Seattle Sounders welcomed New York Red Bulls to the CenturyLink Field for a clash between MLS Western and Eastern conference teams. Seattle manager, Brian Schmetzer, managed to lead his team to a 4-2 victory over Chris Armas’ Red Bulls.

The result led Seattle to move up to 2nd in the Western division, while New York Red Bulls remain 6th in the Eastern league regular season. This tactical analysis will investigate how Seattle were able to beat the team from New York. Match analysis, statistics and how each team changed their tactics will feature.


To start the match, hosts Seattle utilised a 4-2-3-1 whereas New York Red Bulls operated using a 4-3-1-2 formation. The key differences between these formations is that the Seattle Sounders favoured a balanced approach, with a mix of width and central numbers, requiring average contributions from all players. New York Red Bulls attempted to sacrifice positional width in an attempt to dominate the central midfield positions and up-front. Such a formation places large demands on the left and right central midfield players. These players must contribute in central phases of play as well as moving out to the flanks to support attacks or press an oncoming opponent.

The popular phrase of ‘goals change games’ was in evidence as reactionary tactical formation changes were evident for both teams. Such changes will be discussed as and when they happened during the chronological set of match events which will be detailed after taking a look at the match stats.

To read the full tactical analysis of this game – click here

Artwork by @chapulana

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