The Seattle Sounders nabbed a 2-0 lead but gave up two penalty kick goals in the second half to settle for a 2-2 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday in their final match of the 2019 preseason.
The Sounders broke through in the 32nd minute after Víctor Rodríguez cashed home a cross delivered by Jordan Morris, who created the opportunity with a charging run down the right flank that ended with a pinpoint delivery to the Spaniard for an easy finish.
Rodríguez struck again in the 52nd minute after a deflected shot from Morris bounced to him in front of the net. Rodríguez finished easily from close range.
The hosts pulled level shortly after, however, with two penalty kick goals courtesy of legendary forward Chris Wondolowski, who struck first in the 57th minute and then in the 61st to equalize. Right back Kelvin Leerdam was issued a red card for his challenge that led to Wondolowski’s second penalty, forcing the Sounders to finish the match with 10 men.
LIKE OLD TIMES
Coming off a 2018 campaign that was lost due to a torn ACL, the question for Morris was how long it would take during the preseason to recapture the physical gifts, specifically his breakneck speed, that have made such him a highly rated prospect. On Saturday, the 24-year-old Stanford product looked very much like his old self with his blistering run that left Quakes defender Judson in the dust and allowed him to set up Rodríguez with a simple finish. Morris is nothing short of dynamic when he’s right physically, and Saturday’s highlight is a picture-perfect illustration of the type of runs Head Coach Brian Schmetzer will want him making all season.
V-ROD LOCKED IN
It’s been a strong preseason for the Spaniard, who is coming off an injury-riddled 2018 season of his own. Rodríguez returned strong at the back end of last year’s campaign, and thus far, he’s looking healthy, locked in and primed for a productive season, as evidenced by his two-goal outburst on Saturday.
REAL SOCCER IS COMING
Preseason can feel like a slog, especially at this juncture when the real games are so tantalizingly close. Well, now it’s finally over, as Saturday’s matchup at Avaya officially brings Seattle’s 2019 preseason to a close. Now, it’s real soccer from now until November, starting with an opening day fixture with expansion side FC Cincinnati at CenturyLink Field on March 2 (7 p.m. PT; FS1 | TICKETS). Buckle up and enjoy the ride.