McClatchy News Services
HARRISON, N.J. — Sounders FC and the New York Red Bulls each led and each came from behind Sunday before settling for a 2-2 draw at Red Bulls Arena.
“We’re pleased to come out with a point,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought in the first half we played fairly well. … I think the fatigue from us playing (in U.S. Open Cup last Wednesday) started to show a little bit. But, I thought we showed a lot of character going down 2-1, then coming back getting the equalizer, holding on for the tie.”
The result moved each club into third place in its respective conference: Seattle at 8-5-7 in the West, New York at 9-5-5 in the East. The match also concluded Seattle’s regular-season play against Eastern Conference opponents, going 4-2-4.
“Half those games were on the road, and we continue to be a decent road team, although we’d like some of those ties to be wins,” Schmid said. “… We don’t get to play these teams more than once so we wanted to win the season series.”
The Sounders moved ahead in the 16th minute, when Adam Johansson sent a pass into the penalty area, and Alvaro Fernandez one-touched it into the back of the net.
However, this would become the first time this season that the Sounders would score first and fail to win.
New York struck back in the 24th minute on a goal by Sebastien Le Toux, a former Sounder who was acquired from Vancouver on Friday.
The scoring sequence began with a scorching shot from Kenny Cooper. Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith knocked it away, but Le Toux beat the defense to the rebound.
“(Saturday) was my first day with the team,” Le Toux said. “I feel like my mind was really off tonight, but I’m really happy to score my first goal in my new uniform.”
The Red Bulls moved ahead in the 61st minute when Joel Lindpere got behind the Seattle defense, lost defender Jeff Parke with an inside move, and then beat Meredith to the near side from about 20 yards.
Schmid almost instantly subbed forward Fredy Montero into the game. The move paid off about five minutes later when Montero ran onto a pass from Brad Evans and directed it past goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
“We rescued a point on a very tough venue to play in, with weather that was really bad to play in,” Montero said. “The game seemed to slow down due to the heat and humidity on the pitch.”
The game was played before a crowd of 19,414 on an afternoon where the temperature topped out at 91 degrees and the humidity hovered around 75 percent.
Both teams played with reserve keepers as New York’s usual starter Ryan Meara was held out with a hip injury. Meanwhile, Sounders No. 1 keeper Michael Gspurning traveled with the team, but remained off of the game day roster due to a hip injury that has kept him out since May 2.
The Sounders return to the pitch Wednesday, meeting Chelsea FC in a friendly at CenturyLink Field.
Their next MLS match is July 28 at Colorado.