The Sounders FC came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 result Saturday against the New York Red Bulls, but new addition Pat Noonan showed that he can fit in well in Seattle.
Coming on as a second half substitute, Noonan provided a needed offensive spark. Manning the right side and oftentimes sneaking into the middle of the field, he gelled well with the fluid Sounders FC secondary attacking group that included Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Zakuani.
“Before the game, I was kind of asking around, seeing that there was going to be some movements and adjustments. Freddie likes to hop out wide so just trying to get into that rhythm of finding holes and getting out of the way when Freddie comes out wide,” Noonan said. “You try to go out there and try to be creative and I was trying to get some crosses in, maybe get some chances, and get some shots on goal or something.”
Noonan finished with two shots after coming on in the 56th minute and set up another opportunity for a Ljungberg header.
“He's been with us a short period of time but he crossed the ball to Ljungberg's head, he was the one who served that ball in. And on the right side on a little combination, had a shot blocked,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “From that standpoint, with the little bit of time he was with us, he's helped us.”
On one of his shots, he flicked a header over his shoulder from deep in the box, but he says he got caught between flicking the ball over to a teammate coming down the middle or putting it to the near post. Wit that brief moment of indecision, Noonan ended up putting the ball just over the crossbar.
“It was good to get the minutes in. It was disappointing that you come out with a loss but a lot of good possessions and some good chances but just couldn't convert.”
Seattle takes to the road to face defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake Saturday night at 6 pm at Rio Tinto Stadium. The game will be televised live on KONG 6/16 and broadcast on 97.3 KIRO FM.