Highlights | New York City FC 2-1 Seattle Sounders FC | 2-minute Highlights

NEW YORK – The excuses were there for Seattle Sounders FC.

There was the driving rain that puddled in parts of the Etihad Pitch at Yankee Stadium, the kickoff that came around breakfast on West Coast time, and two penalty decisions, including one given to New York City FC in the second half, that heavily influenced the game.

But Sounders FC coach Brian Schmetzer didn’t take any of them after a 2-1 loss in the Bronx Saturday afternoon.

“The players needed to figure it out, which I think they did for the most part. The dribbling, the pass has to be crisper. Stuff like that,” Schmetzer said. “But it wasn’t the field’s fault why we lost, it wasn’t the rain why we lost.”

And it wasn’t referee Robert Sibiga’s fault, though the decision to award David Villa a penalty kick in the 52nd minute will be replayed over and over throughout the week.

Villa went down after contact by Oniel Fisher, but the Seattle midfielder appeared to toe-poke the ball away first. Nevertheless, Sigiba pointed to the spot andthe NYCFC captain converted for his 50th career MLS goal.

“It gave them some life. Referees have a tough job and sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. But it did spark them a little bit,” Schmetzer said. “And then they got the second goal and we were just trying to catch one there at the end. I thought we were unfortunate there. Chad [Marshall] usually gets those on frame and maybe 2-2 is a fair result or 1-1 is a fair result.”

It was the second penalty shout of the game. The first came midway through the first half when Jack Harrison fell in the box after appearing to be tripped by Joevin Jones’ trail foot. No decision was made, though.

“I really think the first one can go in our favor, it didn’t. The second one couldn’t go in our favor, but it went,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “But this is what I always say, when you look at referees’ decisions and all the decisions at the end of the season, the balance is always there.”

Vieira lauded his team’s resolve, to battle the conditions and respond from being 1-0 down to rally and win 2-1, especially with the first of three regular-season showdowns with the rival New York Red Bulls on the horizon next Saturday (1:30 pm | FOX, MLS LIVE in Canada).

“To come back and win that game it takes a lot of team spirit, quality and we managed to turn it around,” Vieira said.

Schmetzer, conversely, doesn’t think there’s any takeaways heading into a midweek encounter with Orlando City SC.

“No positives,” Schmetzer said. “It’s a loss.”

The reaction was the same from the Seattle locker room.

“No excuse, we have to play better,” Osvaldo Alonso said. “Now we focus on Orlando.”