2015 did not get off to the star the New England Revolution were hoping for as they fell 3-0 to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field in Washington on Sunday night. The Revs were missing both Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones due to injury, and finished the match playing with ten men after Teal Bunbury appeared to separate his shoulder late on.
While the Revolution attack struggled to get anything going throughout the match, the Seattle forward pairing of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins accounted for all three goals for the Sounders. Dempsey converted a penalty kick and finished a deft team move, sandwiching an athletic Martins header.
Danger signs began early when Chad Marshall nearly scored a header off a corner kick. Juan Agudelo was marking him but slipped, and Marshall powered the free header wide of the post in the 18th minute when he frankly should have scored.
Dempsey made up for the miss in the 25th minute. A failed clearance from a corner fell to the former Rev in the box, and he twisted up Juan Agudelo, forcing the forward into a poor challenge that resulted in a penalty. The finish on the spot-kick gave the home side the lead.
New England's best chance of the night came in the 39th minute. Kelyn Rowe latched onto a poor Brad Evans clearance and took a few steps forward before unleashing a dipping drive from well outside the box. It appeared destined for the far corner, but Stefan Frei made an inhuman save at full stretch to deny him.
Just two minutes later, Seattle punished the Revolution for thinking they could threaten the goal. Tyrone Mears took a pass wide from Dempsey and, finding that Chris Tierney was giving him a wealth of time and space, picked out a dangerous cross. Obafemi Martins found Andrew Farrell ball-watching, and glided in front of the newly-minted center-back before soundly out-jumping him to head home from close range.
The second half saw the third and final goal of the match, the one that truly exposed the Revolution defense. Dempsey, Martins, and Marco Pappa combined in a quick passing sequence, completely unlocking the defense until Martins and Dempsey were in the box with only Bobby Shuttleworth to beat. Martins squared for Dempsey, who walked it into an open net. Farrell and Jose Goncalves both were culpable on the goal, with the former badly overcommitting to an early pass and the latter standing still ball-watching.
Near the end of the match, Teal Bunbury tumbled to the ground with Lamar Neagle and appeared to land hard on his shoulder. The broadcast team reported that the Revolution staff said Bunbury's shoulder was "out," which probably means a dislocation, if not worse.
New England returns to action next Sunday in the Big Apple against New York City FC.