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Video: Seattle's Debut

Watch highlights of the Sounders' 3-0 victory over New York:


By Steve Goff  |  March 20, 2009; 8:06 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: USA Roster for Qualifiers

Comments

Not bad for an expansion team. Where was Ljundberg, is he not coming over until the July transfer window?

Posted by: bighungry | March 20, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I watched the entire game last night and my impressions are that Seattle will be competitive and the Red Bulls are terrible without some significant changes. The Red Bulls defense was swiss cheese all night and its distribution was woeful.

That being said, it was clear that it was the first game of the year for both sides and the rust was very evident.


Posted by: therealfootball | March 20, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Ljundberg had hip surgery and is not yet fit.

Posted by: therealfootball | March 20, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

this was a fun match to watch. the Sounders simply outworked the RedBulls (which is ironic in an of itself) the RB midfield is , in alexei's words, atrocious. the defense can't mark or pass the ball out of the back, and Cepero isn't good enough to make up for it. for a team that was supposed to wow us with speed, they were beat to every ball. Harkes said something reasonable like "in Europe you get benched for that" talking about missing a man (Pietravillo letting Evans run open through the box on the second, I think) well, in Europe the Manager gets fired for a performance like this to start the season.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 20, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I hope they Osario so they can play like that all season!

Posted by: therealfootball | March 20, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I hope they keep Osario so they can play like that all season!

Posted by: therealfootball | March 20, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm so excited that the season started with Red Bull loss! It was fun cheering for the "under dog." The Western Conference will probably be mediocre across the board with Real Salt Lake the only "good" team. It this is the case, Seattle's got a good shot of making the playoffs in their first season.

Posted by: TCompton | March 20, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that was embarrassing.

We'll see how the cavalry (Johnson, Celades, Pacheco) works out. And it'll be good to have Stammler back. With him I doubt goal #2 would have happened (where the hell was Pietrovallo?).

I like Jeremy Hall a lot.

But Osorio got badly outcoached by Sigi, AGAIN. Painful.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

same old metros ... always losing :-)

Fun game to watch. Might have to get used to the idea of a band - or they may need to tone it down a bit during the run of play, but the crowd sounded pretty good. They had plenty to cheer for, it'll be interesting to see if they can keep it up when things aren't going as well.

It was very encouraging to see that no matter what they do, NJ still continues to be a bad team with no cohesion. This makes me very happy.

Posted by: dcufan | March 20, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Very odd formation from Red Bull. They appeared to be playing without a midfield.

That said, I thorughly enjoyed watching the game. Seattle was playing with such conviction and hustle, and the atmosphere was terrific.

JP and Harkes were competent, but ESPN almost missed the second goal when they had Harkes talking over a replay while the goal was setting up. The HD is great, but ESPN still needs to learn how to focus on the match at hand.

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I was excited yesterday when I visited the new DCU website and saw the fixtures listed as home vs away. Then I tune in to this match last night and see that they have it as away vs home. Good game none the less.

Posted by: peridigm | March 20, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I a

Posted by: stairs | March 20, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Say hello to my little fren."

Quite an opening statement by Montero

Posted by: OWNTF | March 20, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Montero is gonna prove to be a sick signing.

Posted by: spidergoose | March 20, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Watching last night was very impressive...Montero will not be around for long and has the age and pedigree to fetch a high price...

Where was Celades for NYRB? They sure could have used...anything, though Hall showed well.

Am I the only one who thinks that with his constant tinkering Osorio's teams always look a little confused?

Posted by: teo_68 | March 20, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

So how did the expansion team sign the Colombian League's leading scorer while DCU's vaunted front office accomplished the unthinkable...sign a draft pick.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | March 20, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

And Montero wasn't just good because of the two goals -- the ball just sticks to his foot. There was one play in the 2nd half where he fought off two guys in midfield and was able to lay it off down the right side line, and Le Toux put in a great cross that was almost a 4th goal.

Le Toux's crosses are great. I loved Nyassi's speed. Seattle's D looked great because NY was so disorganized on attack -- I think Harkes mentioned how Rojas was playing way too far back to get the ball.

As for NYRB -- their D just cannot handle the ball well. It led to so many problems, from the 3rd goal to not being able to build the attack up. Kandji was lazy, not really working to get the ball and kind of off in no man's land in the 1st half. That was a great run by Evans -- but even worse marking -- for the second goal. And Cepero got nutmegged -- that's bad.

