MLS Match Preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
March 23, 2013 (WEEK 4, MLS Game #33)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-CA; KING/ROOT-NW/KOMO)
Another key clash in the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening when the San Jose Earthquakes play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes return home following a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew, their first road match of the year. Sounders FC are looking for a first victory as they hit the road for the first time, coming off a dramatic late 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Frank Anderson; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Daniel Radford MLS Career: 148 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 48; pens: 55
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Mehdi Ballouchy
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SJ: Justin Morrow (USA; vs. Costa Rica); Victor Bernardez (Honduras; vs. Mexico) … SEA: Obafemi Martins (Nigeria; vs. Kenya); Mario Martinez (Honduras; vs. Mexico); Eddie Johnson (USA; vs. Costa Rica)
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Earthquakes 5 wins, 14 goals … Sounders FC 4 wins, 11 goals … Ties 1
AT SAN JOSE (4 meetings): Earthquakes 2 wins, 8 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 5/11: Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 1 p.m. PT; San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/31: SEA 0, SJ 1 (Wondolowski 24)
8/11: SJ 2, SEA 1 (Dawkins 71; Lenhart 93+ -- Montero 91+)
9/22: SEA 1, SJ 2 (Zakuani 14 -- Dawkins 2; Wondolowski 30)
- San Jose won all three league meetings between the teams last season, with two victories coming at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
- But Sounders FC defeated the Quakes in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal in Santa Clara.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. SJ: P30 W14 L11 D5 … Frank Yallop vs. SEA: P10 W5 L4 D1
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes again provided some late drama in their first road test of the season, coming back for a late 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium.
- The Crew took the lead in the 68th minute. Center back Gláuber sent home a diving header from a Federico Higuaín corner kick, his first MLS goal.
- But the Quakes pulled even just five minutes later. A quick change of field allowed Ramiro Corrales to find an overlapping Justin Morrow unmarked on the left side, and he fired a strike from 18 yards that carried into the right upper corner of the goal past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
- Quakes head coach Frank Yallop made one change to the team that got two late goals for a 2-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at Buck Shaw Stadium. Adam Jahn made his first start, coming into the side in place of Mike Fucito.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Ty Harden, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Shea Salinas (Sam Garza 76), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales - Chris Wondolowski, Adam Jahn.
- It was yet another late goal to snatch a result for the Quakes, a week after scoring late goals for the tying and winning tallies in the 2-1 win vs. New York. Last year, 40 of San Jose’s league-leading 72 goals came from the 60th minute onward.
- “I still think we really should have got three points. We’ll obviously settle for a tie, but I think the chances we created and the way we played was excellent and I think we deserved to win the game, but we couldn’t quite get that last touch,” said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop.
- Justin Morrow’s goal was his second in his fourth MLS season. His first came a year ago, on May 2, vs. D.C. United.
- “Great finish by Justin. We’ve been encouraging him to get forward more often. I thought he did a great job tonight of defending, but on both ends he was great,” said Yallop. Said Morrow: “The coaches have been really stressing to go forward, they know I’m an offensive player, they know I can help the team out by going forward.”
- The last player remaining from Major League Soccer’s inaugural season, San Jose’s Ramiro Corrales, recorded his first assist of the season in setting up Morrow’s equalizer.
- The Crew goal was the first allowed this season by San Jose from a set piece. A year ago, they allowed just one goal all year on a corner kick – also against Columbus (the Aug. 25 meeting).
- “We pride ourselves on not conceding goals on plays that are static – we don’t usually do that,” said Yallop. “I thought we did a great job against a team that’s good on set plays. They play in a good ball, they have some big boys coming in from the back, and they’re difficult to handle. But I thought we did a great job, other than the one play.”
- Yallop will have two changes in the back as Victor Bernardez has been called into national team duty by Honduras and Morrow was called into the U.S. side.
- “You can’t ever stop success, so for me, for players to get called into the national team, we’re doing our job,” Yallop said. “I’m really proud of the guys [getting] to a point in their game where other people are recognizing it, i.e. Jurgen Klinsmann, [Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez] and so on.”
