The Seattle Sounders faced a completely different San Jose team Sunday Night from the one they faced September 10th at CenturyLink. In that game, the Sounders scored seven goals in a 7-1 victory. The Quakes team Sounders played on Sunday had won four of its last five.
A commitment to playing defense inside their own box and tacking defenders in the open field was the main reason for the Quakes improvement. The two teams’ commitment to playing defense makes life easy for both goalkeepers but not all that pleasing to the eye. The Sounders had the lone shot on goal in the first half. Neither team gave the other time to create when in possession. The best play by a Sounders player in the first half was a Will Bruin clearance of a San Jose set piece. Bruin was named player of the match for his efforts.
LAST THIRD LACKING
The second half was slightly different from the first with both teams having a sense of urgency to move the ball upfield. What stayed the same for both sides was the ability to create meaningful chances in the last third. The culprit was a lack of creativity when it came to the last pass of the attack. Both teams were able to manufacture one golden opportunity. Stefan Frei swatted Carlos Fierro’s right-footed from the goal line in the 64th minute. The Sounder’s best chance came in the 81st minute when Jordan Morris played a cross into the box that slipped past the foot of Bruin, who couldn’t quite put it in the back of the net.
BIG TAKE WAY
Ties can be looked at as a point gained or two lost. For the Sounders Sundays game was a point gained. San Jose reinvented its self by doubling down on tight defensive marking and pushing the ball up the pitch. The Quakes have now conceded five goals in six games and scored 11. San Jose is a team on the rise and wanted to prove that they are better than the 7-1 loss team the Sounders faced at CenturyLink Field. The Sounder’s ability to grind out a point leaves atop the Western Conference with 31 points due to goal difference. The second-place team is Portland who the Rave Green will entertain on Thursday.
With his start in goal this evening, Stefan Frei achieved a major career milestone for Seattle, recording his 250th appearance in Rave Green across all competitions.
Second, only to former Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso in this category, Frei now has 215 regular-season appearances, combined with 23 in the MLS Cup Playoffs, three in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, eight in the Concacaf Champions League and one in the MLS is Back Knockout Round (the three MLS is Back Group Stage matches are included in the regular-season count). Frei has been with Sounders FC since the 2014 season.
- Per MLS Communications, with several matches across the Western Conference still needing to be rescheduled due to COVID-19, Sounders FC was not able to formally clinch a postseason berth tonight in San Jose.
- In 2020, Seattle moves to 1-0-2 against San Jose, including the July 10 Group Stage match in the MLS is Back Tournament. Prior to tonight’s match, the Rave Green defeated San Jose 7-1 at CenturyLink Field on September 10.
- Sounders FC is now 12-10-18 all-time against San Jose in MLS regular season play, including a 3-5-5 mark in Northern California.