New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
Sept. 20, 2014 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #266)
7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Two teams holding down playoff positions in the run-in to the end of the season meet in an interconference matchup when the New York Red Bulls play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of the final postseason position following their 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union last weekend. Sounders FC became the first team to clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs, following their last-gasp 3-2 home victory against Real Salt Lake last weekend.
REFEREE: Alan Kelly. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 27.2; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 5; pens: 3
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Armando, Tim Cahill, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya … SEA: Gonzalo Pineda, Zach Scott
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Thierry Henry, Luis Robles … SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins, DeAndre Yedlin
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Red Bulls 2 wins, 8 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 3
AT NEW YORK (4 meetings): Red Bulls 1 win, 4 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 2
LAST YEAR (MLS):
9/29: SEA 1, NY 1 (Evans 45 – Cahill 76)
- This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs.
- The teams played to a 1-1 draw last Sept. 29 at CenturyLink Field in their only meeting in 2013. It was the second consecutive draw in their series; they had evenly split victories in both 2010 and 2011, each winning twice.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. NY: P32 W11 L14 T7 … Mike Petke vs. SEA: P1 W0 L0 T1
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls saw their road winless streak extended, Philadelphia Union hitting for a dramatic late equalizer to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. The Red Bulls are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 38 points from 28 matches on the season.
- After the start of the game was delayed by a rainstorm, the Red Bulls were two goals ahead by halftime. In the 35th minute, Union center back Ethan White was whistled for a foul in the box after taking down Peguy Luyindula, who was trying to chase down a loose ball. Luyindula then buried the ensuing penalty kick past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who guessed incorrectly.
- Five minutes later, Thierry Henry gave the Red Bulls a 2-0 advantage. He fired a pass from Chris Duvall first-time near the top of the box that MacMath was able to get his body in front of the shot, but the ball bounced off of him and into the back of the net.
- Union answered just one minute later. Andrew Wenger wriggled free from his marker in the left corner and got free by the endline. He then sent in a low, driven cross that Pedro Ribeiro was able to get his foot onto and turn home.
- Then in stoppage time, Ribeiro was taken down in the box by Red Bulls defender Ibrahim Sekagya and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. Sebastien Le Toux stepped up and converted the resulting penalty for the equalizer.
- Red Bulls boss Mike Petke made two changes to the team that scored a late winner for a 1-0 victory against D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. Armando came into the back four for Roy Miller, and Tim Cahill started up top in place of Bradley Wright-Phillips.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-2-3-1): Luis Robles - Chris Duvall, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, Armando - Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty - Lloyd Sam, Peguy Luyindula, Thierry Henry (Ruben Bover 55) - Tim Cahill (Saer Sene 75).
- The Red Bulls saw their road winless streak reach six games in the draw with Philadelphia. The Red Bulls have won four consecutive games and have a seven-game undefeated streak alive at Red Bull Arena.
- “The only thing is now we need every point that we can have. At the end, hopefully this point will be a big one. It feels like a defeat because they leveled it at the end of the game, but let’s not be too greedy because they had a good performance in the second half,” said Thierry Henry.
- Said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke: “Very positive week. A little bittersweet here at the end because lost it in the last minute. I guess you could say seven points out of nine… I’ll take it.”
- Henry scored his ninth goal of the year, his second in the last three matches. He has five goals and three assists in the last eight games, dating back to July 30.
- Henry came off after 55 minutes with an injury, and Tim Cahill, who started as the lone out-and-out striker, had to come off with an injury with a quarter-hour to go.
- “Very tired from the long week. The wet, soggy field was playing tricks on his leg a little bit. So, get him off,” said Petke. “ … I thought in the first half he did well for us. He held the ball. But it’s one of those things where you have to make the sub. Tim [Cahill] as well. Tim felt something – I don’t think it’s anything serious – but he felt something and we had to get him off the field.”
- Bradley Wright-Phillips did not feature in a league game for the first time since March 23, suffering from a hamstring injury, just the fourth time this season he was not in the first XI.
- “It’s not because we want to make a statement without those guys, but we felt like we played well enough to get that win,” said goalkeeper Luis Robles. “Guys were giving it their all. You can’t get down on a guy when he’s giving it all. And I felt that was there.”
- Armando made his first start since June 8, playing 90 minutes at left back, the first time he’s started in that position in a league game this season. Armando had made just two substitute appearances totaling 26 minutes over the last 12 league matches.
- “We wanted to be very solid on the left, defensively. That’s not to say [Richard] Eckersley is not as solid, but they’re more about getting get up-and-down,” said Petke. “And our game plan today especially with the tired legs – especially on Thierry’s side – was to bunker down that side and let Thierry do his thing. We don’t necessarily need an overlap or two on that side.”
