SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders dropped a second consecutive home game, losing 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes. The first 45 minutes was all Sounders, as they dominated in almost every category except for the one that matters most. While Seattle had more and better chances, the two shots they put on goal were kept out by JT Marcinkowski.San Jose’s first shot on goal came in first-half stoppage time and managed to find the back of the net, sending the two teams into halftime with the Earthquakes leading 1-0.
The Sounders had a couple of chances in the second half, but the Earthquakes were the side to apparently score the second goal of the game, when Chris Wondolowski put the ball in the back of the net. Fortunately for the Sounders, the play was eventually called back as the ball had gone out of bounds in the build-up. Ultimately a good first half for the Sounders was undone by a series of errors to end the first half and a disappointing showing in the second half. Seattle has a chance to turn things around on Wednesday night, as they host FC Dallas at 7:00 PM.
To add injury to insult, the Sounders also revealed that Josh Atencio played much of the second half with a broken rib.
7’ — San Jose gets a good chance when Yeimar Gómez Andrade gets beat, but the final shot is over the bar.
21’ — Raúl Ruidíaz controls a ball from João Paulo inside the box, but his shot is too heavy and it goes into the Brougham End.
27’ — A great ball by Alex Roldan followed by a lovely pass from Kelyn Rowe puts Ruidíaz in behind the defense, but his shot is tipped over the bar by the GK.
34’ — Reed Baker-Whiting comes THIS close to scoring his first MLS goal, when his excellent run is rewarded with a simple pass from Ruidíaz, but his shot is slowed, then stopped by the ‘keeper.
45’ + 1 — Cristian Espinoza gets a shot off while surrounded by defenders and beats Stefan Cleveland to the corner to open the scoring. 1-0
59’ — João Paulo nearly evens the score, opting for his own shot rather than passing to Fredy Montero who was open in the area. JP’s shot from outside of the box goes just wide of the goal, though.
85’ — Will Bruin is played in behind the SJ defense, but his shot goes wide of the far post.
The Summer doldrums: This is it, we’re in the customary midseason slump. The wind has seemingly gone out of the sails as the Sounders dropped their second consecutive game and their third in four games. The good news is that the slump has come following the best start in the team’s MLS era, and it seems likely to be a short one. It won’t exactly make the result any easier to stomach today or tomorrow, but the Sounders were plenty capable of getting a result out of this game, and they are starting to get players back. Alex Roldan returned from the Gold Cup, and his brother will be back soon. Will Bruin made his return from injury and nearly grabbed a goal, as well. If this is as bad as it gets, that’s pretty good.
Individual errors strike again: There was plenty to be frustrated about in this one, but the goal the Earthquakes scored is going to be played over at training and in the defense’s nightmares for a few days at least. Not for the first time, a headed clearance from a defender didn’t do enough to alleviate the danger — this time it was Xavier Arreaga’s header that was met easily enough by an opponent — and from there the Sounders were scrambling. Brian Schmetzer noted that the Sounders lost four duels on the sequence, the final one when Cristian Espinoza rode a non-committal tackle from Jimmy Medranda, who was already on a yellow, before getting off a shot under minimal pressure in spite of a cluster of defenders around him. There were more throughout the game, but those were the ones that hurt the worst. Especially when the team’s missing players, it’s even more important to clean up these mistakes.
Will Bruin is back: In a frustrating game, one bright spot was Will Bruin’s return from injury. After missing more than month with what turned out to be a torn meniscus, Bruin was back on the field and nearly had a goal to mark the occasion. Having Bruin available, either as a starting partner for Raúl Ruidíaz or as an impact sub with a history of scoring meaningful goals, will be a huge boon for Brian Schmetzer as he and his staff work to find a way to get back in the win column.
Did you see that?!?
This would have been nice, but there wasn’t much else to get excited about.
He said what?!?
‘It’s the second week in a row I can hear them cheering and honestly it’s pissing me off.’ - @wbruin— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) July 31, 2021
One stat to tell the tale
57 - 50 — While the Sounders won in most of the statistical categories, the Earthquakes had the better of the duels by 57 to 50 to go along with their 1 goal to 0.
Man of the match
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