FULL-TIME: The Sounders got a first-half brace from Raúl Ruidíaz, added a Cristian Roldan goal just after halftime and then withstood an own-goal before comfortably closing out a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. It was the Sounders’ ninth road win of the season, tying a franchise record, and their eighth straight game at PayPal Park without a loss.
EARTHQUAKES 1, SOUNDERS 3: Almost immediately after the Sounders’ third goal, the Earthquakes responded with a dangerous ball that forced Shane O’Neill into an own-goal.
EARTHQUAKES 0, SOUNDERS 3: Leó Chú entered at halftime for Raúl Ruidíaz and made an immediate impact. He intercepted a ball near midfield, pushed it ahead to Fredy Montero, who put it back across goal where Chú seemed to be in position but was pulled down. Luckily, Cristian Roldan was there anyway and finished it off.
EARTHQUAKES 0, SOUNDERS 2: Raúl Ruidíaz added his second goal of the first half on a penalty that he helped draw. It was his pass to Cristian Roldan who put the midfielder in on goal. Roldan’s touch was a bit heavy but goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski bailed him out with a poor challenge.
EARTHQUAKES 0, SOUNDERS 1: Raúl Ruidíaz broke his mini-drought slotting home a feed from Cristian Roldan to finish off a well-worked goal.
LINEUPS: The Sounders are going with a slightly rotated lineup, making five changes from their weekend game against Sporting KC. Danny Leyva, Fredy Montero, Kelyn Rowe, Jimmy Medranda and Shane O’Neill are the new starters.
When the Seattle Sounders last met the San Jose Earthquakes, the teams seemed to be heading in totally opposite directions. Sure, the Earthquakes were riding a four-game unbeaten streak but they were all ties and were winless in 11, while the Sounders were still flying high from their season-opening 13-game unbeaten run.
The two sides meet for a third time still separated by a healthy margin in the standings, but playing similarly well. The Earthquakes’ win over the Sounders in their previous meeting kickstarted a resurgence that has seen them go 5-2-4 over their last 11, which has moved them to within three points of a playoff spot. The Sounders have gone 5-2-1 in MLS play in the same timeframe, while still sitting atop the Western Conference standings.
That previous meeting also heralded a tweak in tactics by Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda, who no longer has his players man-marking throughout the game. To be sure, they still do it at times, but it’s no longer something they do all the time and it has paid off with a much more reliable defense that has allowed 1 goal or fewer in 9 of their last 11 games.
Curiously, their only two losses during this 11-game run have both come at home — a 4-3 loss to Real Salt Lake and a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. Like the Sounders, the Earthquakes actually have more road points (18) than they do at home (15).
- The Sounders carry a seven-match unbeaten streak at PayPal Park into this game. They’ve gone 3-0-4 in those games, including a 1-0 win in their previous visit earlier this season.
- João Paulo had a yellow card removed from his accumulation total after going five straight games without picking one up.
- Chofis has quietly moved up the Golden Boot leaderboard and now has 11 goals, six of which have come in his last three.
- This is the deciding match for the Heritage Cup, an annual competition between the Sounders and Earthquakes. The teams’ first meeting of the year only counts as a tiebreaker, which means the Sounders must win this meeting in order to retain the trophy. The Earthquakes are the current Heritage Cup holders after it was determined that their MLS is Back Tournament performances would decide the winner. Although the teams tied that head-to-head meeting, the Earthquakes advanced one round farther.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
OUT: Nicolas Benezet (L hip flexor strain); Jordy Delem (R ACL tear); Nico Lodeiro (R knee surgery); Jordan Morris (L ACL tear); Brad Smith (health and safety protocol).
OUT: Matt Bersano (L hand); Cristian Espinoza (yellow card accumulation). QUESTIONABLE: Tanner Beason (L thigh); Jeremy Ebobisse (head injury).
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Marcos Lopez, Eric Remedi; SEA: Yeimar Gomez Andrade
Referee: Allen Chapman; Assistants: Frank Anderson, Jeremy Hanson; Fourth Official: Michael Radchuck; VAR: Tim Ford; Assistant VAR: Mike Kampmeinert
How to Watch
Match date/kickoff time: Wednesday, 7:38 PM PT
Venue: PayPal Park, San Jose
Local English TV: Fox13+ (formerly JOEtv) (Costigan, Keller, Zakuani)
Local Radio: 1090 KJR-AM Seattle (Costigan, Keller, Zakuani)
Local Spanish Radio: El Rey 1360 AM (Rodriguez, Maqueda, Tapia)
Local Spanish TV: KUNS-TV Univision-Seattle
China: China Sports Media
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain: DAZN (Europe)
Latin America (ex. Brazil): ESPN
Latin America Southeast Asia & Oceania: beIN Sports
Back to the 3-4-2-1. pic.twitter.com/YSWFVqvkrn— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) September 30, 2021
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders at Earthquakes; watch with us
Sounder at Heart has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Sounder at Heart may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.