Both teams needed a win to strengthen their playoff chances. Both teams will instead go home with a draw. The 1-1 result, in light of other results (Vancouver won, Portland won) means Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes will watch scoreboards as they try to climb to the six seed. Nicolas Lodeiro rescued the point with his third goal in his seven matches.
San Jose opened the match as the stronger side. They dominated the first quarter of the game with Chris Wondolowski getting their deserved goal.
Seattle was plagued by poor defense. Stefan Frei deserves full credit for keeping it at just a goal scored against the Rave Green. Partial credit should also be awarded to Osvaldo Alonso as he cleared a ball off the line.
After the goal the Sounders woke up, and played a better attacking game. There were some issues in that they lacked a wide player on the right (Roldan tucked in quite a bit). Schmetzer’s subs helped take care of that.
Oniel Fisher came on for Joevin Jones, for fitness reasons. But the entry of Alvaro Fernandez for Erik Friberg gave Seattle an option wide right. They were able to create a bit after that point (69’). Flaco missed a neat little near post flick after a perfect pass from Andreas Ivanshitz. To that point it was the best shot for Seattle.
Lodeiro’s free kick magic also included the entry of Nelson Haedo Valdez for Cristian Roldan. Seattle shifted to a 4-1-4-1 with Valdez at the top. Though it should have been a more attacking situation, the Sounders only got one half-chance when Jordan Morris burst out, dribbled the first defender and crossed towards Valdez’ head. That pass was off and the whistle blew.
Roman Torres started his first match as a Sounders since being injured at San Jose last year. His play was nearly perfect. Able to start attacks using headers, or with the ball at his feet his strong play is a positive sign for the future.
Brad Evans missed the match with a tight back. Alonso wore the armband.