On Thursday night the Sounders FC topped the Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls 4-2 on the strength of two second-half goals by Roger Levesque. The win lifted the Sounders to 7-4-7 and second in the Western Conference with 28 points.
An own goal by Zach Scott in the 58th minute lit a spark for the Sounders. They scored twice in the first 12 minutes and looked pleased to hold that lead, to an extent. Once the equalizer was scored in the 58th minute and Levesque entered the match for Mike Fucito, there was a clear boost in work rate all over the pitch as Seattle looked to regain their lead. Goals by Levesque in the 67th and 78th minutes did just that and New York was never ever to regain their footing.
Roger Levesque is the obvious choice – his two goals in 32 minutes displayed his tireless effort on the field. First, he darted across the front of the goal to meet a Leo Gonzalez corner kick, flicking a header in for the 3-2 lead, then he harangued New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton into misplaying the ball and Levesque put it in the empty net to complete the brace.
Jeff Parke has quietly been one of the most consistent Sounders over the last month or so. On Thursday, he neutralized the ever-volatile Dwayne De Rosario, frustrating him into committing a yellow-card foul by game’s end. When he’s at his best, he is among the top center backs in the league.
What We Learned
Depth Matters – While New York was playing without five of their top players because of injuries, suspensions and international duty, Seattle was without four would-be starters as well. While New York was looking to little-used players to fill big roles, the Sounders had kept a steady rotation of players early in the season and it paid off on Thursday.
There Are Many Ways To Skin A Cat – The Sounders have won games in many different fashions this season. Whether it’s dominating from first kick to final whistle like they did against Toronto in April or battling with a man down like they did last week against TFC, they’ve found new and innovative ways to win and entertain. Thursday was further proof of that as they used corner kicks to score three times and a savvy effort on the fourth.
Next In Line
The Sounders host the New England Revolution Sunday at 1 pm at CenturyLink Field. The Revs are seventh in the East at 3-7-6 (15 points) and are winless in their last six matches (0-4-2) while being outscored 7-3. With 12 goals through 16 matches, they are the lowest-scoring team in MLS.