NYCFC vs. Sounders, Recap: Going to Ship

Seattle Sounders are going to the Finals! A 1-1 draw on the road against New York City at the Red Bull Arena booked the trip after a 3-1 home win in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semi-final gave Seattle a 4-2 aggregate win in the series. The Sounders advanced with another superb team goal that included a superb volley from Jackson Ragen to Nouhou and a superb cross pass into the penalty area from Nouhou that Raul Ruídias sent into the net.

NYCFC tied the game, bringing the total deficit back to two, early in the second half. Seattle had a great opportunity to close the door just a few minutes later when Jordan Morris and Christian Roldan went off the counter, but when Roldan found Morris with a great look inside the area, his shot was straight at the only defender standing on target. Line.

NYCFC kept pushing for more goals to return to the series, but simply tried they wouldn’t beat Stefan Frei. Frei scored 7 saves while New York scored 25, with more than a few of those stops coming in spectacular fashion. With Frei doing his best impression of the brick wall, and the rest of the team doing their best to limit the risk of shots that escaped New York, the Seattle Pigeons held out for an hour better and secured their place in the Finals. Although there was a pair of yellows on display, the Sounders also managed to avoid being swept into any yellow that would cause players to miss the opening phase of the finals, where they will face UNAM Pumas on the road before hosting them in the second leg. For a chance to raise another trophy at Lumen Field. The dates of those matches have not yet been determined.

1′- Things start hot and controversial as Taty Castellanos slams Xavier Arreaga while Sounder wins a header for a yellow tag.

23′- Castellanos misses the best-of-the-half appearance for New York City after Joao Paulo backed off a pass from Jackson Raggan to let it pass but was caught.

28′- Sounders goal! Raul Ruídias opened the scoring by ending for the first time with an excellent pass from Nohu after a superb Qatari from Jackson Raggen. 1-0 (4-1) Sounders

44′- Nico Lodeiro got the ball back outside the New York club area, and found Ruediaz inside the penalty area. Ruediaz made a touch to create space but his shot was saved.

51′- New York draws the difference. After hitting the post twice, Alex Roldan got a knockout coming into the penalty area allowing for a cut and finish to the traffic. 1-1 (4-2)

60′- Jordan Morris and Christian Roldan play a great sequence on the field, Roldan finds Morris for a great opportunity, but the shot hits an object on the line.

63′ – Another good opportunity for NYCFC, but Stefan Frei stands on the ground and blocks the shot before the ball goes out for a goal kick.

68′- Thales Magno Nuho turns and shoots a ball, but Frye extends and shoots it over the goal.

73′- Stephen Fry! Talles Magno with another great view of the New York table, but Frei drops and blocks the shot from close range!

88′- Another NYCFC close goal, but Frei dipped across the goal and lifted the ball away, then Kelyn Rowe made a foul to stop the danger.

CCL fever: As for any complaints anyone might have about the slow start or poor record of the Sounders to start the MLS season, they are burning the Champions League. While they went 2-2-1 by 0 goals in MLS play – although it’s worth noting that both losses came in their first two games – Seattle didn’t lose a game after in a CCL game, outperforming their opponents 13-3 while going 3-0- 3. They did this while rotating players in and out of the squad for various reasons, and they put in an impressive performance from everyone on the roster. This is a team that was built for great things, to make history, and with them now progressing to the CCL Finals, there is an opportunity for them to do just that. To make it even sweeter, if the Sounders were to become the first MLS team to win a CCL, they would have to do it at home in front of their fans, in front of you and me.

Stefan Frye is still one of the elite: Stefan Fry has been underestimated by almost everyone outside of the greater Seattle metro area. He was, by whatever measure you want to judge goalkeepers, he’s been one of the best if not the best goalkeepers in MLS for years. It does pass the eye test too, often saves a shader reel and repeatedly destroys the lives of MLS attackers. It’s like that commercial with Dikembe Mutombo, it just appeared out of nowhere to crush the hopes of strikers big and small. He rightly won the Player of the Year award in the MLS Cup Final in 2016, but he didn’t get a whole lot of love when it came to Goalkeeper of the Year award. After missing a time injury in 2021, there have been understandable questions about how he might make a comeback, but if tonight’s performance is any indication, concerns about Stefan Fry’s regression are greatly exaggerated. This may be the year Frei finally gets the glory he deserves.

Give and get Concacaf-ed: The Sounders weren’t necessarily the best team in the business. Ronnie Dilla wasn’t the 80-90% control he claimed his team had in the first leg, but the NYCFC seems to be doing the best in this game. Did not matter. Not only did New York City need to be better, they needed to overcome a two-goal deficit (and for a short time, three), and they needed to force the Sounders to make mistakes to get there. They tried to exasperate Seattle for making those mistakes, and they tried CONCACAF on their way to the final, but they chose the wrong path. Equal to the body, the Sounders were able to bring a little of themselves, and while they didn’t take any angst from the NYCFC, they also refused to lose their heads. Instead, at every attempt to kick, grab, or generally capture Seattle, the Sounders responded by luxuriating in their throws, sweeping through the options in goal kicks and set-pieces, and seizing every opportunity to extend the spasm or wait until their presence is checked. Injury to any serious contact. Their way was the road of the paper. It was their way to victory.

This goal was good to the last drop.

57 – The Sounders won 57 duels to 46 in New York City.