SEATTLE, WASH. – A record crowd for a Sounders FC home-opener enjoyed a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls (2-1-0, 6 points) on Sunday afternoon, as 45,600 and a national TV audience on FOX Sports 1 watched Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris and Harry Shipp lead the Rave Green (1-1-1, 4 points) to victory at CenturyLink Field. Before Sunday’s home-opener, the 2016 MLS Cup was walked onto the field by Sounders legend Zach Scott and current defender Brad Evans, followed by the unveiling of the club’s MLS Cup championship banner in the CenturyLink rafters. With today’s result, Sounders FC improves to 19-3-4 all-time in front of home crowds above 45,000.
After a handful of dangerous chances from the host side early on, Sounders FC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute on Dempsey’s penalty-kick goal. Referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot after Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles made a sliding challenge on Morris in the area after the Seattle forward jumped on a poor back pass. Dempsey improved to six goals in seven penalty-kick chances for Seattle in MLS play.
In the 57th minute, New York found an equalizer on a goal by forward Bradley Wright-Phillips. Midfielder Sal Zizzo sent a cross from the right channel toward Wright-Phillips, who flicked a header off the far post for the equalizer.
Seattle retook the lead in the 66th minute on Morris’ first goal of the 2017 MLS campaign. Midfielder Nico Lodeiro drove at the defense and played a pass out left to Joevin Jones in space. Jones collected the ball, nutmegged his marker and cut it back to Lodeiro, who struck a first-time cross to the back post, where Morris headed the ball into the goal from close range.
The Rave Green extended the lead to 3-1 in the 79th minute on a goal by Shipp. Jones sent in a hard shot from outside the area, but Shipp, who was stationed in the center of the 18-yard-box, was able to deftly nudge the ball and redirect it into the goal inside Robles’ right post.
Following today’s home-opener, the Rave Green are back at home for consecutive matches, beginning with an international friendly versus Mexican side Necaxa on Saturday, March 25. Kickoff for that contest is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT, with JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS (outside of Seattle), KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM broadcasting the contest. Brian Schmetzer’s side returns to MLS play at CenturyLink Field on Friday, March 31 against expansion club Atlanta United. 2017 Season Ticket Memberships are still available by calling 877-MLS-GOAL or emailing Sales@SoundersFC.com. Complete information on all Sounders FC ticket packages can be found at SoundersFC.com/Tickets.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – New York Red Bulls 1
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Dave Gantar
Weather: 50 degrees and mostly sunny
SEA – Clint Dempsey (penalty) 28’
NY – Bradley Wright-Phillips (Sal Zizzo) 57’
SEA – Jordan Morris (Nico Lodeiro, Joevin Jones) 66’
SEA – Harry Shipp (Joevin Jones) 79’
NY – Felipe (caution) 25’
NY – Luis Robles (caution) 28’
NY – Fredrik Gulbrandsen (caution) 30’
NY – Bradley Wright-Phillips (caution) 62’
SEA – Clint Dempsey (caution) 78’
SEA – Alvaro Fernandez (caution) 90’+2’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Oniel Fisher (Alvaro Fernandez 65’), Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso – captain, Cristian Roldan Nico Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey (Henry Wingo 90’), Harry Shipp; Jordan Morris (Will Bruin 81’)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Seyi Adekoya, Zach Mathers
Total shots: 13 (Shipp/Morris, 3)
Shots on goal: 5 (Morris/Shipp, 2)
Fouls: 13 (Roldan, 4)
Offside: 4 (4 players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Shipp/Lodeiro, 1)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
New York Red Bulls – Luis Robles; Sal Zizzo, Damien Perrinelle, Aaron Long, Justin Bilyeu; Felipe, Sean Davis (Derrick Etienne Jr., 74’), Sacha Kljestan – captain, Daniel Royer (Alex Muyl 81’); Fredrik Gulbrandsen (Mike Grella 57’), Bradley Wright-Phillips
Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Tyler Adams, Michael Amir Murillo, Aurelien Collin
Total shots: 10 (Wright-Phillips, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (Felipe/Wright-Phillips, 1)
Fouls: 16 (Gulbrandsen, 4)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Kljestan, 4)
Saves: 2 (Luis Robles, 2)
- Sounders FC improves to 1-1-1 on the season and currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference. Seattle is now 6-3-0 all-time in home-openers.
- The Rave Green are 5-4-3 all-time against New York in regular-season play, including a mark of 4-1-1 in Seattle.
- Clint Dempsey’s penalty-kick goal in the first half gives him a team-high two goals on the season. Since joining Seattle in 2013, he is 6-7 from the spot in regular-season action.
- Forward Jordan Morris scored his first goal of the season in the 66th minute. Midfielder Harry Shipp netted his first goal with Sounders FC in the 79th minute. Defender Joevin Jones recorded an assist on both goals, while Nico Lodeiro was also credited with a helper on Shipp’s goal.
- Midfielder Gustav Svensson filled in at centerback for Román Torres, who was serving a one-match suspension.
- Sunday’s fixture fell on the eight-year anniversary of the club’s inaugural match, where the Rave Green also hosted the Red Bulls. Seattle won that match by a score of 3-0.
- The result snapped the Red Bulls’ unbeaten streak of 18 consecutive regular-season matches dating back to July 2016.
- With an attendance of 45,600, Sounders FC improves to 19-3-4 all-time in front of home crowds above 45,000.
- Dating back to last season, Sounders FC is unbeaten in nine-consecutive home matches in league play, which is the second-longest streak in club history. Seattle also went 3-0-0 at home during the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.