There was no last-minute magic this time. Seattle Sounders lost a player to a red card in the 35th minute, and, though they managed to draw level after falling down a man, they could not hold on or steal victory. Francisco Narbon started as one of the defensive midfielders and cleared through a San Jose Earthquakes player on a tackle. It was the proper call, and probably determined the outcome.
Seattle was trailing 1-0 when that happened. Shea Salinas had scored in the 6th minute.
Down both a goal and a man, the mostly reserve lineup did not quit. Their fight was strong, but brittle, and eventually broke.
At half Will Bruin came on for Henry Wingo. This pushed things to a 4-4-1 with Joevin Jones sliding from left wing to right back. The new formation was fairly effective.
Tyler Miller; Nouhou, Tony Alfaro, Sam Rogers, Jones; Irvin Parra, Ray Saari, Harry Shipp, Aaron Kovar; Will Bruin.
In the 48th minute Kovar was poised over a ball at the perfect angle for in-swinging service. The play set up as if the Garfield and Stanford product would get an assist. He went on goal instead and scored.
Harry Shipp missed his shot following a beautiful pass from Will Bruin after Kovar had sprung the Summer Soldier out to run. It was the type of opportunity that could have swung the game as Shipp’s shot was just wide.
The Sounders fared well down a player. Most of their chances came from deep balls by Kovar with Bruin and Parra sprinting onto them. One of the big men would get fouled and the Rave Green would try to make something from the dead ball situation.
San Jose ended dreams of victory with their 84th minute goal by Danny Hoesen, who managed to dribble through or around half the team despite being just at the top of the 18. After his footwork (and failed lunges by Tony Alfaro), Hoesen was one-on-one with Miller. Tyler Miller looked extraordinary for most of the game, but few could be great enough to stop that shot from point-blank range.
With no more Open Cup action in 2017, Seattle will be able to focus on righting their struggling MLS season.