Match Preview: Seattle Sounders vs NE Revolution, Streaks on the Line
Seattle used another late goal to extend their winning streak to five in the 2-1 midweek win over FC Dallas.
For the fourth time in five games, the Sounders gave up the first goal of the match and came back to win.
The Sounders (7-2-1) sit atop the Western Conference with 22 points and lead the league in total goals by the same number.
The Revs (4-3-2) defeated Toronto FC 2-1. New England's unbeaten run now stands at four (3-0-1). They are tied for the Eastern Conference's top spot with Kansas City and New York with 14 points.
Seattle midfielder Clint Dempsey spent three seasons with New England before leaving in 2007 for the shores of Europe.
dempsey and martins offensive combination
Dempsey and forward Obafemi Martins have scored 12 goals and nine assists this year. Dempsey's appeared in eight matches this year, and leads MLS with eight tallies. He's also been credited with three assists. Dempsey' failed to record a point in his last two games.
Martins is the leagues assist leader with six and contributed four goals. In his last four games, the Nigerian striker scored in three consecutive matches against Chivas, Colorado and Philaldelphia. He contributed two assists in the FC Dallas matchup.
“That's his unselfish play for the team," head coach Sigi Schmid said of Martins' two assists. "He'll run the channels, he'll post up when he needs to post up, he'll drop off and find the ball. He will chase and battle and fight for the ball. He has just been a great teammate this year and this is something good. ... If we can get him on the ball and if we can get Dempsey on the ball in the final 20 yards of the field, it's problems for the opponent."
NEAGLE AND COOPER: TWO MORE WEAPONS
Forwards Lamar Neagle and Kenny Cooper give Seattle two additional offensive weapons. Neagle's tied with Martins with four goals and matched Dempsey's three assists for seven points this year. He's found the back of the net three times and earned one assist in the last four games.
In 375 minutes of play, Cooper's scored three times and recorded one assist. He entered the match on Wednesday night in the 86th minute. Two minutes later, Cooper's header proved to be the game winner.
“No matter what I’m going to make good runs and Oba finds everybody,” Neagle said. “That’s what happened with Kenny, that’s what happened with me. We have confidence in our guys’ passing, especially (Martins and Dempsey). I know if I just make good runs, they are going to find me.”
DEFENSE HOLDS ITS OWN
On Wednesday, Schmid decided to give regular center back Djimi Traore the night off. Zach Scott made his second appearance of the year, while the versatile Brad Evans started at left back.
The make-shift defense held its own and gave up one goal. Evans tangled feet with a Dallas player in the penalty box early in the first half. FC Dallas converted the penalty their only score of the match.
“I thought (Brad) Evans did a good job filling in at left back in the second half of last game, so we put him back there again at left back,” Schmid said. “We came out with Zach Scott because for Djimi (Traore) it's tough to play three games in a week on turf. We felt we needed to make a change there. Zach had been training well and Jalil (Anibaba) was certainly someone we were considering as well.”
Dempsey, Martins, Neagle, Cooper...too much attacking firepower for New England to handle. Sounders FC 3-2 NE Revolution.