All may not be right in the world of the Seattle Sounders, but things sure are looking a whole lot better. The Sounders closed out their two-game homestand with a second-consecutive win, this time beating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Saturday. Even better, the Sounders got open-play goals from Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris.
The result was probably a fair one, given the Sounders' mostly dominating the run of play, but it came very close to going very different. The Earthquakes hit the woodwork twice in the second half, once on a Simon Dawkins free kick that hit the crossbar, came straight down and somehow managed to stay out. The other was even luckier, as Chris Wondolowski hit the post on a penalty kick after sending Stefan Frei the wrong way. Wondolowski also had an open look one a 1-v-1 in the first half, but appeared to lose control of the ball before getting off anything particularly dangerous.
Given the way the season has gone for the Sounders, though, they aren't about to look too critically on any three points and it should be said they were, on the whole, the better team.
The Sounders dominated the first 30 minutes or so, and got a Dempsey goal to show for in the 27th. Erik Friberg found Dempsey all alone at the penalty spot, and Dempsey's first-time shot wound its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
The second half started a bit more slowly, but the Sounders eventually found their footing. Their best chance came when Morris got behind the defense, but hit the crossbar on a tight-angled shot.
Momentum appeared to swing dramatically in the 84th. That's when Tyrone Mears took down Victor Bernardez in the box. Although it wasn't much of a chance, Mears got nothing but leg and gave Alan Kelly little choice but to almost sheepishly point to the spot.
But Wondolowski, who has tormented the Sounders in the past, did something he never seems to do: mishit a penalty. It was Wondolowski's first failed penalty in three attempts this year and just the fifth he's missed in 25 career attempts.
Morris made that miss even more painful when he scored just a few minutes later. After taking a pass from Osvaldo Alonso about 30 yards out, Morris wound up and ripped a shot that appeared to skid off the turf and slam into the back of the net. It was Morris' fourth goal in as many games, tying a Sounders rookie season record and a MLS record for consecutive games with a goal by a rookie.
The win was the Sounders' first over a Western Conference opponent and stopped a five-match winless run against the Earthquakes.