They didn’t have Thierry Henry, Jamison Olave or Wright-Phillips, but the New York Red Bulls managed a 1-1 draw away in Seattle against the high-flying Seattle Sounders.
The home side opened the scoring in the first half through a Brad Evans penalty when a Red Bulls defensive player raised his arm to block a cross. The call and goal were both deserved. In the second half, N.Y. equalized thanks to a brilliant curler from acting captain Tim Cahill.
The only sour moments of the game were when players from both sides made big deals over small petty fouls, and pushing and shoving one another. Luckily however, the amount of cards needed to be awarded weren’t dished out due to the ref focusing more on the game being played.
Seattle were forced to watch N.Y. keeper Luis Robles make a few nice saves, but if the shots weren’t rushed or placed in a better spot on frame, they could have scored at least three. N.Y. hit the woodwork twice in as many minutes a bit before finally netting the equalizer. They also had some other chances that were either kept out or could not find the frame.
This was an overall decently-balanced game which gave us a preview of what could be the game in the MLS Cup final later on this year. Both sides have a solid defense, a strong midfield and strikers who can finish when presented with the right opportunity. At the end of the day, the most influential players on either side were found in the midfield.
Evans was all over the field for Seattle as he could have scored two goals, founding open spaces by running all over the middle and the end of the field. He made the mistake of retaliating by clipping Cahill, who had him in a headlock, and was booked for his effort.
For NY, it was captain Cahill who fought hard for every ball and passed it when needed and of course, shot and scored when the time was right. He made only one mistake, which was passing the ball to no one down the right as his teammate was already down the field.
Both teams are capable of winning the Supporter’s Shield as well as the MLS title. Can they do so? We will find out by watching them play out the remainder of the year.