MLS Regular Season
Score: Sounders FC 3 at New York City FC 1
Goal-scorers: Obafemi Martins (23’, 66’), Mehdi Ballouchy (54’), Clint Dempsey (58’)
Site: Yankee Stadium
Man of the Match: Obafemi Martins. NYCFC had nine more shots than Sounders FC and owned a slight advantage in possession, but when you have Martins, you don’t need to create more chances to come out victorious. Both of his two shots found the back of the net Sunday night, and the Nigerian also set up Clint Dempsey’s game-winning goal in the 58th minute. Dempsey would return the favor for the club’s third goal, playing a beautiful first-touch, backheel pass up the field before Martins took a touch and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.
Telling Stat: After both breaking the Sounders FC single-season scoring record in 2014, Martins and Dempsey are on pace to surpass their own marks from last season. Martins now leads MLS with six goals, while Dempsey is the only player in the league who has at least five goals and four assists.
NYCFC extended its winless streak to seven, the longest such streak in MLS this season. After earning a win in its very first home match, the club is 0-3-1 in its last four games at Yankee Stadium.
What You Missed: Andy Rose made his fifth start of the season, playing at Lamar Neagle’s usual spot in the outside midfield. Head Coach Sigi Schmid rewarded Rose for his solid play in recent matches, as the 25-year-old had an assist against the Colorado Rapids on April 18 and set up the game-winning goal in last week’s 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers.
For the host side, Designated Player David Villa came on as a substitute in the 54th minute. The veteran striker had missed the club’s previous two matches due to hamstring and hip injuries.
So What: Sounders FC won its third straight game and improved to 2-1-1 on the road this season. The club also boasts the highest points-per-game average in the Western Conference (2.00) and the league’s best goal differential (plus-seven). Sunday’s win was the only game Seattle will play against NYCFC this season, though the Rave Green will host Orlando City SC, the other expansion team, on August 16. Sounders FC continues its road swing on Saturday at Columbus Crew SC.