The San Jose Earthquakes threw everything they could at the Seattle Sounders, but after conceding another first-half golazo, they couldn’t find the scoreboard themselves this time and lost 1-0 on Wednesday at PayPal Park.
The Quakes, who often get blown out by the Sounders, went toe-to-toe with their opponent this time, but while they had a gilt-edged change to get a goal in stoppage time with an outfield Seattle player in goal, they couldn’t break through and their three-game winning streak was snapped.
While the Sounders rotated a lot in their XI, Matias Almeyda made no changes to his Earthquakes starting lineup, with Tanner Beason retaining his spot at center back.
The game was interrupted in the opening minutes, after Sounders player Jordy Delem appeared to suffer a knee injury and needed attention from the training staff. He walked gingerly off the field and straight into the locker room. Shane O’Neill entered the game for Delem in the ninth minute.
In the 15th minute, the Earthquakes made a quick counterattack and a shot by Chofís Lopez hit the hand of Yeimar Gomez Andrade, with referee Baldomero Toledo calling a penalty, before it was rightly overturned on VAR review, Gomez’s hand being right in his stomach and the play being ball-to-hand.
The game swung the other way quickly, as a scramble down in the San Jose box led to a partial clearance and an attempt from distance by Cristian Roldan, who hit a bomb in the 18th minute to make it 1-0 to the Sounders.
Cowell nearly had the equalizer in the 37th minute, Eric Remedi setting up the youngster with a one-timer from an angle that forced a save from Seattle GK Stefan Frei.
The Quakes pushed for an equalizer before halftime, but they couldn’t find it. The Sounders had a big edge in total shots through 45 minutes, 8-4, but both teams were even in shots on target, 1-1.
San Jose continued to push for a goal after the break, with Cristian Espinoza getting a couple great looks early in the half but unable to get the ball out from under his feet.
The first change of the night for the Earthquakes came in the 58th minute, when Shea Salinas entered for Tommy Thompson, as Almeyda tried to ramp up the intensity. The next two subs were Chris Wondolowski and Andy Rios in the 65th minute, entering for Cowell and Chofís.
San Jose continued to push for an equalizer but Seattle’s defense is a step above the other teams they’ve faced this season. The Sounders suffered another significant injury as the game hit 90 minutes, with Frei twisting and hyperextending his knee awkwardly while going up to push away a ball. Unfortunately, the Sounders had used all of their regular substitution windows by that point, so Alex Roldan had to step in and play in goal, with Seattle playing down a man. Roldan made a quick save but wasn’t ready for the contact and seemed to get immediately shaken up. But he carried on and was sure-handed in a pressure-packed situation, with the Earthquakes unable to get the equalizer.
I think San Jose can be proud of pushing Seattle hard all night, but they’ll obviously be disappointed to lose, especially at home. This was definitely a game that was there for the taking, at least to get a draw, and the Earthquakes just weren’t clinical enough to punish the Sounders. It’s not the worst performance, but still disappointing to lose nonetheless.
The Earthquakes will host another Cascadia side, the Portland Timbers, on Saturday. The Timbers were just beaten by the Sounders at the weekend, so we’ll see how these teams look when they play each other.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.