Seattle Sounder FC (5-2-1,16 points) won three consecutive games for the first time this season with a 3-1 victory over the NewYork City FootballClub (1-5-3, 6points) Sunday evening in front of 25,384 fans.
Despite outplaying Sounders FC for the majority of the first half, the hosts found themselves down 1-0 at the break thanks to another brilliant goal by Obefami Martins. The MLS’s leading scorer made like an NFL Wide Receiver by running a go route behind the NYCFC defenders and Marco Poppa obliged with a laser beam pass that Martin right footed to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
Click here to see goal
The goal opened up what was a tight and congested game due to a narrow soccer field that was nestled into a Baseball field. The narrow field meant both teams had to advance the ball by using quick one touches down the middle of the field.
After the restart NYCFC changed their tactic by pressuring Seattle and not allowing them possession time and the strategy paid off in the 54th minute on striker ‘s Mehdi Ballouchy calm, cool and collected shot whizzed by a hapless Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
With both teams on level terms, Seattle went to work with crisp, one touch possession passes that created space down the flanks. Sounders FC ‘s commitment to the pass came to fruition in the 58th minutes when Martins streaked down the left flank, pirouette twice then crossed the ball in front of NYCFC goal mouth that Marco Pappa received and laid off to to an on coming Clint Dempsey who froze the NYCFC defenders with a shimmy shake before nestling the ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the 2-1 led. Dempsey has either scored or handed out an assist in the six games he has played in this season.
With the slim lead Sounders FC continued their ball control dominance in the middle of the field and once again the commitment to possession came to fruition on a ten pass sequence that led to Martins second goal of the game and the insurance goal needed to secure the victory and give Seattle four wins in five games.
The second half, I think the game opened up a little bit,” Dempsey said after the game. “You can’t keep that same intensity the whole game. If we were able to get in those pockets and get the turn, me and Oba could make stuff happen.”
Seattle now leads the Western Conference with an average of two points per game. Martins ranks first in MLS with six goals, while Dempsey is tied for second with five. With the brace Martins moves to top of the MLS scoring charts, while becoming only the second player in club history to cross the 30-goal plateau for his career; Dempsey has registered a goal or an assist in 16 of his last 17 appearances
NYCFC’s Kwame Watson-Siriboe was given his second yellow card in 88th minute for a high challenge with Martins. It was NYCFC’s second straight game with a red card.