It was one of those games where it seemed Seattle had more players on the field.

Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I know Hall had a great year last year, but the playoff games I saw he didn't do much. But it seems like he can hang with the pros for the most part - I hope he continues to progress (just not against us).

Montero's fun to watch, and with Nyassi on the wing, that could make for many a headache this year.

Posted by: eadc | March 20, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

http://www.uefa.com/competitions/ucl/news/kind=1/newsid=811234.html

Barca v Bayern is going to be fantastic.

Champions League draw:
1 Villarreal CF (ESP) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
2 Manchester United FC (ENG, holders)v FC Porto (POR)
3 Liverpool FC (ENG) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
4 FC Barcelona (ESP) v FC Bayern M√ľnchen (GER)

Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The good thing for NY is that last night's line-up was nothing close to who will be playing this year.

The bad thing for NY is that Osorio still puts his players in positions that they can't play. He learned nothing from the playoff run last year, evidently. It was the spitting image of their crappy performances in the middle of last summer, when he over-managed the formations and confused players left opponents unmarked and lots of the field open.

Anyhow, because someone asked about Celades and someone else made a comment that they need changes:

Celades is waiting on his visa. He'll probably link the defense to the attack, something Pietrovallo can't do.

Alfredo Pacheco is waiting for immigration paperwork as well. That's a signing that will make a huge difference, because he is fast as hell, a good defender, and contributes to the attack. Huge, huge upgrade over Goldthwaite. The only problem is that his attacking style probably means that Khano Smith would start on the left (he was serving out last year's red card suspension last night) because he can cover for Pacheco, and Smith is a maddeningly inconsistent player.

Carlos Johnson will be playing for Costa Rica, I think, but he also had a minor injury that kept him out last night. He would play right back. He has been pretty good when I've seen him, but once Osorio realized he screwed up and put Hall in, right back looked much better.

Seth Stammler is healing up from injury, and he's a far better option at DM than Pietrovallo. No way would Evans have run in unmarked with Stammler in the game. Luke Sassano is the #2 choice, and Osorio kept him out with a minor injury.

Then there's Oduro, who's not a great player but who would have been useful as the second forward last night, which would have opened up space for Angel, if Osorio would have had the guts not to play that one striker formation.

But really, we're talking four or five second and third choice players last night. The loss was totally embarrassing, but I'm not going to worry about the season unless the squad that kicked ass in Argentina is back together in a couple weeks. With Osorio, any stupid strategy is possible, so things could go terribly wrong, but it would show ignorance to pretent like last night was anything close to what will be on the field this year.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

teo: "Am I the only one who thinks that with his constant tinkering Osorio's teams always look a little confused?"

Completely correct, my friend.

But Kevin Goldthwaite, bless his heart, had an Agoos vs Poland style meltdown. That wasn't confusion, but rather flat out screwing up. He really doesn't need to be playing anymore.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I know that Goff and Ives had the take that Red Bulls looked "ok" after seeing them play Crystal Palace Baltimore last week but seriously--they didn't impress me that night and they didn't impress me last night. I undertsnad that they dialed it down, during the friendly in Annpolis--no point in anyone getting injured in a utterly meaningless gae--I got that. Makes complete sense. Sure, they looked faster but let me just put it this way:

"Red Bull is exactly who 'Ole Yanki Yank THOUGHT they were!!!"

Some of the same vulnerablities were exposed by third division club. The difference is that Palace failed to convert their realy chances.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 20, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah? Well, we have the old version of Montero on OUR team! The really slow, fat version.

#99

Posted by: Hoost | March 20, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the video. Didn't show that awesome shaking of defenders Reignking mentioned, but it was nice to revisit that this morning. Pretty impressed and their DP didn't even play. Alonso worked his butt off, hope those Sounders fans appreciate the guy while the Swede is out. He was one of the biggest threats in the Open Cup final, I think almost equalizing late...
Anyway great looking game to kick the season off at Red Bulls expense. Those cycling jerseys are awful, hope DCU isn't considering that design for next years kit.
Sunday can't come soon enough! Come on United!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@Dadryan: You should see them in the Blue. It gave the Baltimore Supporters something else to clown them about...

