As of late, the San Jose Earthquakes have found the confines of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field very friendly. Coming into Saturday’s match against the Sounders, San Jose hadn’t lost in Seattle in almost two years.
But luck wasn’t on San Jose’s side Saturday night. The Quakes hit a post on two occasions and conceded a late goal that sealed the deal in a 2-0 loss to Seattle.
San Jose’s Simon Dawkins hit the crossbar on a free kick and Chris Wondolowski uncharacteristically missed a penalty kick — both attempts would have equalized for the Quakes and changed momentum in the game.
The game was evenly matched in the first half but Seattle was the first to capitalize.
In the 26th minute, Eric Friberg penetrated San Jose’s backline. He then rolled a pass back to Clint Dempsey who was alone near the penalty spot and did not miss beating Bingham to the keeper’s right for the 1-0 lead.
San Jose pressed for an equalizer and came painfully close on a trio of occasions. First Wondolowski’s was fed a pretty through ball from Shea Salinas. Wondolowski tripped up a bit on the Seattle turf, forcing an extra step that allowed the Seattle goalkeeper to close in on that chance.
In the 59th minute, Dawkins beautifully sent a free kick from 21 yards out towards the Seattle goal. His shot froze Stefan Frei and only a stubborn crossbar and a couple of inches prevented the Quakes from equalizing.
Dawkins was also a part of San Jose’s best scoring chance. The midfielder fought off a couple of defenders from 25 yards out. He then funneled a pass to Victor Bernardez who spun to beat his defender and forced a foul inside the box in the 84th minute.
Wondolowski stepped up to take the kick but missed off the left post to keep Seattle up a goal.
Stanford University graduate Jordan Morris beat Bingham late in the game from distance to give Seattle an insurance goal.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
In a night where a goal eluded San Jose, Dawkins gets the nod for creating the Quakes’ best chances. San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear moved Dawkins into an attacking midfielder position and was rewarded with No. 49 having a second consecutive great match.
San Jose was in a dream scenario during the 84th minute when Wondolowski stepped up to take a penalty kick that would have equalized the match. It appeared that Wondolowski hesitated at the last millisecond and that forced him to pull the shot a little too much. The miss kept the game in Seattle’s favor.
After helping Stanford win its first ever national championship, Morris has been on an unstoppable streak in Major League Soccer. Morris recorded an MLS rookie record-tying fourth straight game with a goal. Morris was recently named to the provisional roster for the United States and its participation in the upcoming Copa America Centenarrio.
Reported attendance at CenturyLink Field was 39,570.
Seattle: Osvaldo Alonso (yellow, 43’)
The Quakes return to San Jose after two games on the road to take on the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. You can watch the match on CSN Bay Area.