- On Wednesday, the Red Bulls lost their second match in the CONCACAF Champions League, falling 1-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. The game’s lone goal was scored by Marco Di Vaio on 16 minutes.
- Here’s the Red Bulls team: Ryan Meara, Kosuke Kimura, Damien Perrinelle, Armando, Richard Eckersley, Connor Lade, Ian Christianson, Marius Obekop, Ruben Bover (Dax McCarty 82'), Eric Stevenson, Saer Sene (Eric Alexander 79')
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their winning streak to four games in dramatic circumstances, getting a late winner for a 3-2 win against Real Salt Lake on Friday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 54 points from 27 games.
- Real opened the scoring in the 30th minute. Javier Morales took a feed from Luke Mulholland in the Seattle penalty area and slotted a shot past Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei finishing off a 16-pass sequence.
- But Sounders FC responded in the 38th minute, equalizing on a ballistic strike from 25 yards out by Lamar Neagle that zipped past Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and into the upper left corner.
- The home side then took the lead just five minutes later when Obafemi Martins converted a breakaway attempt from a feed by Clint Dempsey that deflected just off Rimando’s fingertips.
- But the lead turned out to be short-lived. RSL equalized shortly early in the second half, leveling the contest thanks to a 50th-minute goal from forward Joao Plata, when his shot from the left corner of the area was aided by a fortuitous deflection off Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and past Frei.
- RSL was dealt a huge blow when referee Kevin Stott showed center back Nat Borchers a red card after he held back Martins on a breakaway attempt in the 69th minute. Sounders FC were unable to capitalize on the advantage until the last possible second, when Andy Rose freed himself in the RSL box and latched onto a cross knocked down by DeAndre Yedlin before slotting past Rimando, setting off a wild celebration.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that took a 4-2 win against Chivas USA at StubHub Center. Gonzalo Pineda came back into the midfield in place of Andy Rose.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Gonzalo Pineda (Andy Rose 65), Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 79) - Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins.
- With the victory, their fourth in a row in league play, Sounders FC were the first team to clinch a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs, still atop the Western Conference and leading the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
- “We said at the beginning of the season that we are a team that is going to play from minute 1 through minute 90 or 95. That's something we have showed off and we showed it again,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “It's tremendous to get the three points-it was a big win for us in terms of separation and terms of staying in first place and continuing to push for the Supporters' Shield.”
- Andy Rose scored his third goal in the last two games, surpassing his total over the first two-plus years of his MLS career. He had two goals total in league play in his first 50 appearances.
- “He's got a bounce in his step. He brings that energy-you saw right when he got on the field he went down to the left corner. His fitness level is good, he's worked hard, he is fresh. He's eager to play,” said Schmid. “Those things together have really helped him. Obviously when we are trying to push forward his height and his ability in the air helps us as well.”
- Obafemi Martins scored his third goal over the last two matches, maintaining his rich vein of form. He now has five goals and three assists over the last five games; his 13 goals for the league season are tied for sixth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
- Clint Dempsey recorded an assist for a second consecutive game; he had a goal and/or an assist now in four games in a row. Since returning from the FIFA World Cup, Dempsey has three goals and four assists in 10 matches.
- “I thought Clint worked hard. Clint and Oba both worked hard together. We can see that in his numbers, in his touches, and in his running. He was unlucky on a couple of opportunities in the first half, he had some decent looks, but he will continue to get better,” said Schmid. “... It's not always about goals, it's about setting up people as well. He did a great job setting up Oba and Oba does a great job setting him up. They can contribute both by scoring and by setting the guys up.”
- DeAndre Yedlin recorded two assists in a game for the second time in his MLS career (also: July 20, 2013 vs. Colorado), and now has three assists this season, a single-season career-high.
- Lamar Neagle scored his sixth goal of the season, his first since June 7. It was his second consecutive start after coming off the substitutes’ bench in three consecutive games.
- “I think in a couple of games he has struggled lately, but today, not just because he scored the goal, his overall play was better,” said Schmid. “When he gives us that-and sometimes he comes from a deeper position, not always high on the front line ... I thought there a couple of times he was able to collect the ball facing his defender coming at him, and I think that helped his game.”
- On Wednesday, Sounders FC claimed the U.S. Open Cup yet again, defeating Philadelphia Union 3-1 in extra time at PPL Park. Philadelphia’s Maurice Edu and Seattle’s Chad Barrett traded goals on either side of halftime, but goals from Clint Dempsey (101) and Obafemi Martins (114) gave Sounders FC their fourth Open Cup title. Here’s the Sounders FC team: Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez; Brad Evans (Gonzalo Pineda 94), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Lamar Neagle (Marco Pappa 74); Clint Dempsey, Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins 60).