But it was a pair of battle-tested familiar faces who came up big to provide a 2-1 win that kept Seattle’s pulse beating in the MLS Supporters Shield race. It also gave the Sounders a 2-0-1 record over their three-game 9,000-mile road trip which concludes with a charter flight home tonight.
Fredy Montero scored both goals for the Sounders. And goalkeeper Kasey Keller made it stand up with six saves and vocal leadership that helped a highly unconventional back line protect a one-goal lead over the final 43 minutes.
With one eye -- maybe both -- on Seattle’s U.S. Open Cup final Tuesday against Chicago, Schmid penciled in perhaps his most unconventional lineup of the season. Forward/midfielder Roger Levesque make his first MLS start at right back. Joining him along the back line were Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni and Tyson Wahl. David Estrada got his first MLS start of the season and second start ever. And beside him in midfield was rookie Servando Carrasco.
That unusual collection started shakily, with Levesque clearing a ball practically out of Keller’s hands in the opening minutes.
New England broke ahead in the 35th minute, when 16-year-old Diego Fagundez found space in front of the goal on a corner kick and headed it into the goal.
However, Montero answered a minute and 27 seconds later, taking advantage of a midplay by New England defender Ryan Cochrane and sizzling a left-footed shot to the far netting.
Montero provided what proved to be the game-winner in the 47th minute. The sequence began with a deflected Estrada shot that Nate Jaque chested down in front of the goal, where Montero slipped it softly past goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Montero now has a team-high 11 goals in MLS, one about his co-leading total of last season and one short of the career-high total of his rookie season.
The win keeps Seattle (16-6-9) in the Supporters Shield race regardless of whatever LA does tonight against Real Salt Lake.
The loss eliminated New England (5-14-12) from playoff contention.
After the Open Cup final, Seattle returns to MLS action Saturday, when Philadelphia visits CenturyLink Field. Montero will have to miss that game due to yellow-card suspension after receiving a caution late in the first half against the Revs.
I'll be back with quotes in some new posts above. Meanwhile, the unofficial stats:
Scoring Summary: NE -- Diego Fagundez 2 (Benny Feilhaber 5) 35'SEA -- Fredy Montero 10 (unassisted) 36'SEA -- Fredy Montero 11 (Nate Jaqua 6) 48'
New England Revolution-- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 68), A.J. Soares, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney, Ryan Guy, Diego Fagundez, Monsef Zerka (Pat Phelan 68), Milton Caraglio.
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Zak Boggs, Kheli Dube, Kenny Mansally, Zack Schilawski.
TOTAL SHOTS: 23 (Milton Caraglio 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Milton Caraglio 2); FOULS: 8 (Milton Caraglio 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Milton Caraglio 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Chris Tierney 3); SAVES: 1 (Matt Reis 1)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Roger Levesque, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, David Estrada, Servando Carrasco, Erik Friberg (Osvaldo Alonso 79), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 46), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 68), Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes Not Used:Josh Ford, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Sammy Ochoa.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Fredy Montero 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Fredy Montero 3); FOULS: 17 (Nate Jaqua 4, Fredy Montero 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (David Estrada 1, Fredy Montero 1, Mike Fucito 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Servando Carrasco 1); SAVES: 6 (Kasey Keller 6)
Misconduct Summary:SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; reckless foul) 29NE -- Milton Caraglio (caution; reckless foul) 84
Referee: Jorge GonzalezReferee's Assistants:Geoff Barkey, Claudo Badea4th Official: Geoff GambleAttendance: 21,022Time of Game: 1:50Weather: Cloudy-and-66-degrees68th minute:
Fucito in for Montero. Apparently Schmid is taking those two goals and now hoping to create the chance for more Tuesday.
47th minute: GOAL Seattle. Fredy Montero gets second of game and 11th of season. Sounders up, 2-1. Play started with a shot from Estada that was blocked, Jaqua chests and then lighted touches the ball on to Montero, who steered it lightly into the goal.
Sounders have never won at Gillette Stadium.Second half: ... has begun. One lineup change for Seattle: Fernandez out, Neagle in.
Halftime: Scoreboard even at 1. (Unofficial) stats not so even: New England 11 shots to three by Seattle, three shots on goal to one by Seattle, four corners to none by Seattle. Revs 56 % possession.
35th and 36th minutes: Teams swap goals about a minute apart. First 16-year-old Diego Fagundez for New England. Then Montero for Seattle, his club-leading 10th of the season. 1-1.
28th minute: Yellow card to Montero, making him ineligible for the Sounders next league match, Saturday when Philadelphia visits.
First 15 minutes: Sounders have looked as shaky as you might suppose from that lineup. Keller has had to make a nice save, had other close calls, and the one that New England put in the net was waved off (rightly) for offside.
Kickoff: They're under way. Sounders in rave/rave. Revs in blue/blue.
Lineups: For Seattle: GK Keller; D Levesque, Scott, Ianni, Wahl; M Estrada, Friberg, Carrasco, Fernandez; F Montero, Jaqua.
For New England: GK Reis, D Tierney, Soares, Cochrane, Alston; M Zerka, Feilhaber, Joseph, Guy; F Fagundez, Caraglio.
The basics: Sounders at New England Revolution today at 4:30 p.m., on KONG and the usual radio outlets, along with our usual updates on this blog at Twitter/donruiztnt. Your comments always appreciated in both media.
I'll be back with any pregame news, including lineups probably around 4 p.m.