A wild night in Seattle ended with a 4-2 Sounders win over the visiting New York Red Bulls. Nicolas Lodeiro netted a brace for Seattle, who moves into second place in the Western Conference. Aaron Long and Kaka scored the New York goals, who remain in sixth place in the East with 41 points and are dangerously close to not making the playoffs, having lost three of their last four games.
Seattle took an early lead when Jordan Morris scored within the first two minutes from two yards out off a corner kick. His reaction time was on point when, as the ball was traveling towards him, pivoted his body and angled it just right as to put it past a helpless Luis Robles.
Morris, not done leaving his mark on the match, provided a beautiful assist on the second goal. Cristian Roldan’s cross surely looked like it was heading out of bounds before Morris made a diving header to divert it back towards the center of the penalty box, finding Lodeiro’s left foot. As everyone was moving towards to defend the wide cross, Lodeiro was left with an empty net in which to put the ball in and double Seattle’s lead.
Though down, the Red Bulls would not go out without a fight. They answered back four minutes later. Michael Murillo’s cross found a leaping Aaron Long, when he timed the jump perfectly right in front of Seattle’s Kelvin Leerdam. The ball found the bottom left corner of the net and cut the Sounders lead in half.
Kaku tied it up in the 67th minute. Daniel Royer fed the cross brilliantly and Kaku caught it in stride, blasting a thunderous strike past Stefan Frei.
The lead would not hold, however, as a Sean Davis own goal in the 83rd would prove to be the beginning of the end for New York. Seattle’s substitution Victor Rodríguez tried a shot from the left wing. Luckily for him, the ball deflected off Davis’s knee giving Robles no chance to save it.
Lodeiro put the cherry on top with his second goal, this one in second half stoppage time against an undefended Luis Robles. New York’s defense broke down completely, leaving Robles pitted against the trio of Lodeiro, Roldan and Rodríguez. They had their pick of who would take the shot, with Lodeiro taking the responsibility and slotting home his second goal of the match.
This completes the first game of the Red Bulls two-game west coast trip. They will face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday before heading back home. With four games left of the season, three points could not be more vital heading into the postseason.
By Nick Sbordone