For the last three seasons this club has been terrible away from home that was Giants Stadium. A grand total of four wins out of the last forty-five matches under both Bruce Arena & Juan Carlos Osorio. At the same time the club wanted to avenge their poor performance the last time they visited Seattle during their inaugural season at Qwest Field. Well it was a much better performance this time around and got the result they were looking for.
Good fortune came in the twenty-first minute when RBNY had a corner along the near side. New fan favorite Joel Lindpere crossed the ball into the area that was cleared, but the touch was poor. Macoumba Kandji got to the rebound and smacked it off the bottom of the crossbar and crossed the entire goal line for his first of the season and that was all the offense the club needed.
Both sides were determined to continue the offense all night long and it was non-stop attacking runs as the Sounders tried to pull one back, while Red Bull tried to add on to their first tally. But the busier of the two keepers was Bouna Coundoul as he showed his athletic prowess all match long. Plenty of diving saves and nearly lost the ball late in the second half that the Sounders tried to pounce on, but followed it and held on.
Former US National Team Keeper Kasey Keller wasn’t in the shadows either. He made several key saves to keep his side in the match in hopes of finding the equalizer. Fifty-Third Minute on the match clock and Kandji gets a nice ball from Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Kandji attacks and crosses to Juan Pablo Angel with a one timer that Keller dives to his right to make the save. If Keller doesn’t react to that one it’s two goals to nil for RBNY and a possible dagger early in the second half.
Once again the back four for RBNY never lost their shape and continued to show confidence from Kandji’s goal all the way to the final moments of the match to secure their first three points away from Red Bull Arena. Currently undefeated in the East and share the top of the table with the Los Angeles Galaxy who are also undefeated in the West but has a better differential by a goal.
For RBNY this is their second consecutive win and second consecutive clean sheet. Both LA & NY currently share 180 minutes of not allowing a goal scored in their nets to start the season record which is held by New York back in 2007. Over 400 minutes of clean sheet football till the second half on the road at Rice-Eccles Stadium against Real Salt Lake when Chris Klein scored to bite the bagel on May 5th.
Unfortunately head coach Hans Backe wasn’t able to be at Qwest Field on Saturday Night as he went to a local Seattle hospital early in the day for stomach pains. Thankfully he was able to check out, but had to watch the match at the club’s hotel. Head Assistant coach Richie Williams along with Goran Aral and Des MacAleenan gave the instructions for the club and officially, Richie is over the .500 mark on his record.
Sadly the only negative of this fantastic match was the poor challenge of Swedish international Freddie Ljungberg in the tenth minute on Mike Petke. Yes I saw what happened when Philadelphia came to Seattle in week one of the new season.
He has every right to be upset at how he was treated with the reckless challenges by the Union and I believe he did get whacked across his lower back. But that doesn’t mean he has to go studs up on Mike Petke who was playing the ball. Unless Ljundberg is color blind, RBNY’s kit colors are Red & White. They are not Dark Blue & Gold like the Union’s.
Last time I checked Ljungberg was informed that MLS is a very physical league and sometimes there will be some cheap shots that won’t be called, but while Petke did defend him well it wasn’t malicious. When the Sounders travel to the east coast and face Philadelphia Union, then he should return the favor on Tony Stahl.
But once again this was a great scrappy win for RBNY and they take the full three points on the road. The goals will come, but right now confidence is building and that is always a positive after a horror season like 2009 was.