Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Dempsey Sets Up Extra Time Winner

SEATTLE—They left it late, but the Seattle Sounders secured pole position at the top of MLS after an impressive victory against the New York Red Bulls.

The Sounders didn’t lead until the 91st minute, when forward Clint Dempsey arrived late in the box to square a Tyrone Mears cross to the substitute Chad Barrett, who tapped in from close range. It was Barrett who was ultimately credited with the goal, but it was the deep, looping cross and Dempsey’s intelligent movement that capped off the Sounders’ comeback.

The Red Bulls took the lead on 36 minutes when a deflected free kick found its way to Lloyd Sam, who instinctively headed home from inside the six-yard box. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei had the right to be upset with his defenders in the wall, as they allowed a relatively weak free kick to squirm through to Sam. It was the first goal the Sounders have conceded at home since March 14, and it was a reasonably weak goal to give up considering the Rave Green’s defensive standards as of late.

Chad Marshall slotted back alongside Brad Evans in defense, and Dylan Remick regained his place at left back after missing out on the midweek action against Colorado. Christian Roldan started on the right of the Sounders’ midfield for the second game running, but it was Marco Poppa on the opposite flank who once again showed why he is becoming one of the biggest threats in the MLS.

At times Poppa was seen dropping deep, even out regista-ing* the Sounders’ typical holding player Osvaldo Alonso. But when Poppa got the ball, it was clear that the Guatemalan is really enjoying his football at the moment. Every step that he puts his foot on the ball comes with the desire to create, and the hunger to link up with his attacking teammates. His confidence and verve saw him score in his second straight game, this time an emphatic equalizing strike.

Poppa was played the ball from Obafemi Martins in space, and instead of squaring the ball back to Martins once he entered the box, he swerved left, right and left again before smashing a shot past Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles.

Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid cited Poppa’s recent emergence to his willingness to pop up in different areas of the field.

“He is a player who is very talented. Sometimes I want him to be higher up on the field to expose his talents by getting in,” Schmid said. “He is getting more touches in the opponent’s end of the field, and that’s what we look for. Now he’s got a couple of goals, and he already has a career high in assists. We need him to continue to play that way.”

After three home games this past week, including a 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City, the Sounders will head to the Midwest to face SKC on Saturday June 6.

*Regista is a European term for a deep lying, holding midfielder who spreads the vision of play and creates from just in front of the back line.

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