SEATTLE — For the fourth straight match, Harry Shipp started. And in those four matches, the Seattle Sounders are 3-0-1.
Shipp scored in the 86th minute on Sunday in the Sounders’ 3-1 home win over New York City FC to cap a nine-point week and extend their unbeaten run to six matches. Shipp took a well-placed back pass from Will Bruin in stride before unloading a hard shot from just inside the box past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Shipp has started five of the last six matches — he didn’t play in a scoreless draw at the New England Revolution on July 7 — and played all but three minutes in the last three games. On Sunday, he finished with a 94 percent passing accuracy, including 93 percent in NYCFC’s half, and 67 touches.
“I felt like with the game I had today, a goal was a fair reward for the effort that the whole team had put in,” said Shipp. “I just wanted to put the game away so we weren’t stressing in those last 5-10 minutes.”
Chad Marshall (right) congratulates Harry Shipp on his goal against NYCFC | USA Today Sports
The goal was the perfect ending for Shipp, who has been in his best form of the season. He battled an injury and a lack of playing time for much of the first half of the year, so it’s extra satisfying for him to help the team continue to pile up results.
“I’m always someone who does whatever it takes to be in the team, to be out on the field,” said Shipp. “I took a step back when I wasn’t playing, and I thought about what I need to do to get back on the field and what I can do to help this team win games. It was more about how can I move off the ball and maybe not have 100 touches a game, but be effective when I am able to touch the ball. I’m confident right now, but every game is different in terms of what the team needs to do to win games.
“Since I started playing again, we’ve been winning games,” he added. “That’s what I take pride in. It’s not the goals, it’s not the assists, it’s winning games.”