Posted by: yankiboy | March 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Kasey Keller to appear on Dancing with the Stars!:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2009/03/19/2008891762.jpg

(Theres some great photo galleries at Seattle Times and Seattle PI)

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

and was it me, or did Goldthwaite seem to just get the crapped smashed out of him the whole game?

I was very impressed by the Seattle crowd. The play was choppy, but it was the first game. Montero was impressive, and I thought Hurtado at the back showed pretty well. Not really sure why they thought they needed Ljundberg...

Posted by: VTUnited | March 20, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Where was Ljunberg, is he not coming over until the July transfer window?
-----------------------------------------
It floors me that somebody who's commenting on a post about MLS is this clueless about where Ljunberg was.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

For some reason, videos haven't showed up on the Insider. Any Techies out there with suggestions.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | March 20, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

That was a LOT of fun. NY got crushed. Unbelievable fan enthusiasm. Did anyone else think that Goldthwaite in HD was looking a bit like a poorly disguised Klingon? Not to mention playing like one? Or that Dane Richards maybe read a bit too much of his own press clippings over the offseason?

Only sour note: wondering if NY's play is a preview of what we will see from DC, particularly with our top wingers out.

Posted by: regularfan | March 20, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Where was Ljunberg, is he not coming over until the July transfer window?
-----------------------------------------
It floors me that somebody who's commenting on a post about MLS is this clueless about where Ljunberg was.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 20, 2009 10:13 AM
-------------------------------------------
Whoah, Tiger. Take it easy. Watch how you use the word "cluesless" or I will demand some sort of royalties; According to my wife, I have made it my life's work to carry that "torch" (especially if she is asking me about decorating stuff for the house). Maybe Playa was just off his game for a moment.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Dane Richards...ok, he is fast. But then he tries to go 2-on-1, and he can't do that. Not ever close. A turnover machine.

Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"and was it me, or did Goldthwaite seem to just get the crapped smashed out of him the whole game?"

Yeah, he was horrible. Really one of the worse performances I have ever seen from a defender, and as a long time NY fan I have seen a lot.

Trying to extrapolate the results from last night, or short several key players against CPUSA, is a stretch, though.

The defense will no doubt improve. The questions are:

1. Can Rojas succeed if he is in a more advanced position? He has great vision and awesome skills, but was picking the ball up from behind the center circle and running into three or four defenders. Celades will help a lot in allowing Rojas the opportunity to make plays, but if Rojas can't adjust, it'll be a long season.

2. Can NY find a central defensive pairing that works? Having Stammler ahead of the defense will take some of the pressure off that game from the midfield, but Boyens, Petke, and Mendes are all pretty slow. (For me, this is the biggest concern-- I think the others will work out, but they're going to need another centerback. I wish they could sign Ogunbiye.)

3. Can Khano Smith find some consistency in his game? Sometimes he looks like an all-star, blazing past defenders or tracking back fifty yards for a saving tackle. Sometimes he looks like the worst player you have ever seen. They need him, or someone else, to be able to work with Pacheco on the left side.

4. Can Osorio learn from his mistakes? He sure has a lot of faith in his intelligence, but it's clear that he botched the tactics last night. Hall should have started, Boyens should have sat, and some plan B for Goldthwaite (whose poor play resulted in the first goal and who was abused all night), but most imporantly, that single striker formation that Osorio loves to play on the road DOES NOT WORK. It resulted in losses last summer that were far worse than the the team merited, and only when he changed tactics to a 4-3-1-2 did the team start playing well. He seems to have forgotten that.

Anyhow, DC fans should feel good that NY was so bad last night, but it would be a big mistake to presume that the team in Seattle is anything like what they'll field in two weeks.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I had no clue about Freddie's injury/surgery.

Then again, I couldn't care less about seattle.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Barca v Bayern is going to be fantastic.
Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 9:50 AM

And it sets up nicely for a Barca v. United final. I've always wanted to see Rome in May.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | March 20, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, Dane Richards...ok, he is fast. But then he tries to go 2-on-1, and he can't do that. Not ever close. A turnover machine."

Ha, he never realized what Sigi had planned for him: to lure him into 2-on-1 by having one guy on him until he got 25 yards from goal, then having the left mid or center back close.

