New York looks to win against Seattle

The Red Bulls struggled against most teams last year—at one point
going four months without a league win—but one side it has never
defeated—ever—is the Seattle Sounders.

As last year's expansion
team, the Sounders—in their first-ever MLS game—thrashed New York, 3-0.
Then, later in the season at Giants Stadium, New York held the run of
play and had the majority of chances, but a Jeremy Hall miscue allowed
Seattle’s Fredy Montero to score a goal before halftime to earn a 1-1
draw.

Seattle went on to make the playoffs, becoming the first
MLS team since the 1998 Chicago Fire to go to the postseason in its
inaugural year. New York, of course, finished last in the league
standings but is now bent on changing things around.

“Last year
Seattle clearly came out and took it to us,” forward John Wolyniec told
MLSSoccer.com. “They had the crowd and the energy behind them. I’m not
sure we expected it to be quite like that.”

The Sounders earned
21 points at their Qwest Field fortress last season, which tied for
most in the league. Midfielder Seth Stammler said that the form the Red
Bulls showed last season in the home tie against Seattle was more
indicative of how these two teams match up. True or not, Red Bulls head
coach Hans Backe is ready to face a good team on the road. Seattle won
its 2010 opener last Thursday night, a 2-0 defeat of Philadelphia.

“You could see that they are a good counter-attack team,” Backe said.
“I think they will play the same way against us as they did against
Philadelphia.”

Backe said he is impressed with the way
Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso controls the midfield tempo, and he likes
Montero’s ability to score goals. But regardless of last year's results,
Backe said his players this year will play their style—a style he
concedes is still very much in the works. Backe said his team will
strive for not just a result, but their first-ever franchise win over
the Sounders.

“It’s going to be three points; we have to work
with that mind set when we travel," Backe said. "It's not, 'Go for one
point.' I think [that mentality] is not mentally good enough."

Atmospheric
Pressure

The atmosphere in Seattle is something
special, but what are the best crowds overall in MLS? League
commissioner Don Garber will rattle off Section 8 in Chicago, the
bouncing stands of D.C. United and Seattle as prime examples.

Veteran forward Wolyniec, who was drafted by the then-MetroStars in
1999, has seen and experienced every environment in MLS.

“Seattle is very good," Wolyniec said. "The fans come out with their
scarves, and obviously Toronto is a very intense place to play as a
visitor. And I honestly think that based off the past two games there,
Red Bull Arena could well be in the top three in the league if the fans
continue to come out like they have.”