The Seattle Sounders started out on the front foot against the New York Red Bulls, but in the end it would take a 67th minute goal from Fredy Montero to secure a point. It was a solid performance for Seattle, but as has been the case for much of the season momentary lapses from the Sounders defense combined with some less-than-stellar goalkeeping kept them from picking up full points. Credit must also be given to the Red Bulls, who rebounded nicely after starting off the game with their backs against the wall to pressure the visitors to the end.
The scoring started in the 16th minute, when a newly-invigorated Alvaro Fernandez latched onto a tremendous early cross from Adam Johannson to send a left-footed finish past New York keeper Bill Gaudette. The goal for the Sounders came after putting heavy pressure on the home side from the opening whistle, but just eight minutes later the Red Bulls equalized against the run of play after Bryan Meredith was unable too corral a long-distance effort from Kenny Cooper allowing an un-marked Sebastien Le Toux to put away the rebound. Things settled a bit from there, but there was some controversy right on the stroke of half time as a clear Osvaldo Alonso handball in the area went uncalled despite strong protestations from Thierry Henry.
The second half began with the Red Bulls applying the pressure, and in the 61st minute they were able to break through. Joel Lindpere beat Seattle high line and spun away from Jeff Parke to create the space needed to finish past Meredith at the near post. That prompted Sigi Schmid to bring on Fredy Montero, it would take just five minutes for the striker to make his presence felt; Brad Evans made an excellent run into space don the right flank and sent a low cross into the box which Montero finished with ease past Gaudette. From there the teams would trade barbs the rest of the way, with Seattle coming very close several time during a sustained onslaught in extra time and New York putting Sounders' fans hearts in their throats after Roy Miller header went just inches wide of the post with the final kick of the game.
While Seattle certainly could have taken three points from this game, the Red Bulls easily could have done the same and a draw was certainly a fair result for both sides. Perhaps most encouraging for Seattle is the fact this this team continues to look like the team everyone was expecting, and with 14 games remaining in the regular season there's more than enough time to salvage the regular season and enter the playoffs in strong form. Whatever the cause of the mid-season swoon, Seattle looks to have put it behind them ad they've done so at a very opportune time; every game the rest of the way comes against Western Conference opposition, meaning that the Sounders fate is almost entirely in their own hands.