New York City FC forward Jo Inge Berget reacts to a clearance by Seattle Sounders FC defender Nouhou. (Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports)
SEATTLE — New York City FC’s four-game winning streak came to an end in a 3-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field Sunday.
Goals on either side of halftime from Cristian Roldan and Gustav Svensson got the Sounders off to a good start in City’s second road game within 72 hours.
Jesus Medina replied in the 68th minute for the visitors before the hosts added an insurance tally via Harry Schipp in the 86th minute.
Second-place NYCFC (13-5-4, 43 points) could not move closer to Eastern Conference leader Atlanta United FC (14-4-5, 47) and remained two points ahead of the third-place Red Bulls (13-6-2, 41).
Seattle (26), in 10th place in the Western Conference and five points out of a playoff berth, improved to 7-9-5.
NYCFC head coach Doemenc Torrent, who was critical of his team despite winning at Orlando City SC Thursday, felt his team played well in the first half Sunday night.
“We played well the first half. We played compact,” he said. “They had problems in between lines that they don’t find the players who play inside because we played really well. We defended well. We defended compact. And after that, we are able to create three or four chances in the first half. But football is when you are more clinical than the opponent. That is football. The football is a goal. You try to score a goal.
“Sometimes you have the control, you keep the ball all the time and you have the control. But if you are not able to score, that happens. At the end, you lose the game. But I think the difference between this game and the last game we play, for me, in my opinion, is much better.”
Forward Jo Inge Berget, starting for the first time since his recent injury, was close to giving NYCFC the lead in the 14th minute when he got in front of his marker at the front post to receive Ben Sweat’s delivery but the ball was shot was deflected wide.
Roldan snapped City’s shutout streak at 434 minutes in the 36th minute, taking an excellent first touch and driving past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Seattle seized the initiative by doubling its lead in the 51st minute through an unstoppable drive from Svensson that beat Johnson.
Faced with a two-goal deficit, City rallied, with head coach Doemenc Torrent introducing Jonathan Lewis and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi for the final quarter of the game.
While they made an immediate difference to the flow of the game, two starters combined for the visitors’ goal. Berget drove past his defender and delivered a cross which just had to be tapped home by Medina for his fifth goal.
Torrent went for broke as forward Rodney Wallace was introduced for midfielder Kwame Awuah but Schipp tallied an insurance goal in the 86th minute.
“Obviously a tough week for us. East Coast, West Coast, two games on the road,” Johnson said. “I thought overall the effort was there from the guys. Everybody that stepped on the field contributed in both games. The first game I thought we played well in stretches, this game the same thing. The game of soccer sometimes doesn’t go your way. I thought Seattle was pretty clinical in their opportunities. “