The Seattle Sounders earned a late, dramatic 1-0 victory on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, courtesy of a goal from Jordan Morris three minutes into second half stoppage time.
Seattle came flying out of the gates at Avaya Stadium, with Víctor Rodríguez and Morris each coming close to an opener inside the first 13 minutes. They nearly paid for their inefficiency, as Eriksson forced a world-class save from Stefan Frei in the 15th minute.
Both sides threw numbers forward in transition, looking to exploit space in behind. That strategy nearly paid off in the 52nd minute as Morris danced past a defender in the box and got a clean look at goal, only to denied by Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega.
Adding to the drama, Tommy Thompson was sent off with a straight red card in the 56th minute, while the Sounders were reduced to ten men in the 71st minute as Xavier Arreaga received a second yellow card.
The hosts struck the post twice in the second half, while Brad Smith and Raúl Ruidíaz nearly combined for a late winner in the 86th minute.
With the fixture seeming destined for a scoreless draw, Morris capitalized on a poor header from Eriksson in midfield. The Homegrown winger raced past Florian Jungwirth and dinked the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper, securing three massive points on the road.
HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN
Morris has been in incredible form since his return from the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. In his last 11 starts, the Sounders Academy product has amassed six goals and six assists.
It seemed like it might be a frustrating evening for Morris, as the Mercer Island native was unable to make the most of three solid opportunities throughout the match. With everything on the line, he produced an individual moment of magic. His pace and strength to get the opportunity were remarkable enough. But with three crucial points on the line, Morris produced a fantastic finish, baiting in the goalkeeper before lifting the ball over his head with a deft touch.
SWEET STEFAN FREI
As important as Morris’ goal was, Seattle wouldn’t have been within striking distance of the victory if not for the individual heroics of Frei. The Sounders goalkeeper produced ten saves on the evening and recorded his 75th career MLS shutout. One save in particular – his full-extension stop on Eriksson in the 15th minute – was absolutely world class.
Big games require big performances from key players. And on Sunday evening, Frei stepped up.
RODRÍGUEZ IS BACK
Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet, Seattle’ Spanish winger demonstrated just how influential he can be on the pitch. Filling the central playmaking void left by Nicolás Lodeiro, Rodríguez pulled the strings in midfield. Capable of dribbling out of tight spaces, he showcased the vision to dissect a resolute Earthquakes defense with perfectly weighted through-balls. Rodríguez’s return to form will be critical as the Sounders look to secure second place in the Western Conference with a win at home against Minnesota United on October 6 (1:00 p.m. PT; JOEtv, YouTube TV, Univision-Seattle, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS)