you play a good game on this surface. In the end, we gave them a goal and they gave us a goal, we battled hard and had the better chances in the second half, they held on and they kept the point. It will only get better when they get into their new stadium and you can actually play there."
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH JUAN CARLOS OSORIO
On the game:
"I thought we had a good first half except for the last minute. I thought we had the better chances. Unfortunately, we conceded again. It was a very soft goal and it cost us dearly today. It was very difficult to come back from that dramatic goal against but at the end, it's a point and I think we played for our pride in the second half and I think it was worth it."
Thanks also to those of you who kept the conversation going through the match.
New York scored first on another Tyrone Marshall blunder, this time sending a clearance pass right into Patrict Ianni. Juan Pablo Angel got the rebound, got past Kasey Keller and sent the ball into an open net.
However, in stoppage time, Fredy Montero brilliantly picked the New York defender just wide of the penalty area, popped up, carried at the keeper and finished with confidence. Then he and Osvaldo Alonso raised their jerseys to show T-shirts beneath with hand-written best wishes to Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, whose wife gave birth this morning.
Otherwise, a game without much flow, in the rain, on an apparently flat and fast artificial surface with football lines annoyingly visable.
Pregame: There's even a double dose of big personnel news before kickoff: Steve Zakuani will start in midfield in place of Freddie Ljungberg, who has a hamstring issue; and Patrick Ianni will start in place of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, whose wife gave birth today.
I'll be back with halftime and postgame information. And, of course, this post is here mostly for your comments before, during and after.
The game begins at 4:30 on KONG.