A bright start and an early lead for the New England Revolution was quickly erased by the Seattle Sounders on Sunday afternoon as the Revs fell 2-1 to remain winless in their last seven matches. The Revs (3-8-6, 15 points) temporarily quieted the crowd of 36,212 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with their fast start, but the Sounders (8-4-7, 31 points) made sure the home fans would go home happy, taking the lead before halftime.
Sainey Nyassi put the Revs in front in just the third minute. The visitors earned an early corner kick and Benny Feilhaber picked out an open Nyassi at the top of the box with a low pass. Nyassi hit a low shot just inside the far post that a diving Kasey Keller got a hand to, but couldn’t prevent the ball from entering just inside the far post.
Seattle would find the equalizer in the 34th minute after earning a free kick just outside the box. Tyson Wahl stepped up to take the set piece, curling it over the wall and into the upper corner, while Revs goalie Matt Reis didn’t react.
Just six minutes later Seattle would claim the lead through Alvaro Fernandez after Roger Levesque played the Uruguayan into the box. Fernandez dribbled into the left side of the box and blasted a shot on frame that Reis couldn’t keep out of the net.
The Revs switched up their line-up from the side that found some success in the team’s previous two matches – two home draws – using a 4-5-1 formation rather than the 4-4-2 they had recently implemented. Feilhaber made his return from injury to start in central midfield, while Ryan Guy made his first start, replacing the injured Chris Tierney at left midfield.
The switch looked to be effective as the Revs took the early lead and seemed in control for the first twenty minutes of the match. Nyassi threatened to score again in the 17th minute, dribbling forward and testing Keller with a long shot from outside the box. This time the veteran ‘keeper managed to tip the ball wide for a corner.
But it would be all Seattle after that for the rest of the half. After Seattle knotted the score at 1-1 in the 34th minute the Revs struggled to maintain possession and were constantly kept on the back foot by the Sounders. By the end of the half the Sounder had a 2-1 lead and 68% of the possession.
The Revs came out a bit stronger after halftime and Joseph came close to tying it for the Revs in the 50th minute, rising to meet a Feilhaber corner kick about 8 yards from goal. Joseph powered a header on frame, but Keller managed to push it wide with a diving save.
Guy set up Rajko Lekic for a great opportunity in the 62nd minute. With his back to goal Guy flicked a high pass to Lekic, who turned from a tight angle and hit a left footed shot that rolled just wide of the far post.
That would be the last action of the match for Guy as the Revs brought on Kenny Mansally and Zak Boggs to replace Guy and Nyassi. Mansally would partner Lekic up top, while Feilhaber would move to left midfield.
Reis was called into action in the 68th minute after Seattle broke forward with numbers. Mauro Rosales found Levesque with a chip into the box and the Portland, Maine native put a header on frame that Reis managed to grab just below the crossbar.
While the Revs earlier second half substitutes did little to change the flow of the game, the Revs pushed more numbers forward in the 81st minute bringing on Zack Schilawski for Ryan Cochrane and switching to a 3-5-2 formation. That change helped the Revs finally put the Sounders’ defense under more pressure and Schilawski nearly scored a fantastic goal in the 85th minute. The second-year striker got the ball about 30 yards from goal, unleashing a powerful left footed drive that beat Keller, but was denied by the crossbar.
That would be as close the Revs would come to salvaging a point as the Sounders did well to play out the final minutes of the game.
The Revs next travel to Salt Lake City to face Real Salt Lake on July 4th.