- Yallop said Nana Attakora will likely slot in for Bernardez, alongside Jason Hernandez in central defense. Corrales could shift back to the left side of the back four, or MLS veterans Ty Harden or Dan Gargan could make their Earthquakes’ debuts.
- “This is going to give opportunities to other players,” goalie Jon Busch said. “That’s why Frank and John [Doyle, San Jose’s general manager] built this team deep and picked Nana up, and picked Ty up and picked Dan up. It’s another test for us, to see where our depth is.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC are still looking for a first league win after two matches, arch-rivals Portland Timbers getting a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field.
- Sounders FC took the lead after 13 minutes. Steve Zakuani picked up a stray pass in midfield and immediately streaked down the left side, cut in around the top of the penalty area and found Eddie Johnson at the far post with an inch-perfect cross for a first-time finish.
- But the Timbers found a dramatic equalizer in second-half stoppage time. Andrew Jean-Baptiste looped a high cross into the heart of the area and substitute Rodney Wallace found himself completely unmarked before sailing a header over Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that opened the new season with a 1-0 loss to the Montréal Impact at CenturyLink Field. Djimi Traore and Marc Burch came into the back four for Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso started in midfield in place of Brad Evans, and Sammy Ochoa came into the attack in place of Mauro Rosales.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Mario Martinez (Obafemi Martins 70), Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Alex Caskey 81) - Eddie Johnson, Sammy Ochoa (Mauro Rosales 61).
- Sounders FC are still looking for a first league victory of the new season, with one point from two home games to start the season.
- “Our team had a tough game on Tuesday, an emotional game. We came back, I thought we started well. We haven't started games well this season, so I thought this was our best start to a game and we got the lead. Normally we make that stand up,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “Now there's something that went right and you have built on what went right and eliminate what went wrong.”
- Barely hours after arriving in Seattle, Obafemi Martins was given his Sounders FC debut, coming in on the right side of the midfield for Mario Martinez.
- “We wanted to give him the opportunity, he wanted the opportunity, as well, because his mind, his spirit, his soul is here and he wants us to succeed and be successful. We didn't want him to play too many minutes,” said Schmid. “ … He hasn't trained with the team, he doesn't know the team, per se. He'll get better, and the things that he can do – his quickness and things like that – will show through.”
- Martins had to fly back to Nigeria immediately following the game, to join up with the Super Eagles ahead of their World Cup qualifying match against Kenya.
- “I thought it was better to come now and see the place, and I am going to the national team now...It was a little bit hard. I went to the embassy and that took a little time for the travel and all,” Martins said. “[Adrian Hanauer] really wanted me to stay so I can go straight to the national team, but I decided to come straight (here) to see the team and play as soon as possible.”
- Eddie Johnson scored his first league goal of the season, his second in as many games after netting in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal vs. Tigres of Mexico. But he will also be away on international duty this week.
- “It's frustrating, it just delays it another week because we can't train together,” said Schmid. “We need some time right now to train together, but hopefully once we get all them back we can implement that, but we still have the rest of the guys here, so we can get that nucleus to play and the cohesion within that group a little bit better right now.”
- Djimi Traoré was also given his Sounders FC and MLS debut, playing in central defense alongside Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. “I think the defense did really good. With our guys in the back I think we are ready to get settled for the season. We will find our way,” said goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
- With Martins and Johnson both away on international duty, David Estrada could be in line to start in attack for Sounders FC. Estrada suffered a broken foot and did not make a start after May 26; he came through a 45-minute reserve stint unscathed at the weekend.
- “He’s hungry,” Schmid said. “That’s never an issue with David. It’s about being smart. He’s the kind of guy that you have to lock into his locker to make sure he doesn’t over-train. It’s tough for it to heal when you overdo it each day. We have to find that right balance. It’s a little more difficult for him.”
- During the week, Sounders FC released Swedish fullback Adam Johansson. “It’s very important for Adam’s career for him to have regular first-team minutes, because he’s on the Swedish national team,” Schmid said. “And with Brad [Evans] maybe dropping to right back, DeAndre’s [Yedlin] development, that might not have made that an all regular basis for him.”