ORLANDO, FLA. – Sounders FC (1-0-2, 5 points) played to a scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes (0-1-2, 2 points) on Friday evening to open the MLS is Back Tournament. Played at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex on the campus of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the contest was Seattle’s first match in Major League Soccer’s league-wide tournament, marking the Rave Green’s first action since March 7 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The result counts in both Group B play of the MLS is Back Tournament and the 2020 regular season standings, with Seattle tied atop the group with San Jose and currently occupying fourth place in the Western Conference through three total games played.
Group play rolls on for Sounders FC in just four days’ time, with Brian Schmetzer’s side taking on Chicago Fire FC on Tuesday, July 14. That match is slotted for an early kickoff, with things kicking off at 9:00 a.m. ET / 6:00 a.m. PT in Orlando (ESPN, ESPN Deportes). Sounders FC previously played Chicago to open the 2020 regular season on March 1, a 2-1 win for the Rave Green at CenturyLink Field. Group stage play concludes on July 19 versus Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC. With groups now even at four teams apiece, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.
- Sounders FC claims its first point in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. A league-wide event with a place in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on the line, Seattle had not played since March 7 prior to tonight due to the current global pandemic.
- Friday’s result counts in both Group B play of the MLS is Back Tournament and the 2020 regular season standings, with Seattle tied atop the group with San Jose (1 point each) and currently occupying fourth place in the Western Conference through three total games played (5 points).
- With just two MLS games played prior to tonight, Friday’s game was the only match of 2020 played away from CenturyLink Field thus far. Though held at a neutral venue in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, Seattle’s two previous games were played in front of its home fans. The first was a 2-1 win against Chicago Fire FC on March 1, followed by a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew SC on March 7. The club also played two matches in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League against Honduran side CD Olimpia prior to the regular season.
- Seattle is now 11-10-7 all-time against San Jose in MLS regular season play, including a current 10-match (5-0-5) unbeaten run in the series, dating back to 2015.
- Stefan Frei recorded eight saves in his first shutout of the season and 77th of his MLS career, now sole position of fifth place in league history. He is also Sounders FC’s all-time franchise leader, with 58 clean-sheets since joining the club prior to the 2014 season.
- Nico Lodeiro captained Sounders FC in its first competitive action in four months Friday evening, donning an exclusive armband with a unique backstory showcasing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and local artist Teddy Phillips.
- Midfielder Shandon Hopeau made his first Sounders FC appearance since signing on June 29 as a Homegrown Player. The Kapolei, Hawaii native made his MLS debut last season vs. Colorado, logging 32 minutes as a substitute after agreeing to a Short-Term Agreement after Sounders FC qualified for Extreme Hardship (when a club has less than 14 outfield players or has fewer than two goalkeepers available).
Seattle Sounders FC 0 – San Jose Earthquakes 0
Friday, July 10, 2020
Venue: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistants: Logan Brown, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal
VAR: Victor Rivas
Weather: 81 degrees and cloudy
SJ – Tommy Thompson (caution) 19’
SEA – Xavier Arreaga (caution) 24’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Shane O’Neill 90’+5’), Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nohou (Miguel Ibarra 77’), Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem (Joevin Jones 56’), Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Shandon Hopeau 77’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Trey Muse, Stefan Cleveland Alex Roldan, Handwalla Bwana, Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere, Danny Leyva, Justin Dhillon
Total shots: 12 (5, Ruidíaz)
Shots on goal: 6 (C. Roldan, 3)
Fouls: 10 (Three players, 2)
Offside: 2 (Morris/Ruidíaz, 1)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Lodeiro, 1)
Saves: 8 (Frei, 8)
San Jose Earthquakes – Daniel Vega; Tommy Thompson (Shea Salinas 64’), Guram Kashia, Oswaldo Alanis (Florian Jungwirth 64’), Nick Lima; Judson (Chris Wondolowski 75’), Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza (Carlos Fierro 75’), Magnus Eriksson, Valeri Qazaishvili (Cade Cowell 85’); Andres Rios
Substitutes not used: James Marcinkowski, Paul Marie, Tanner Beason, Eric Calvillo, Jack Skahan, Luis Felipe Fernandes, Siad Haji
Total shots: 16 (Eriksson/Qazaishvili, 3)
Shots on goal: 8 (Qazaishivili, 3)
Fouls: 10 (Four players, 2)
Offside: 1 (Rios, 1)
Corner-kicks: 9 (Espinoza, 4)
Saves: 6 (Vega, 6)