SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes struck three times in the second half to earn a 3-0 win against visiting Seattle Sounders FC at the club's training facility on Sunday in MLS Reserve League play.
Sam Garza, Sercan Guvenisik and Ramiro Corrales each found the net for the Earthquakes (2-2-2, 8 points) in their first reserve match against Seattle (1-4-1, 4 points) this season. David Bingham recorded the shutout for San Jose, his second of 2012 for the reserves.
The Earthquakes held lengthy stretches of possession throughout the match, but each team saw their chances. The first came in the 23rd minute as recent Earthquakes acquisition Mehdi Ballouchy picked Khari Stephenson out in the box for a free header. The Jamaican rose and nodded his shot just wide of the left post.
Seattle saw their first scoring opportunity in the 26th minute after the Quakes yielded a free kick from the right edge of the box. The ensuing shot was struck well to the near post, but Bingham had his ground covered and smothered the low line drive.
Over the next five minutes, Ballouchy, Guvenisik and Stephenson each had good looks at the goal for San Jose. Ballouchy found a through ball from midfielder Shea Salinas, but his initial shot was blocked by a Sounders FC defender and the next effort was deflected away by goalkeeper Josh Ford. Moments later, Stephenson worked to keep possession at the top of the box and laid a pass of for Guvenisik who drilled his shot just high of the crossbar. Stephenson was next, one timing his shot from just inside the edge of the area, forcing Ford to make a diving save.
Despite conceding possession for much of the first half, Seattle nearly found the go-ahead goal with a counter attack in the 37th minute. Michael Tetteh sent a centering pass into the mix where Dominique Dismuke headed a shot on target. However, Bingham stood his ground and made a reaction save to keep the sides level ahead of halftime.
Dismuke had another chance to break the stalemate in the opening moments of the second half after Cordell Cato found him with a cross from the end line. Dismuke took a touch and ripped a shot from the top of the 18, but it was right at Bingham for an easy save.
The Earthquakes broke through in the 57th minute after Garza ran into Seattle's box and tucked away a one-on-one against Ford. Four minutes later, Ballouchy sent a perfectly lofted ball from midfield over Sounders FC's back line to meet Guvenisik in stride. The Turkish striker capitalized on another one-on-one with Ford, doubling San Jose's lead. Captain Ramiro Corrales capped the scoring in the 66th minute, slamming a free kick from the right edge of the area past a diving Ford.
Seattle had one more chance before the final whistle as Cato connected with a Mike Seamon cross to send a sharp header on goal, but Bingham was again there for the save, diving to his right to parry the danger away.
The Earthquakes return to Reserve League action on Sunday, Aug. 26 against the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field at 6 p.m. PT while Seattle will play on Sunday, Aug. 19 to host the LA Galaxy at Starfire Sports Complex at 1 p.m. PT.
San Jose Earthquakes (2-2-2) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (1-4-1)
Aug. 12, 2012 - Earthquakes Training Facility
SJ - Sam Garza (unassisted) 57
SJ - Sercan Guvenisik (Ballouchy) 61
SJ - Ramiro Corrales (Mehdi Ballouchy) 66
SJ - Brad Ring (caution) 45
SEA - Michael Tetteh (caution) 65
San Jose Earthquakes - David Bingham, Jacob Husted, Ike Opara, Brad Ring, Jed Zayner, Shea Salinas (*Jesse Morales 68), Ramiro Corrales (*Roberto Mendoza 80), Mehdi Ballouchy, Sam Garza (*Elisama Padilla 83), Sercan Guvenisik, Khari Stephenson (*Christian Cruz 80).
Subs not used: Evan Newton, Johnny Knutsen.
Statistics: Shots: 16; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 3; Fouls: 12; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 4.
Seattle Sounders FC - Josh Ford, Mike Seamon, Daniel Steares, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 46), Leo Gonzalez (*Junior Bergueos 46), Cordell Cato, Servando Carrasco, ^Javier Ayala (^Isidro Prado-Huerta 59), Michael Tetteh, Steve Zakuani, *Dominique Dismuke (*Kyle Bjornethun 68).
Sub not used: Andrew Weber.
Statistics: Shots: 5; Shots onGoal: 3; Saves: 1; Fouls: 9; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 2.