SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Sounders FC kept the San Jose Earthquakes quiet through much of their match on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
All, that is, except one.
The Sounders held the vast majority of the possession, holding the ball over 62 percent of the time, but defending MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski scored his second goal of the season and the Sounders fell 1-0.
Wondolowski scored in first-half stoppage time to give the Earthquakes the 1-0 lead and while both teams had their share of opportunities throughout the second half, that is the way it would end as the Sounders dropped to 0-2-1 on the season.
“I thought the spirit and effort was good. We controlled the possession most of the game until we made that error and allowed a very good goal, a well-taken goal by Wondo,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “(Goalkeeper Michael) Gspurning made some good saves for us in the second half, but really we were just chasing the lead throughout the second half.”
On a night when both teams were missing players all over the field to injuries and international duty, Wondolowski was the night’s biggest star and while the Sounders were able to temper his opportunities, he made the biggest one count.
In the 12th minute, Shea Salinas found Wondolwoski alone and in the box on a quickly taken free kick from the left side, but Leo Gonzalez converged and blocked the shot attempt as Seattle cleared the ball from the box.
He also had a chance in the 43rd minute, but his header off a Shea Salinas free kick skipped just wide of the near post.
Then in stoppage time, Busch sent a long ball that was headed down by Adam Jahn and controlled by Wondolowski before he hammered the shot from outside the box inside the far post for the goal, his second of the season.
Seattle had their opportunities to break the game open as well.
Seattle’s best first-half chance came in the 41st minute as Osvaldo Alonso led Mauro Rosales into the box and Rosales blasted a shot only to have it deflect just outside the post for a corner kick.
The second half saw the Sounders continue to pour on the pressure to work for an equalizer.
In the 55th minute Leo Gonzalez crossed to Sammy Ochoa in the box, who nodded it down to Rosales for a twisting shot from a crowd in the middle of the box, but it cut just wide of the left post for a goal kick.
San Jose nearly added to their lead in the 62nd minute when a pair of chances off a corner kick were cleared by the Sounders defense. Salinas had the first shot stopped and Ty Harden followed up quickly with another blocked shot just outside the six-yard box.
The Earthquakes had another chance to play add-on in the 73rd minute when Salinas got out on a run up the middle, only to have his shot pawed away by Gspurning. Wondolowski got to the rebound, but missed wide with his second attempt.
Then in the 75th minute Rosales twisted on another shot from the middle of the box, forcing Busch into a pouncing save to his right. David Estrada charged on the rebound, but Busch again got the stop.
Alonso nearly evened it up in the 88th minute on a free kick, lining up from 28 yards out and ripping it on frame only to have Busch make the stop once again.
“I thought we deserved to leave with a tie,” Schmid said. “Not necessarily a win, but at least a tie.”
The Sounders will take meet Real Salt Lake in their next match Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sounders FC – None.
Earthquakes – Chris Wondolowski (Adam Jahn, Jon Busch) 46+.
Sounders FC – None.
Earthquakes – None.
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Alex Caskey 81), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Steve Zakuani (Eriq Zavaleta 84), Sammy Ochoa (Lamar Neagle 81), David Estrada.
Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Ty Harden, Nana Attakora, Jason Hernandez, Dan Gargan, Shea Salinas, Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Ramiro Corrales, Adam Jahn, Chris Wondolowski.