Red Bulls top Sounders

  • Herald news services
  • Saturday, March 19, 2011 8:33pm
  • Sports

HARRISON, N.J. — Forward Juan Agudelo scored his first career MLS goal to give the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night in a Major League Soccer game.

The decisive goal came in the 70th minute as Agudelo ran onto a long ball from midfielder Teemu Tainio. The 18-year-old, who was called up for upcoming U.S. national team matches against Argentina and Paraguay, shrugged off Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez and booted the ball past Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

New York had a golden opportunity to take the lead nine minutes into the match. After goalkeeper Greg Sutton saved the Red Bulls, coming off his line to smother a deflected ball which fell invitingly for Seattle’s Freddy Montero in the box, the Red Bulls earned a penalty kick.

New York’s Thierry Henry fed a through ball to Agudelo behind the Seattle back line. The U.S. national team forward beat Seattle’s Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to the ball. The striker’s nifty footwork to cut the ball back drew contact from Hurtado, who clipped Agudelo for a penalty kick. However, Henry’s low shot was tipped away by Keller.

In an entertaining back-and-forth affair in the first half, Montero was the inspiration for Seattle’s most dangerous attacks, sending Alvaro Fernandez in alone on goal in the 16th minute. But the Uruguayan failed to capitalize on the opportunity, sending the ball right at Sutton. Montero again tested Sutton from long distance in the 27th minute but the Red Bulls goalie knocked the ball away.

Montero resurfaced in the 39th minute, running onto a ball from Fernandez in the box. His tight angle shot was swatted away by Sutton, who recovered to collect the loose ball from the ground while Seattle’s O’Brian White lurked for the rebound.

It was again the Fernandez-Montero combination wreaking havoc in the final minute of the first half with Montero dancing by defender Tim Ream before slamming a shot against the right post from a difficult angle.

After Agudelo’s goal in the 70th minute, second-half sub Tony Tchani nearly sealed the affair with a header in the 88th minute which was tipped by Keller over the bar.

Seattle nearly scored a dramatic equalizer in stoppage time. Montero’s free kick from 20 yards out was punched away by Sutton and Lamar Neagle booted the rebound over the bar.

Steve Zakuani, who carried a hip injury into the opening match last Tuesday against Los Angeles did not make the trip for Seattle, who instead started Erik Friberg at left midfield and gave draftee Servando Carrasco his first MLS start.

The Sounders host the Houston Dynamo at 7 p.m. on Friday at Qwest Field.

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