The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes slugged their way to a 0-0 draw in a match that featured about as much cramping as it did exciting moments. Though the teams managed a respectable 28 shots, the number of clear chances were few and far between.
San Jose in particular settled for firing long range blasts as 13 of their 16 shots came from outside the area. That stat mirrors the larger pattern of play in which the Earthquakes racked up lots of possession without threatening goal while the Sounders had trouble getting a hold of the ball but created the best chances from the run of play. Though Raul Ruidiaz should have probably scored in the 84th minute, a scoreless draw feels fitting for a game that never found its rhythm.
1‘ — Sounders opened the match positively with Nouhou getting free down the left and whipping in a low cross that earns a corner.
19’ — Tommy Thompson earned a yellow by taking a few hacks at Nico Lodeiro after already knocking him to the ground with a foul. The dangerous kicks may have earned a red card if they’d happened later into the match and with a harsher referee.
23’ — Cristian Espinoza laced a shot from outside the box forcing Frei into a save. Espinoza’s shot was one of seven that San Jose took from outside the area in the first half.
28’ — Cristian Roldan caught San Jose’s backline off guard for the best chance of the half. Earthquake’s keeper Daniel Vega made a great reaction save to keep the game deadlocked.
39’ — Good build up play from San Jose leads to their best chance of the first half as Cristian Espinoza slid the ball across the box to a sliding Andrés Rios who failed to connect cleanly from close range.
59’ — Raul Ruidiaz spun his defender with an excellent first touch off a long range Gustav Svensson free kick. Replays showed San Jose defender Guram Kashia may have brought Ruidiaz down at the edge of the box, but no foul was given.
70’ — One of San Jose’s long distance shots finally gave Seattle real problems when Jackson Yueill unleashed a long range blast that deflected off Yeimar Gomez Andrade’s thigh and forced Stefan Frei into an awkward save.
81’ — Lodeiro picked off a San Jose defender and drove into the box but Vega made a solid save to deny the shot.
84’ — Sounders blew their best chance of the match when Ruidiaz took an extra touch instead of firing a well placed Kelvin Leerdam shot first time.
The Sounders missed João Paolo. Facing a team that pressed relentlessly, the midfield lacked the skill and creativity to get out of tight spaces and build from the back. Seattle seemed to get more fluid with Roldan dropping into a holding mid spot in the second half, but whether that was from his play or San Jose getting tired legs is tough to say. Either way the team will need to address their buildout play moving forward.
Andrade leads the backline. It’s hard to have too many complaints about a defensive unit that kept a clean sheet, but Andrade separated himself from the pack with his solid, confident play. Where Xavier Arreaga was a bit rash with his challenges and lucky to not give away a penalty, Andrade looked composed and commanding. He even added a couple half-flair, half-stumbling dribbles in an attempt to unlock San Jose’s man marking scheme.
Cramp city. As expected when two teams play after four months between matches in Orlando heat, there was a lot of cramping. San Jose’s run-forever style probably didn’t help matters. Despite all the fatigue, Brian Schmetzer only used four subs. Moving forward, the sometimes conservative Schmetzer may have to put more trust into his young bench.
One stat to tell the tale
37.6 — The Sounders may have mastered a counter-attacking style last year, but they’ll want more that 37.6 percent of possession moving forward if they want to avoid burnout later into the tournament.
Quote of the day
Only silver lining of 0-0 is that defenders finally get their due.
Schmetzer: "Yeimar was great, as advertised."— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) July 11, 2020
Man of the Match
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Yeimar Gomez Andrade