The Seattle Sounders celebrated their MLS Cup title and then celebrated a much needed win over the New York Red Bulls, their first of the 2017 season. It was their stars stepping forward for them amidst a Red Bulls team full of defensive errors. Goals from Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, and Harry Shipp helped the Sounders down the Red Bulls by a 3-1 score.
Dempsey, Morris Score as Sounders Down Red Bulls 3-1
The Sounders were able to take advantage of several Red Bulls defending mistakes in order to secure this victory. The first came in the 27th minute when Luis Robles was late to challenge Jordan Morris in the penalty area. The MLS iron man came off his line and tried to beat Morris to a poor back pass, but missed and took down the young American forward instead. This allowed Dempsey to find the opening goal from the penalty spot and earned Robles a yellow for his trouble.
The rest of the first half was a rather cagey affair. Neither side was able to put much forward as strong defensive midfield play, particularly from Seattle, kept both attacks at bay. The Red Bulls were able to find an equalizer in the 57th minute thanks to a picture perfect cross from Sal Zizzo to the head of Bradley Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips was able to deflect his attempt off a Seattle defender, which allowed his shot to float inside the far post.
The level pegging would only last nine minutes. Seattle concocted one of the finer team goals MLS will see this season. It began in midfield with a Nicolas Lodeiro through pass to Joevin Jones near the corner flag. Jones nutmegged Sal Zizzo to create space to pick out Lodeiro near the top of the box. The Uruguayan then floated a pass to the waiting head of Morris for the thunderous finish. Weak wide defending, poor goalkeeping from Robles, and poor marking on Morris is a short list of the Red Bulls mistakes that allowed this goal to happen.
The third goal was more or less an accident, but it all counted the same. Harry Shipp deflected a pass (a shot? Whatever) from Jones that ended up curling into the net after giving Robles no hope at a save.
The Sounders will take their first win of the season after a slow start. They managed to get out to a quick opening in this one. That was a welcome change from their early deficits from the first two games. They also got a strong outing from Joevin Jones, who assisted on the final goal after doing the dirty work on the second.
The Red Bulls, on the other hand, finally succumbed to some of the errors that didn’t hurt them in their two wins. There were no own goals coming to their rescue at CenturyLink Field. Their defensive mistakes went unforgiven by Seattle’s attack. They failed to defend Seattle’s most threatening pieces, and it led to their first defeat of the year.