NEW YORK — The Seattle Sounders got a first-half goal from Cristian Roldan but a pair of tallies from superstar forward David Villa proved to be the difference in a 2-1 defeat to New York City FC on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The conditions made for tough sledding for both sides throughout the match, with a New York City downpour soaking the field for the majority of the game until late in the second half.
Roldan found Seattle’s breakthrough in the 40th minute despite the elements, however, after picking off a pass in the NYC half of the field and tucking a breakaway finish past goalkeeper Sean Johnson, giving the visitors the 1-0 first-half lead.
Villa very nearly bagged the home side an equalizer on the stroke of halftime with a curling shot that looked to be headed for the top corner of the Seattle goal. But the shot dinged off the crossbar as it rocketed by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, allowing Seattle to maintain its one-goal lead as the contest hit halftime.
Villa would find the equalizer, though, just a few minutes after second-half kickoff after Sounders defender Oniel Fisher was whistled for a foul on the star striker in his own penalty box to give NYC a look from the spot. Villa wouldn’t miss the opportunity, slotting the PK attempt down the middle past Frei to level the score at one apiece.
The Spaniard would then tally the dagger in the 77th minute after leaking free at the far post and finishing off a cross from teammate Jack Harrison, allowing the hosts to escape with the 2-1 triumph.
The Sounders regained the services of two of their star attackers for the game, with forwards Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris each starting after being away from the club for its past two matches while serving US national team duty. Seattle were without starting center back Roman Torres, who was resting a sore hamstring, as well as right back Brad Evans who was nursing a calf injury.
The defeat knocked Seattle to 5-7-4 on the season as the Rave Green head into their next match on a short turnaround, a fixture that will pit the Sounders against Orlando City FC at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.