Defensive mishaps gifted both teams a goal in the first half, but despite an open game full of chances, the match between Seattle Sounders FC and the New York Red Bulls ended in a draw.
The Empire Supporters Club was in good voice and the Red Bulls responded by creating the early chances. Macoumba Kandji, who threatened several times in the first half, brought the ball down and played it out wide to an open Nick Zimmerman. However, Juan Pablo Angel was unable to connect cleanly on the cross.
In the eighth minute Alfredo Pacheco crossed from deep, Jorge Rojas headed back across to Angel, who headed wide. For his effort, Angel was run over by Tyrone Marshall long after the ball was gone, but referee Paul Ward saw nothing in it.
In the best passing play of the first half for the Red Bulls, Kandji tracked back to take the ball from Osvaldo Alonso at midfield and ran with it up the left. He dropped the ball to Rojas, who centered to Albert Celades. Celades combined with Angel to set up a volley for himself but he couldn’t make it two goals in two games.
Sustained Seattle pressure lead to a Sebastien Le Toux corner that Fredy Montero hammered at Danny Cepero, whose finger tip save was just enough to push the ball into the crossbar.
Angel broke the game open in the 40th minute after Tyrone Marshall’s failed clearance came right back off Patrick Ianni, leaving Angel clear in on goal. He rounded Keller calmly and finished for his fifth goal of the year.
On the stroke of halftime, Goldthwaite emerged from a scuffle in the corner with Le Toux, but not before stomping on Le Toux’s ankle. The assistant referee saw it and flagged for a foul, but Goldthwaite was inextricably spared his second yellow of the match and Cepero punched the ensuing free kick clear.
Deep into stoppage time, Fredy Montero showed his defensive prowess by tackling the ball away from right back Jeremy Hall, leaving the entire Red Bull defense out of position and unable to cover. Montero took three touches back towards the center and fired the ball over Cepero into the far upper corner of the goal for his seventh of the year.
Seattle came out the more dangerous of two teams. Montero broke free of Goldthwaite and Cepero had to dive to his right to slap a near post shot out for a corner. Le Toux’s corner was not handled by the Red Bulls but Ianni was unable to connect with any force on the bouncing ball and Kasey Keller cleaned it up.
Nick Zimmerman’s confidence and direct play led to a great opportunity for the Red Bulls. Zimmerman beat his man and his square cross found Angel, trailing the play, but, again, he was unable to put the shot on goal.
Not to be outdone, Montero found himself with space on the right and after a series of nice moves he fired a low cross through the six-yard box, but Nate Jaqua could not reach it.
The game finally slowed down around the 65th minute when the substitutions started and both teams focused more on maintaining possession. The loudest reception of the night met John Wolyniec, who replaced Albert Celades in the 81st minute.
Zakuani showed Jeremy Hall why he was the first pick the MLS draft when he blew by his fellow Generation adidas rookie and fired a hard shot, which Cepero could only knock down. Sanna Nyassi, who replaced Le Toux, found himself open with the rebound but couldn’t keep his shot on goal.
Late in the game Fredy Montero showed his class again, juggling through three Red Bulls defenders and skipping the ball past a sliding Cepero but the ball bounced straight off the post into Cepero’s lap.
The final whistle brought the game to an end leaving both sides regretting defensive mistakes and ineffective finishing.
Terence Steed is the New York correspondent for Goal.com
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