SEATTLE - The New England Revolution scored after three minutes but they could not stop the onslaught that followed as the Seattle Sounders overturned the early deficit and held on during the second half to register their third straight win, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
Sainey Nyassi opened the scoring with a shot from the top of the penalty area but Seattle had a furious response and equalized a half-hour later through Tyson Wahl's first career goal on a majestic left-footed free kick. The winner came off the foot of designated player Alvaro Fernandez, who curled a shot around Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis minutes before the halftime whistle.
The Sounders, who withstood a second-half rally by the visitors including a crossbar struck by forward Zach Schilawski, are now unbeaten in six straight and have registered three straight wins. New England are heading in the opposite direction, having gone winless in the past seven.
The Revolution opened the scoring off a corner kick, with Benny Feilhaber playing a short ball on the ground to Nyassi. Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller got a hand on the Gambian’s shot but was unable to keep it out of the net. It was the first goal Seattle had allowed off a corner kick in 2011.
Down a goal, the Sounders started to push after a hard foul broke them out of their torpor. Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan earned a yellow card for coming through Servando Carrasco in the 23rd minute, prompting a standoff at midfield. After that incident, Seattle seized control of the game and began pressuring Reis’ net.
First came Wahl’s goal, which was predicated by a foul just outside the penalty area. Then came Fernandez’s tally, which tied him for the team lead with four goals. The Uruguayan finished with the inside of his right foot after some scintillating build-up play from Seattle, with Mauro Rosales and Roger Levesque earning the assists.
While Seattle threatened to add a third in the second half, New England had its chances as well. Shalrie Joseph forced a save with a header, while forward Rajko Lekic just missed the far post with a searing volley.
Feilhaber had a chance in the 71st minute when a cross squirted through to him at the back post. By the time he settled the ball, the defense had recovered.
Seattle, who lost Jeff Parke to a migraine headache in the 17th minute, endured one last scare with five minutes remaining when substitute Zach Schilawski rung the crossbar with a left-footed effort.
The Sounders, who were coming off a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on Thursday, executed one of its best passing exhibitions of the 2011 season. At the head of the effort was Rosales, who distributed the ball expertly from his forward position. The Argentine also absorbed the brunt of the pressure, suffering five fouls.
Seattle next face local side Kitsap Pumas in a third round U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday at Starfire Complex and then return to league action Monday, July 4 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. New England also plays on Independence Day, at Real Salt Lake.
NE -- Sainey Nyassi 1 (Benny Feilhaber 2) 3
SEA -- Tyson Wahl 1 (unassisted) 34
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 4 (Roger Levesque 2, Mauro Rosales 4) 40
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 81), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 62), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Ryan Guy (Kenny Mansally 62), Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Otto Loewy, Bobby Shuttleworth.
Seattle Sounders -- 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: Mike Fucito, Zach Scott, Michael Tetteh, Terry Boss.
NE -- Pat Phelan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 23
SEA -- Servando Carrasco (caution; Tactical Foul) 26
NE -- Ryan Cochrane (caution; Reckless Tackle) 72
NE -- Rajko Lekic (caution; Dissent) 78
SEA -- Tyson Wahl (caution; Delaying a Restart) 87
NE -- A.J. Soares (caution; Dissent) 90
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Sunny and 65 degrees