Let it out. Let it all out. In a season full of frustations, maybe this was the only appropriate way to end the first half of the season: With what has to be the most frustrating result of the season.
It wasn't just that the Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. It wasn't even that they didn't look very good in the process. Those things can and do happen, and have definitely happened plenty this year. What makes this game stand out is the potential lasting effects, namely three injuries and an out-of-the-blue red card to Osvaldo Alonso.
From the look of it, Brad Evans (rib), Djimi Traore (hamstring) and Michael Gspurning (forearm) will all miss at least one more game after coming out early of this one. Assuming the play that got Alonso ejected is the one that has been circulating, there's at a chance he'll be available. Even if he is, though, there's no way around the growing list of injuries the Sounders are dealing with.
As it stands now, the Sounders potentially have 12 players that are either unavailable or recovering from injury heading into next week's game against the Colorado Rapids.
As for the game itself, I'm not sure the Sounders played quite as awfully as it's been made out to be. They only put one shot on goal and the six shots were hardly encouraging, but that's what happens when you play a team that is determined to make the game as ugly as possible. It definitely wasn't good enough, but the Sounders did a reasonably good job of possessing the ball. They also moved the ball around the offensive third with some purpose, even if they were frustratingly slow to pull the trigger.
Then again, they've now been shut out twice by a team that has two shutouts in 21 games. So, that's obviously quite bad.
None of this is particularly encouraging, it should be said. The Sounders have a lot of work to do in the second half of the season. Let's hope they have enough healthy bodies to do it.
SJ - Walter Martinez (Steven Lenhart) 48'
Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning (Andrew Weber 46), DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 52), Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales 32), Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Marc Burch, Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (6 players, 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Johnson 1); FOULS: 20 (Scott 6); OFFSIDE: 1 (Johnson 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (3 players, 1); SAVES: 4 (Gspurning, Weber 2).
San Jose Earthquakes - Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez (Dan Gargan 45), Justin Morrow, Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Walter Martinez, Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon.
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Brad Ring, Cordell Cato, Marcus Tracy, Adam Jahn, Ramiro Corrales.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Gordon 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Gordon, Martinez 2); FOULS: 15 (Gordon 4); OFFSIDE: 2 (Martinez 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Salinas 3); SAVES: 1 (Busch 1).
SJ - Steven Lenhart (caution) 15'
SJ - Sam Cronin (caution) 22'
SEA - Zach Scott (caution) 25'
SEA - Servando Carrasco (caution) 42'
SJ - Alan Gordon (caution) 80'
SEA - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 85'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (ejection) 90+5'
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Jesus Cisneros
Time of Game: 1:59
Weather: Sunny and 73 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On adjustments made after the injuries:
"I thought there were times where we played some decent soccer, but there weren't enough moments of it. It was just one of those games where you roll up your sleeves and hope for the best. At the end, we put some pressure on them and came close to getting an equalizing goal."
On team failing to score in San Jose for the second time this season:
"You can't create chances when a team kicks you and doesn't want to play soccer. I have nothing against the coaching staff and nothing against the players, but today was just an ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly game of soccer."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER SERVANDO CARRASCO
On the rhythm of the game:
"I thought it was a very physical game with no rhythm of play. We couldn't really establish possession because we felt like every other pass was a foul. That was just the nature of the game today. It was a physical battle and credit to them for getting the goal and keeping the shutout."
On the lack of shots:
"I think we should have been a little more patient in the final third. We got the ball out wide with Mauro [Rosales] and [Marc] Burch whipping some crosses in. We just didn't do a great job of getting on the end of them. You're not going to win like that."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER ANDREW WEBER
On taking over the game at halftime:
"It's nothing new. I've been in this situation before with Seattle. You always have to be ready when your name is called. It's unfortunate that [Michael Gspurning] picked up the knock, but you have to stay focused and do your job."
On stopping Steven Lenhart's breakaway:
"It was a poor clearance out of the back and popped right to [Steven] Lenhart. He took a touch and it was just me and him. I just tried to make myself big and I was lucky enough to get something on it and push it wide."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES INTERIM HEAD COACH MARK WATSON
On Walter Martinez's goal:
"He [Martinez] was a bit unlucky to not score on the bicycle kick in the first half; he struck it well, but just at the keeper. As a right-footed or right-sided player being positioned on the left side, he naturally wants to get the ball and cut inside. It was a beautiful goal. He has been working really hard on his finishing the past couple months, and it was great to see the ball hit the back of the net."
On Steven Lenhart's performance:
"I thought Lenny [Steven Lenhart] was great tonight. He is a big physical player and he gave a hundred percent tonight. There was a lot of contact in the air at times, but he challenged for everything. When he is healthy and on his game, he is very effective, like I thought he was tonight."
On the win:
"This win was huge for us. Just looking at the standings and where we are, the three points are huge. Seattle was a team just above us in the standings and to close that gap a little bit does a lot for the confidence. We've had a tough go this year. We just finished playing seven of nine games on the road and everyone felt good coming home. We played with a lot of energy and I think it will give us a good boost moving forward."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER JON BUSCH
On second clean-sheet of season:
"I thought the boys in front of me were fantastic. Everybody was chasing the ball, but remaining well organized. We've worked on that with coach [Mark] Watson on creating pressure from up top, all the way to the back. Tonight we did not allow them options or time on the ball. I didn't have too much to do this match, which is a credit to the back line."
On the result:
"We are chasing Seattle for playoff positioning so we knew the importance of this match. [There's] no other way to say it, but this was a must win for us. It was great to be back here at home, at Buck Shaw, and to get the three points we needed. Hopefully we can use this game as a spring board to move forward with some wins."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER JUSTIN MORROW
On defensive play:
"We played great tonight. We looked good as a unit, and it feels great to get a clean sheet. We were shorthanded again tonight, but our depth was on display. To answer back and get a win against Sounders FC after they beat us in Seattle is definitely a building block we can use to make a playoff push."
On return of Victor Bernardez:
"[Victor Bernardez] was fantastic. His impact on the game and the presence he brings is not something you see on the stat sheet. He seemed to have won all of the 50-50 balls and as a unit we did not give them many chances to score."