The Seattle Sounders got a highlight-reel free kick goal from Aaron Kovar but couldn’t quite overcome a first-half red card, falling 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes in their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 16 matchup at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday.
The Sounders signed eight players from USL affiliate S2 to short-term contracts before the match and were dealt a significant setback when midfielder Francisco Narbon was shown a straight red for a tackle from behind midway through the first half.
Kovar gave a breath of hope with a pinpoint free kick from distance just after second-half kickoff, but a late tally from San Jose’s Danny Hoesen would seal Seattle’s fate and deny the Rave Green a spot in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
San Jose jumped on top early after a corner kick popped free in the Sounders’ penalty box and landed in front of Shea Salinas, who had his shot deflected past goalkeeper Tyler Miller and into the net, giving the Quakes the early lead.
Narbon was then issued a straight red card by the referee for a scissor tackle from behind in the 35th, forcing the already inexperienced lineup to play down a man for the duration of the match.
Kovar cashed a highlight-reel equalizer, though, shortly after second-half kickoff, tagging a pinpoint free kick past San Jose ‘keeper Andrew Tarbell to improbably pull the 10-man Sounders level.
San Jose pressed for a go-ahead goal in the minutes following Kovar’s equalizer, with Salinas notably forcing Miller into reaction saves in the 69th and 70th minute. Tommy Thompson also had another golden look on goal for the hosts shortly after, but his shot went wide of Miller and off the side netting and the contest remained level.
Hoesen would tally the dagger in the 84th, however, after he weaved through Seattle’s back line and converted a clean look on Miller, sealing a 2-1 scoreline that would hold as the final.
With their 2017 USOC run now finished, the Sounders will turn their focus back to league play, where they’ll take on the Colorado Rapids in a Western Conference road matchup at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 4