The Sounders dominated early, but a sudden goal in the 76th minute by New York’s Tim Cahill gave the Red Bulls a 1-1 draw at the Clink in a Sunday night downpour. Seattle was seeking to take over the lead the Supporters Shield, but the lone point kept them tied with Real Salt Lake in the MLS West, although they have two games in hand.
The match between conference leaders went the Sounders’ way in the first half with 64 percent of the possessions and and a 10-3 advantage in shots, but they didn’t score until the 45th minute, and then it was on a penalty kick.
A handball was called on New York defender Markus Holgersson, and Brad Evans offered up a low, hard shot that stayed left of goalie Luis Robles. It was Evans’ fourth goal of the season and was his seventh goal in as many PK tries.
The Red Bulls in the second half brought pressure, including two set-piece shots that each banged off the frame around the 65th minute. Ten minutes later, the Sounders’ backs lost control of the ball in front of the goal, and the ball came free off a carom to the feet of Cahill, who quickly struck a hard shot to the near post past goalie Michael Gspurning.
Both teams played without stars. New York’s Thierry Henry stayed home because he doesn’t like Seattle’s turf field, and the Sounders’ Clint Dempsey rested a sore hamstring.
The Sounders (15-8-7) extended their league-best unbeaten streak to 5-0-2, and New York (15-9-7) saw its four-game win streak end. Seattle also missed a chance to be the first team to clinch a playoff spot but extended its home unbeaten streak this season to 11-0-3.
Some missed opportunities here, including one by Eddie Johnson who could have passed off to Martins but tried to go it alone when he was in front of the goal and got the ball taken from him. The comeback this season had been amazing but by the same token this match was there for the taking. I’ll take a tie over a loss though.