New York hands Sounders FC second straight loss
Juan Agudelo scores for Red Bulls in 70th minute as Seattle falls to 0-2 in 1-0 loss.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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HARRISON, N.J. — Eleven months ago, Sounders FC limped to New York after a sobering home loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but immediately bounced back with an inspiring win against the Red Bulls on the road.
Seattle visited the luxurious Red Bull Arena on Saturday with that same aim from 2010, but the outcome this time brought more despair.
Behind a 70th-minute breakaway goal by 18-year-old forward Juan Agudelo, New York earned a 1-0 season-opening win in front of 20,982 fans.
Sounders FC (0-2) is yet to score this season, but is far from panic-mode.
"Two 1-nil losses are nothing to panic about — a couple (butt)-whoopings maybe, but it wasn't that bad," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller, whose team lost similarly to the Galaxy on Tuesday. "Bottom line is it's no points in two games and it doesn't matter if you get your (butt) kicked 6-nil or lose 1-nil. It's still no points."
While many of Seattle's recent frustrations have been missed chances, the visitors had less to blame Saturday as the reigning Eastern Conference champion Red Bulls controlled most of the action. New York finished with significant advantages in shots (21-10) and corner kicks (11-0).
Despite the struggles, Seattle had one last-gasp chance to tie the score in stoppage time, but Federal Way native Lamar Neagle skied a rebound attempt after Fredy Montero's swerving free kick was saved.
"It came right at me and I just mis-hit it and went over — not very much more to say about it," said Neagle, a 79th-minute substitute. "I should've scored. You maybe get one chance when you go in like that and unfortunately it didn't go in."
New York (1-0) came out strong in the first half and earned a great scoring chance in the ninth minute when Agudelo was tripped by Seattle's Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to earn a penalty kick.
Superstar forward Thierry Henry stepped up to take the spot kick, but his low driven shot was saved in spectacular diving fashion by Keller.
"It was tremendous," coach Sigi Schmid said. "It was a great save; it kept us in the game at a very key point. Him saving that PK is what gave us the opportunity to tie or win this game."
Seattle had a handful of chances as well, forcing seven saves from Red Bulls goalkeeper Greg Sutton.
Designated players Montero and Alvaro Fernandez each got behind the defense on separate instances, but couldn't finish one-on-one chances. Montero fired a dangerous knuckling shot from 40 yards in the 27th minute, but Sutton was just able to palm it away.
"At the end of the day you want to see the ball go in the net," said Schmid, lamenting more missed chances.
Seattle had been previously unbeaten in two road games in New York: a 1-1 draw in 2009 and a 1-0 win last season. The Sounders, who on Saturday celebrated the two-year anniversary of their inaugural match, fell to 11-12-8 all-time on the road.
"We're getting opportunities, which is a good thing, but we're failing in those critical moments to recognize and be strong," said defender James Riley. "We'll look to learn from it, lick our wounds and get back to work."
• Midfielder Steve Zakuani didn't travel for the game Saturday as a precaution to rest an injured adductor. Schmid said he should be able to play the next game 7 p.m. Friday at home against Houston. Rookie midfielder Servando Carrasco got the start, making his team debut. Midfielder Brad Evans and forward/midfielder Pat Noonan also didn't make the trip.
• Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales made his anticipated Sounders FC debut in the 67th minute.
• Goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra was among 14 athletes inducted into the Timberline High School Hall of Fame Saturday. Dutra was a three-time, all-league goalkeeper for the Blazers.
• The match marked a homecoming for defender Jeff Parke. The Sounders FC defender played five years for the Red Bulls to start his MLS career and was named last year to the franchise's all-time team. "It's good to be back," he said. "It's even better to see they have a great stadium and a great crowd and I look forward to playing here in the future."
• New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss, the brother of Seattle goalkeeper Terry Boss, was in attendance wearing rave green.
• Sounders FC came into the game 2-1-1 against New York, with Montero scoring four goals in those four contests. The teams split 1-0 scores last year, each won by the road team.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
|Seattle||0 0 — 0|
|New York||0 1 — 1|
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Mauro Damian Rosales, 68th), Servando Carrasco (Lamar Neagle, 79th), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, O'Brian White (Roger Levesque, 73rd), Fredy Montero.
New York — Greg Sutton, Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards (Danleigh Borman, 90th+), Jan Gunnar Solli, Teemu Tainio, Mehdi Ballouchy (Tony Tchani, 68th), Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
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