The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes played to a boring, tepid 0-0 draw in San Jose on Sunday night. There were very few highlights, and the only ones were saves from Stefan Frei and a goal-line clearance by Will Bruin. This was essentially a trip to the DMV turned into a soccer game.
If there’s a silver lining to this game, it’s that no one from the Sounders got hurt — that’s almost a miracle given the nightmarish condition of San Jose’s grass. The Sounders also stayed in the Western Conference lead, thanks to a stoppage time equalizer that robbed the Portland Timbers of a full three points.
Beyond the draw, a potential downside from this game was Brian Schmetzer’s substitutions. The Sounders only made two, with Miguel Ibarra coming on for Will Bruin in the 82nd minute and Kelvin Leerdam entering the game in place of Nouhou in the second minute of stoppage time. After the Sounders looked to suffer from heavy legs in their 3-1 loss against LAFC a week ago, they now head into a game on Thursday, October 22, against the Portland Timbers at home with most of their starters having played the full match on Sunday.
25’ — Jordan Morris hits a beautiful through ball that Bruin is able to carry into a dangerous area, but nothing comes of the chance.
32’ — Frei makes his first real save as he dives to his right and gets a firm hold of the ball to deny Espinoza the opener for San Jose.
42’ — Bruin saves Seattle’s blushes as he clears the ball off of the line to prevent a goal against the run of play.
64’ — Frei makes another great save as he dives down and to his left to palm the ball wide of the goal to preserve the shutout.
76’ — Gómez Andrade receives a yellow card as he stops a San Jose attack by bringing down Yueill.
81’ — Morris does great work to get the Sounders’ best chance of the half as he beats Jungwirth with a spin, but hesitates at the last moment and opts to play the ball across the face of goal and it goes out for a goal kick.
What good is a bench? Schmetzer has been reluctant to use the players further down the roster throughout this season, and that didn’t stop on Sunday. Schmetzer used two of his five available subs, and didn’t use either of them until after the 80th minute. Ignoring Roman Torres, who recently returned to Seattle and was on the bench, the other five unused players have combined for a total of 90 minutes of regular season MLS action in 2020, and 71 of those belong to Shandon Hopeau. Notably, San Jose only used one sub.
Everyone loves fresh linens: While this game was boring, and often hard to watch, one positive to come out of it was a shutout for Seattle’s defense. Even with a somewhat rotated backline as Nouhou started with Joevin Jones and Brad Smith both unavailable due to injury, and Alex Roldan giving Kelvin Leerdam a rest, the Sounders defense proved up to the task. This was only the fifth clean sheet for Seattle this season, and their first in a month since their 3-0 win over LAFC on Sept. 18. Who doesn’t love a clean sheet?
Gómez Andrade is very good: The initial acclimation period was rough for Yeimar Gómez Andrade, but in fairness it was a pretty quick introduction, and then a pandemic happened. Since the return of play, Gómez Andrade has clearly been the best Sounders defender on the team, and may be in the running for the best they’ve ever had - I’ll hedge that Chad Marshall probably holds that title still. He was a monster against San Jose, contributing 11 clearances, two interceptions, and a successful dribble to go along with his consistently solid passing. He’s a delight to watch, and a credit to the team’s scouting department.
Did you see that?!?
Jordan probably should have shot this but what a move. pic.twitter.com/9ZP1kU4Syp— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) October 19, 2020
There wasn’t much to get excited about during this one, but this move by Morris was really something.
He said what?!?
On Frei's 250th game: "Why not stay around a few more years and get some more shutouts?"— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) October 19, 2020
Hard to argue with that logic from Brian Schmetzer.
Stat of the game
250 — Stefan Frei marked his 250th Sounders appearance with another shutout. That’s more than every other Sounders goalkeeper in the MLS era combined.
Man of the match
This poll is closed
Yeimar Gómez Andrade