SEATTLE – Six goals. A late penalty. Several lead changes. Multiple instances of Video Review. There was, in theory, plenty to talk about after the New England Revolution’s wild 3-3 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
Bruce Arena just didn’t know what to say about it.
“I don’t even know how to comment on the game,” Arena said. “Just a mess, that game.”
It certainly started out as a mess for the Revs, who conceded inside two minutes when the Sounders caught them on the counter. But the visitors responded well and eventually turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in an eight-minute span, Michael Mancienne’s first MLS goal – initially chalked off for a foul, then allowed to stand after Video Review – equalizing before Gustavo Bou pushed New England in front.
The Revs thought they had a third on the stroke of halftime, but another Video Review wiped a Sounders’ own goal off the board, and from there it briefly went pear-shaped. As quickly as the Revs took the lead they saw it evaporate, conceding in the 65th and 66th minutes to fall behind, 3-2.
That wasn’t the end of the drama, however, as Carles Gil converted from the penalty spot to pull the Revs level in the 87th minute before both teams had golden chances to win it in stoppage time, only to be denied by a pair of stellar saves from goalkeepers Matt Turner and Stefan Frei.
“What a crazy game,” said Teal Bunbury. “It’s kind of a back-and-forth game. We didn’t want it to turn into a track meet going back and forth. Seattle’s so good at counterattacking, getting on the break, and we allowed them to do that a little bit too much.
“But I think at times we settled down and we were able to create some chances ourselves. There’s VAR. I mean, this game had everything. I’m really proud of the guys for battling, getting a point on the road against a tough opponent, so it’s good momentum for us.”
The point – regardless of how it arrived – was vital for a Revolution side bouncing back from its first loss in almost three months and in the thick of a heated playoff battle in the Eastern Conference. The Revs, at least for now, jumped ahead of Montreal and into sole possession of sixth place in the East.
And they did so despite conceding inside two minutes, and despite trailing into the final five minutes, finding a way to battle back on multiple occasions. That never-say-die mentality is a quality the Revs will benefit from as they play seven of their final nine games against Eastern Conference foes, beginning next weekend when they’ll visit the New York Red Bulls.
“If that was towards the beginning of the season, we probably (would’ve) left with nothing,” said Mancienne, who went the full 90 minutes in his first appearance since May 4, back from a plantar fasciitis injury. “But the whole mentality of the team has changed. Everyone had each other’s backs. We kept fighting until the very end, and like I said, we got a well-deserved point.”
Arena did eventually find some more words to say about the match, praising his team’s mentality, but ultimately his thoughts were summed up succinctly in his first answer.
“We’ll take the point and get out of town,” he said.