SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sounders FC suffered two losses this week, and while disappointed with both results, Seattle had a lot to hang its hat on after a 1-0 defeat to the now-surging San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium.
“I can’t be displeased. I thought we played much better than we played on Monday,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought we created some chances. We gave up a bad goal because it was a counter goal against the run of play and we could never get one back.”
Both teams had good opportunities in the opening minutes. San Jose’s came on a blast from Yannick Djalo that cut just wide, and Seattle’s was on a rocket from Clint Dempsey that Jon Busch parried over the bar for the save.
The rate of those shots slowed as the half wore on, but Seattle kept the pressure on the San Jose defense with cross after cross coming into the box. However, the Sounders weren’t able to get on the end of them and finished the first half with just one shot on goal.
Late in the half, San Jose took the lead on a quick counter attack.
In the 42nd minute, Chris Wondolowski played a ball over the top for Djalo and he beat Zach Scott to it before touching it past the on-rushing Stefan Frei and into the net for his third goal of the season.
“I thought we had more of the game, in the first half especially,” Schmid said. “I thought their goal came against the run of play. I thought we played well enough in the first half that we didn’t need to change things.”
In the opening minutes of the second half, San Jose held more of the possession and proved dangerous in the attack, but Frei and the Seattle defense held strong to stay within striking distance.
Seattle had a chance to equalize in the 68th minute when Kenny Cooper snapped a header on frame, again forcing Busch to parry it away for a corner kick. Two minutes later, Cooper had another chance on a ball from Demspey, but his first-time shot skipped into the arms of Busch for the save.
“We’re getting good looks. We just have to do a better job of finishing our chances,” Dempsey said. “I think at times tonight you saw us playing a good style. We were moving the ball around. We had some good link-up play. We just have to do a better job in transition play.”
That pressure continued into the game’s dying moments.
Just after entering the match as a substitute in the 83rd minute, Chad Barrett smashed a header off a redirected corner kick, but hit his shot was cleared off the line at the post for Seattle’s best chance at an equalizer. Seattle would wind up with eight shots on goal in the second half, but couldn’t put one past Busch and was left with its second consecutive shutout defeat.
“I felt like we created some chances and we got forward. Our forwards were moving their defenders out of position and we got some guys in behind, but we couldn’t find that last pass to finally get completed,” said Brad Evans, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two matches with a knee injury. “There was some positive stuff. It feels like we progressed from last game. But now this coming weekend becomes a must-win for us at home."
Sounders FC will host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, August 10, with CenturyLink Field opened to full capacity.