MLS: New York City FC 1-3 Seattle Sounders
MATCH RECAP: Capturing its third consecutive victory and a fourth win in five MLS matches, Seattle Sounders FC (5-2-1, 16 points) secured three points against expansion side New York City FC (1-5-3, 6 points) at Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening in front of 25,384 fans, as the club moved into third place in the MLS Western Conference. Sounders FC has one game in-hand against Vancouver and two games in-hand against FC Dallas, with both of those teams sitting just one point above the Rave Green.
Martins opened the scoring for Sounders FC in the 23rd minute of play. The Nigerian slotted a perfectly placed Marco Pappa through ball past NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders at the near post, vaulting the visitors into an early lead at Yankee Stadium.
Following the halftime intermission, the home side applied pressure to Sounders FC, culminating in a Mehdi Ballouchy strike in the 54th minute. Patrick Mullins squared a pass from the left flank to the onrushing Ballouchy, who calmly fired a strike past Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Dempsey provided the go-ahead goal for the Rave Green four minutes after NYCFC’s equalizer, with Martins supplying a cross to Pappa from the endline, allowing the Guatemalan winger to play the ball to Dempsey’s feet. The Seattle forward claimed his fifth goal of the season by firing a well-placed shot toward Saunders’ far post. However, Dempsey wasn’t finished leaving his mark on the contest, as the Texas-native engineered Seattle’s third and most emphatic strike with a no-look back-heel to a sprinting Martins. The Nigerian burst through New York City’s backline before launching a shot into the far corner of the net from inside the 18-yard-box.
With his brace, Obafemi Martins now has six goals on the season and 31 in his MLS career. He is the second player in club history to cross the 30-goal plateau, trailing only Fredy Montero (47 goals). As for Dempsey, he has tallied a goal or an assist in all six of his appearances in 2015. Overall, he has registered a goal or an assist in 16 of his last 17 matches, including eight consecutive outings, the 22nd time in MLS history a player has reached a streak of eight in a row.