Had Richards played the early ball a few times near the beginning of the game, or had Ubiparipovic/Pietrovallo come forward (they were clearly instructed to go no futher than the center circle, or had NY used correct players in defense at the start, his performance wouldn't have been so awful.

Notice that when Hall came in and got the green light to go forward in the second half, Richards had more options and space and was much better. Unfortunately, Pietrovallo was still in the game providing no outlet or support for the defense, and NY was down two and committing more to offense, so Hall's advanced position left Petke on his own where he stupidly coughed up the ball.

Anyhow, Richards and Osorio were both too stupid to figure out Sigi's tactic. I'd worry about it more if I didn't think that they'll learn from their mistake.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Richards did seem off. I usually love to watch him play, but he was not sharp last night. Still fast though.

and that volley by Rojas would have been the goal of the year, were it not for Mr. Keller (the play did make the top 10 on Sportscenter, as did Montero's 1st goal).

Posted by: VTUnited | March 20, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

had no clue about Freddie's injury/surgery.

Then again, I couldn't care less about seattle.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 20, 2009 10:32 AM

Hey, Alec81, are you really Clay Bennett in disguise???

When you see Drew Carey, slap him and tell him to "keep my name out his mouth" lol

Posted by: yankiboy | March 20, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

By the way, who designed Seattle's kits - the Jetsons? Awful

Posted by: Kev29 | March 20, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I hate NYRB's kits -- booooring. All white and a giant logo.

Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe bighungry was making a joke about underwear model DP's coming back to MLS in July??? Come on gang...Or maybe he hasn't been following the Sounders every move...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Barca v Bayern is going to be fantastic."

Too bad we'll be stuck with the Reds v the Blues---per EPSN's EPL teams only policy.

Re: Sounders Hysteria. If they can keep 20K plus at games, it will be a tough place to play. I'm guessing the Sounders will suffer away from home. Plus, me thinks their depth is going to be stretched over the season . . . and let's not forget how bad NY was/is/has always been.

Their marching band is an interesting idea, but they need to learn how to play for a soccer match . . .

Posted by: delantero | March 20, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Sounders FC deserved the win almost as much as NYRB deserved the spanking. They lived up to the hype and put on a very good show for opening night.

They looked solid too -- dangerous attack (from several directions) and solid defense (Angel could have stayed in bed). They are going to be a tough team to beat this year. And Montero is the real-deal, looking a lot like a younger Moreno.

So yeah, well done Seattle. Congrats!

Now we must crush you.

Posted by: -rke- | March 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just in case anyone missed it, Montero signed with Seattle on loan from Deportivo Cali in Colombia. Either way, he's going to have a very nice year.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | March 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the Seattle band? I loved it. Great sound -- and more importantly, my wife liked it. She really hates the low buzz and awful horns from Europe...

Posted by: Reignking | March 20, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It was great seeing an MLS match last night. Even better when the Red Bulls looked like a JV team.

United needs to start strong and take care of the Galaxy this coming Sunday.

Seattle did a great job. Congrats on the victory. Just note that not all MLS teams play like the Red Bulls.

Posted by: hardcoco | March 20, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Dude, one game in I'm having the start of my life in Fantasy football... Behind the badge has a league with some nice prizes...
Anyone check the Argy Bargy standings yet?
Holler back Throwin!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss Steve's "modest MLS preview"? Where's it at Goff?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss Steve's "modest MLS preview"? Where's it at Goff?
------------------------

It was in Thursday's sports section.

Posted by: Hokienautic | March 20, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss Steve's "modest MLS preview"? Where's it at Goff?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 12:15 PM


I saw it in yesterdays print edition. Well done, as expected. Should be available with a little mousing....

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sigi is obviously one of the (if not THE) strongest coach in the league. The center of the field was a no man's land for the Red Bulls with Brad Evans and Alonso doing a massive amount of dirty work and the back line looking organized and composed.

I also thought that Jaqua looked excellent and as long as he plays actively last night will make him a dangerous foil to Senor Montero.

Posted by: cjholden15 | March 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the help finding the story, and team capsules... i guess Goff is really busy this week as I don't recall he or anyone else putting a link in the threads yesterday. Lazy me..

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Man, Petke got used like toilet paper on that 3rd.

Posted by: Str8Red | March 20, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

{Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beutiful day....I've got a beutiful feeling, everything's goin' my way...} Sung, badly.

