New York City FC clipped, shoved and argued.

But they didn’t score enough.

Multiple goals were the one mark the Cityzens couldn’t leave on the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg match against the Sounders on Wednesday, April 13.

Seattle withstood the bruising at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

The 1-1 draw was enough to push Seattle’s aggregate scoring to 4-2 in the series and advance the Sounders to their first CCL final in club history.

Seattle will play Liga MX power Pumas UNAM in a two-legged final.

The Sounders will host the second match at Lumen Field in May.

Pumas advanced 2-1 on aggregate scoring against Cruz Azul.

Pumas last played in a CCL final in 2005 and haven’t won a CONCACAF tournament since 1989.

Seattle is the fifth MLS club to advance — none have won.

NYCFC established the tone 10 seconds into Wednesday’s match.

Taty Castellanos flew in for an aerial duel with Sounders center back Xavier Arreaga, colliding and knocking Arreaga to the ground.

Players from both sides swarmed the area, pushing and shoving until Castellanos was shown a yellow card in the second minute.

In the 12th minute, Sounders defender Jackson Ragen shoved and cursed as he cleared NYCFC players from inside the keeper’s box while play was stopped.

And in the second half, Raul Ruidiaz and Nouhou needed medical attention for hard knocks.

Ruidiaz was taken off in a stretcher in the 83rd minute while Nouhou was subbed off in the 70th minute.

Seattle, however, set the objective in the 28th minute.

Ragen shifted the ball to the left side, Nouhou working his way into space to send a cross to Ruidiaz.

The striker booted a right-footed shot into the net — his first score since November 2021 due to injuries.

NYCFC midfielder Santiago Rodriguez leveled the score in the 51st minute after the ball hit the post twice. His right-footed shot was buried into the bottom left corner.

With the score level and New York City needing three goals for the direct route to advance, the intensity morphed into desperate chaos.

Keepers Stefan Frei (Sounders) and Sean Johnson (NYCFC) made heroic saves to retain possibility for both sides.

Frei had the edge, stretching high and low to save NYCFC attempts in the 68th, 73rd and 88th minute. He totaled seven saves in the match.

Each side made one lineup change for the Wednesday’s second leg. Seattle upgraded in subbing out versatile midfielder Kelyn Rowe for Nouhou, an MLS All-Star. Nouhou missed the opening leg due to yellow-card accumulation.

NYCFC midfielder Nicolás Acevedo received the nod over Keaton Parks, who had one shot at goal and completed 96.1% of his passes last week.

The Cityzens were without first-choice playmaker Maxi Morales (ribs) and defender Maxime Chanot (eye) due to injury.

The Sounders return to MLS play Saturday when they host Inter Miami CF at Lumen Field.

NYCFC, which is on a five-game winless streak through all competitions, hosts Real Salt Lake at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.
Posting comments is now limited to subscribers only. Become one today or log in using the link below. For additional information on commenting click here.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.