Seattle Doesn’t Stop The Party As They Roll Over RBNY

By: Matthew Klimberg

On a prolonged and emotional night in Seattle, Red Bull New York fell victim to the Sounders’ celebration of their MLS Cup victory last season. Prior to the match, Seattle held a championship banner raising ceremony, which included the presentation of the trophy. However, the party didn’t stop there as the hosts dominated the Red Bulls to hand them their first regular season loss in their last 18 matches.

Seattle took the lead in the 28th minute after a miscommunication between Damien Perrinelle and Luis Robles led to the latter taking a penalty. While under pressure, the French defender laid a poor back pass off for Robles, which was intercepted by Jordan Morris before the goalkeeper took him down in the box, forcing referee Baldomero Toledo to award a penalty kick to the hosts. National team veteran Clint Dempsey stepped up for the hosts and buried it to send 45,000 fans into a frenzy.

Red Bull New York found their legs in the 57th minute when Mike Grella came on for Norwegian forward Fredrik Gulbrandsen. That same minute, Sal Zizzo sent a cross into the box where last year’s golden boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips was waiting. The greatest striker in club history became the third fastest player in MLS history to tally 70 goals (110 games) when he headed the ball off the far post and into the net to equalize the match. The goal, their fourth of the season, was just the second the Red Bulls have scored themselves – the other two were own goals.

True to their MLS Cup victory, the Sounders didn’t lose composure as it only took them eight minutes to tilt the scoreboard in their favor. Joevin Jones took control of a pass at the RBNY touchline, sneakily passed the ball to himself through Zizzo’s legs and sent a cross to the far side of the net. Morris, the beneficiary of the earlier penalty call, rose up and drilled a header past Robles to take the 2-1 lead. The fate of the match was sealed when Harry Shipp deflected a Jones shot past a helpless Robles in the 79th minute to make it 3-1.

Few players on the Red Bulls (2-1-0, 6 points) acquitted themselves well on the West Coast. The loss was their first in the regular season since July 3, 2016, a 2-0 defeat to NYCFC at Yankee Stadium. They’ll have the opportunity to redeem themselves on Saturday when they host Real Salt Lake at 4pm. 

Notes: Fredrik Gulbrandsen made his first MLS start and second appearance since joining the Red Bulls last week. The forward lined up next to Bradley Wright-Phillips to serve as a second striker. Kemar Lawrence did not travel with the team due to personal reasons. For the third straight match, Aurelien Collin was not selected for the starting XI. Sacha Kljestan will not play against Real Salt Lake on Saturday as he was selected by Bruce Arena to replace Bobby Wood on the US Men’s National Team roster for next week’s World Cup qualifiers. Seattle’s Roman Torres served his one-match suspension stemming from an incident last week.