Impressive initial outing from the little green men. Think that Seattle management is frantically reviewing Montero's loan agreement to see if they get a piece of any transfer fees this summer? Very impressed by Alonso (lots of grunt work and excellent effort) and Hurtado (professional in every sense of the word). For all his reputation, Ljungberg will have to work overtime to get into that squad. Glad I went heavy on them in the fantasy leagues...

Hey, DadRyan, check the league board. Great minds think alike!

Posted by: throwin | March 20, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

NattyBo1985:

Expansion teams get a lot more money for transfer fees, for one. In MLS, it's almost never as cut and dry as "why didn't we get that guy?"

MJ:

I think you're more or less right. There's no way NY will be that awful over the course of the season. However, for them to be a playoff team, all three of the guys on the way will have to be successful (Hall's play may mean Johnson is under the least pressure).

If Rojas drops off like that throughout the season, NY is doomed. Celades is going to need to be a superb link so that Rojas can stay where he belongs (since he's apparently too dumb to stay there on his own). If Rojas drops off, NY's speed advantage can be eliminated by simply defending deep.

mjhoya12:

I had read that Montero was 66% owned by Seattle.

***

NY was simply awful. Certain players were incredibly bad (Goldthwaite, Pietravallo, Rojas), but there wasn't a single player who was better than mediocre. Osorio's tactics contributed quite a bit, but no tactics explain Kandji's uninterested display or Ubiparipovic's disappearing act.

Seattle did what they had to do, but I think any team in MLS would see 3-0 as a minimum with last night's NY team as an opponent. I'd like to see what Seattle can do against a team that can possess the ball, since NY didn't at all and the Sounders, for all the things they did right, still ended up around 50/50 in terms of possession. If NY had just been able to defend as a unit, this game would have been much, much closer.

If last night's showing is what Montero brings to the table, he's going to be one of the top 3 or 4 strikers in MLS. If Seattle can maintain that energetic central midfield play (which will keep teams from cutting Montero off by robbing him of the ball), they'll always have a fighting chance. However, while Hurtado looked good enough, I'd be surprised if Riley, Marshall, and Scott can be consistent starters for a good defense. Seattle's next game is against RSL, a team that should be a much bigger challenge.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 20, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Man, Petke got used like toilet paper on that 3rd."

He did. Great pressure from Montero to prevent him from turning 180 to play back to the keeper. It was one of those classic goals you concede because you're losing and your other defenders are so far forward that you have no lateral pass to make, the kind of thing that turns a 2-0 loss into a 3-0 loss.

Petke was otherwise the only bright spot among the starting defenders, but he has never had the skills to be a lone defender in an attacking three back system, which by the last 30 minutes was what NY was using.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"However, for them to be a playoff team, all three of the guys on the way will have to be successful (Hall's play may mean Johnson is under the least pressure)...If Rojas drops off like that throughout the season, NY is doomed. Celades is going to need to be a superb link so that Rojas can stay where he belongs (since he's apparently too dumb to stay there on his own). If Rojas drops off, NY's speed advantage can be eliminated by simply defending deep."

Could not agree more.

I'm actually not at all worried about Pacheco, who I expect to be one of the best left backs in the league. He has wheels, good ball skills and passing, a great read on the game, and can get forward and still recover. He also has an awesome free kick. As long as he doesn't get hurt, and he's not injury-prone, we'll be fine there. Thank God, because Goldie's performance made me want to puke. The issue is whether Khano can ever find consistency (20% likelihood), or if not, if he has the attention span to cover when Pacheco has gone foward (50% likelihood).

I'm less familiar with Johnson, but Hall was good enough in his debut to allow NY to play much better. He made Richards a better player, and had some nice defensive plays. The bigger question for me is who gets paired with Petke. If they can't find another center back, they're screwed, though Mendes was acceptable (Boyens was NOT).

Celades is vital, I agree. If he has 50% of what he had four years ago (which he seems to), and if Rojas can be patient and find good spaces in the attacking end to receive the ball, then the attack will be pretty good. But I'm not convinced
that Rojas is capable of learning that part of being a playmaker. If not, it'll be a long year.

So basically I'm close to 50/50 on whether this team will pull it out and be pretty good (3rd/4th East) or whether they'll absolutely suck. We'll all know more in about three weeks.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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