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Sounders vs Earthquakes, recap: Winning ways in the Bay

Seattle shakes San Jose with 3-1 win.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders win once again on the road in 2021! Seattle traveled down to face the San Jose Earthquakes and carried on from their win against Sporting Kansas City with an impressive 3-1 victory on Wednesday.

Raúl Ruidíaz opened the scoring after failing to make anything of a couple early chances, then added a second goal to make up for lost time with a penalty late in the first half. A non-contact apparent hamstring injury at the end of the half ended Ruidíaz’s day, though, and Brian Schmetzer opted to make significant changes at halftime to protect players and keep everyone fresh with another game on Sunday.

One of Schmetzer’s halftime subs was Léo Chú, who made his MLS debut having previously provided the winning assist on Ruidíaz’s winner against Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup. With a full half to show what he can do, Chú was dangerous throughout, providing some solid pressure and a couple nice tackles along with dangerous runs and a few examples of quality hold-up play. He was even able to get involved in another goal, intercepting the ball in SJ’s half and starting the play that eventually saw Jimmy Medranda send a cross through the area that Cristian Roldan finished to make the score 3-0. Moments later the Earthquakes were back on the other end sending a cross in that Shane O’Neill hit into his own net to provide what proved to be little more than a consolation goal.

The Sounders returned to the top of the West with the win, and have the chance to get another one when they host the Colorado Rapids at Lumen Field on Sunday.

Key moments

7’ — Raúl Ruidíaz picks up a loose pass in San Jose’s defensive end and drives into the area, but the goalkeeper pounces well before he gets a shot or pass off.

25’ — Ruidíaz opens the scoring! Cristian Roldan finds him with a pass at the top of the box and Ruidíaz beats a man and sends his shot into the side netting. 1-0 Sounders

42’ — Ruidíaz has a brace! Cristian Roldan is played into the area by Ruidíaz and gets taken down by the ‘keeper, and RR takes care of the penalty to double the lead. 2-0

49’ — Cristian Roldan adds another! Léo Chú starts the play with an interception, and Jimmy Medranda plays the final ball for Roldan to finish! 3-0

51’ — Shane O’Neill puts one into the Sounders net, and San Jose gets one back. 3-1

68’ — Danny Leyva nearly gets one of his own, but his attempt from outside the box is tipped over the bar.

71’ — Chris Wondolowski nearly closes the gap with a header at the near post, but Stefan Frei dives and makes the stop.

Quick thoughts

Chú-Chú-Chú, Léo: Léo Chú made his MLS debut for Seattle, subbing in at the half in place of Raúl Ruidíaz. Within his first 15 minutes of he’d been involved in creating one goal and nearly assisted on another. His technical ability and willingness to play vertically by running at the defense — with and without the ball — were obvious factors as Seattle continued to push to add to their advantage. The final stretch of the season is a busy one, and Brian Schmetzer will need strong performances from his entire bench, but in limited minutes the latest Brazilian addition to the squad seems capable of much more than that in this season and the future.

Ruidíaz off and running again: Prior to visiting San Jose, Raúl Ruidíaz had gone somewhat cold in MLS play. His pursuit of the Golden Boot was slowed having not scored in four league games, but that all ended against the Earthquakes. Ruidíaz opened the scoring as he finished off a wonderful team goal in somewhat classic Ruidíaz fashion, then made it a brace as he nailed home a penalty before being subbed off with an apparent hamstring injury. Provided the injury that took him out of the game doesn’t keep him off the field for too long, Seattle’s star striker seems well poised to continue powering the team forward and making a good run at that Golden Boot. Current leader Ola Kamara scored a penalty tonight as well, giving him 17 goals to Ruidíaz’s 16.

Road warriors: This win was Seattle’s 9th road win of the season. That ties the team’s record for most away wins in an MLS season — with four more away games left — and also means that in the same number of home games they’ve won three more times away from Lumen Field. Being so good on the road is great, and by all means I hope that it continues, but the way things are lining up the path through the playoffs for the Sounders is likely to be cozily nestled in their home stadium and they’ll need to replicate the away form in Seattle if they want to lift silverware this season.

Did you see that?!?

Some slick passing and a great finish to get Raúl Ruidíaz off the mark and end his scoring drought.

He said what?!?

The “frickin’” is silent.

One stat to tell the tale

9 — No field player had more recoveries than João Paulo’s 9, which he accomplished in only 45 minutes.


Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Raúl Ruidíaz
    (387 votes)
  • 41%
    Cristian Roldan
    (318 votes)
  • 3%
    Danny Leyva
    (26 votes)
  • 4%
    Yeimar Gomez Andrade
    (35 votes)
766 votes total Vote Now

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