SEATTLE, Wash. – Sainey Nyassi scored his first goal of the season in the third minute to give the New England Revolution an early lead on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field, but Tyson Wahl and Alvaro Fernandez responded for the home side as Seattle Sounders FC claimed a 2-1 win in front of a sellout crowd of 36,212.
It was the first time this season the Revolution lost a game in which it scored the opening goal.
The loss means the Revs (3-8-6, 15 pts.) remain winless on the road this season, while the Sounders (8-4-7, 31 pts.) are now unbeaten in their last six (4-0-2) and remain locked in a tie for second place in the overall league standings with FC Dallas.
Nyassi matched the Revolution’s earliest goal of the season with his third-minute tally, but Wahl brought the Sounders level with a stunning free kick in the 34th minute before Fernandez scored the eventual game-winner in the 40th minute.
Benny Feilhaber slotted straight back into the Revolution’s starting lineup after missing four games with a right ankle sprain, while Ryan Cochrane returned from a left hamstring strain to take his usual place in central defense. Ryan Guy earned his first MLS start – replacing the injured Chris Tierney (L foot contusion) on the left wing – while Nyassi retained his starting spot on the right side of midfield.
Nyassi rewarded head coach Steve Nicol’s faith by opening the scoring in just the third minute. From a corner kick, Feilhaber delivered a low pass to Nyassi at the top of the box, where the Gambian had ample time to tee up a first-time shot which skipped through a crowd and inside the left post to give the Revs a 1-0 lead.
The Sounders turned the one-goal deficit into a 2-1 lead before halftime, however, with a pair of quick-fire goals in the span of six minutes late in the first half.
Seattle first pulled level in the 34th minute when Wahl curled an unstoppable free kick into the upper left corner from 20 yards out. Mauro Rosales collided with Cochrane to create the set piece, which Wahl blasted around the wall with his left foot to record a memorable first career MLS goal.
Fernandez pushed the Sounders ahead in the 40th minute with his team-leading fourth goal of the season following a clever piece of interplay. Rosales slipped a pass inside the box to Roger Levesque, who used his first touch to lay a pass outside to Fernandez. The Uruguayan made no mistake with his first-time effort, curling a low shot off the fingertips of Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis and inside the right post.
The Revs began the second half reenergized and almost leveled the score in the 50th minute from another corner kick. Shalrie Joseph rose highest to power a header on frame from Feilhaber’s service, but Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a sprawling one-handed save diving to his left.
Rajko Lekic went close for the Revolution in the 61st minute, pushing a left-footed volley inches wide of the far post from a tight angle after Guy looped the ball into his path.
Continuing their search for an equalizer, the Revs made a pair of attack-minded changes in the 62nd minute when Zak Boggs and Kenny Mansally replaced Nyassi and Guy, while the visitors used their third and final substitution in the 81st minute when Zack Schilawski came on in place of Cochrane.
Schilawski was almost the hero four minutes after taking the field when his 25-yard drive sailed past Keller, but the effort struck the crossbar and New England’s last chance at a game-tying goal went begging.
Next up for the Revs during their extensive road swing is a special Independence Day showdown with Real Salt Lake on Monday, July 4. Kickoff from Rio Tinto Stadium is set for 8:30 p.m. ET
New England Revolution at Seattle Sounders FC
June 26, 2011 – CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Wash.)
Seattle Sounders FC 2, New England Revolution 1
NE – Sainey Nyassi (Benny Feilhaber) 3
SEA – Tyson Wahl (unassisted) 34
SEA – Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque, Mauro Rosales) 40
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 81), Kevin Alston, Ryan Guy (Kenny Mansally 62), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 62), Rajko Lekic
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Otto Loewy
STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 13
Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 17), Tyson Wahl, Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 69), Mauro Rosales (Nate Jaqua 89), Roger Levesque
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Mike Fucito, Michael Tetteh, Zach Scott
STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 7
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Pat Phelan (caution) 23
SEA – Servando Carrasco (caution) 26
NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 72
NE – Rajko Lekic (caution) 78
SEA – Tyson Wahl (caution) 87
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 90
New England Revolution – 3-8-6, 15 pts.
Seattle Sounders FC – 8-4-7, 31 pts.
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Eric Proctor
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Sunny and 65 degrees
- With the loss, the Revs fell to 3-2-0 all-time against Seattle, including a 1-2-0 mark in matches played in the Emerald City
- The Revs are now 0-6-2 on the road this season following today’s loss
- The Revolution extended its winless streak in the Pacific time zone to nine matches, dating back to Aug. 20, 2009, coincidently, when the team earned a 1-0 win at Seattle
- Today’s game was the team’s fifth West Coast game of the 2011 season having already made trips to LA (March 20), Vancouver (April 6), Chivas USA (April 30) and San Jose (May 21) … the team will not make the visit to Portland – the team’s sixth and final West Coast trip – for another three months, playing the Timbers on Sept. 16
- Benny Feilhaber returned to the lineup after missing four matches with a right ankle sprain suffered on May 28 against LA
- Ryan Guy made his first-ever start with the Revolution and in Major League Soccer … he started on the left wing in place of Chris Tierney, who missed the game with a left foot contusion suffered last Saturday against Chicago
- Ryan Cochrane returned to the starting lineup after missing last Saturday’s game against Chicago with a left hamstring strain suffered earlier in the week against Toronto (June 15)
- The Revolution dressed just 17 players after Ousmane Dabo, originally scheduled to travel with the squad to Seattle, was scratched on Friday morning before the team departed … he had missed the previous three matches with a right quadriceps strain
- The Revs’ third-minute goal from Sainey Nyassi matched the team’s earliest goal scored in a game this season … in the season opener at LA on March 20, Shalrie Joseph also scored in the third minute
- Sainey Nyassi’s goal off Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick was the team’s second from a corner this season … it was also the first goal off a corner that Seattle had surrendered in 2011
- Sainey Nyassi’s goal was his first of the 2011 season and his first goal since Oct. 2, 2010 when he struck for the Revs’ lone goal against Real Salt Lake at Gillette Stadium
- Benny Feilhaber’s assist was his second with the Revolution … he also recorded an assist in his first game with the team – against Sporting Kansas City on April 23
- Today’s game was the first since June 10 at New York that the team had surrendered more than one goal
- This afternoon’s game was the third straight in which the Revs outshot their opponents
- Today’s game featured two of the four MLS coaches who have recorded 100-plus victories … Revolution head coach Steve Nicol is fourth all-time in MLS with 110 wins, while Seattle’s Sigi Schmid is the league’s all-time leader with 147 wins