It was a surreal day at Harrison, New Jersey. Not so much that there was a football match being played, but more to the fact that the Port Authority Police along with the Harrison Police Department shut down the PATH train station & the vicinity of Red bull Arena due to a suspicious package on one of the platforms. Your reporter who was coming into Newark from Secaucus Junction to take the PATH towards Harrison was shocked to see a train that never arrived and was sent back to Newark. Forced to take a shuttle to the Jackson Street Bridge and walking towards Red Bull Arena.
The match already fifthteen minutes into the action when I arrived, missed the 14th minute tribute for Joe Vide who developed Hodgkin’s Disease and the club provided donations with a raffle to help Vide get thru his current troubles. But this match was screaming for goals and unfortunately for New York they had the run of play, but couldn’t finish the final third. Chances galore and none of their shots ever bothered Kasey Keller.
The Sounders coming over for their first visit to Red Bull Arena were also coming off a four goal thrashing by the Galaxy were fighting every inch of the field and trying to find a way to get that tally. It looked like they did convert a chance in the 53rd minute when Bouna Coundoul left his net and challenged Sanna Nyassi. Coundoul missed, free shot for Nyassi but on his horse was Danleigh Borman and chasing the ball. He slid at the last minute and cleared it away from the net.
The Sounders were hungry for that goal and looked to want it more than New York. Fredy Montero subbed into the match inside the 78th minute as he was fighting some form of a sickness. He almost slid into the ball but at the same time Bouna Coundoul made a diving save to prevent the cross reaching Montero. But with someone who has the quality of Montero, you can’t keep him away from the net any more.
In the 85th minute there was a foul called on Carl Robinson and a quick re-start by the Sounders. Brad Evans with a nice pass to Montero and all he had to face was Mike Petke. He beat Petke inside the area and scored a beautiful goal past Coundoul for the only tally of the match. The Sounders come to Red Bull Arena to get their revenge on a one goal to nil score line and gave the Red Bulls their first loss at home. But while that was a beautiful goal scored by Montero, we have to look at what happened before it was scored.
Patrick Ianni took the ball away from Juan Pablo Angel and lost it going towards New York’s net. Carl Robinson was going after the ball and never made a tackle or a hard challenge when it was Ianni who slid into Robinson and the foul should’ve been called on Ianni. Instead it was referee Silviu Petrescu who called the foul on Robinson and that’s when New York lost their concentration for those few precious second for Seattle to take advantage.
Credit goes to the Sounders for getting that goal & credit them for not giving up at getting any chances they could earn. But unfortunately a referee’s mistake did help New York lose their composure for those few seconds. This match was a draw, but at the same time the problems from last year did come back as Juan Pablo Angel got no service and the only shot that Keller faced was a Brian Nielsen chance from distance in the 64th minute, but there wasn’t enough power on the shot.
For New York it’s back to the drawing board before this coming Thursday Night’s home match against the Columbus Crew and on ESPN 2′s Thursday Night’s match of the week. For the Sounders it’s a big relief to get a win after getting destroyed by the monster that is the Los Angeles Galaxy. For myself there was much relief after I found out the PATH train was running again and I could go home.