Sounders win it 1-0. A Fredy Montero goal in the 26th minute was the difference.
With the win, Seattle goes past San Jose, Colorado and Toronto in the MLS standings. Seattle also wins this season’s Heritage Cup, accepted by Kasey Keller.
Here was coach Sigi Schmid’s overview:
“Defensively we’re playing a lot tighter in the back. Today, I was very pleased with how we played. I thought our soccer was very good. I thought we moved the ball around very well. I throught we were a little unfortunate not to have more than one, I thought we could have had two or three in the first half. …
“I think the guys realize their situation. I think maybe at the beginning of the year we were maybe patting ourselves on the back a little bit too much for what we had accomplished last year, and everybody sort of came to the realization that, ‘Hey, we’ve we’ve got to put forth the effort. If you put forth the effort then the soccer will show at the end of the day, but you have to put forth the effort. We’re at that stage where we’re doing that.”
And this from San Jose coach Frank Yallop:
“I’m disappointed. I thought it was definitely our worst performance this season. … From the whistle it just didn’t seem like we had any idea or any scrap in us.”
It was San Jose’s first loss in five games.
Blaise Nkufo went most of the way, and played well. Alvaro Fernandez made a quiet debut.
Here are the basics:
SEA – Fredy Montero (Sanna Nyassi) 26
Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke (Tyrone Marshall 45), Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 69), Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo (Nate Jaqua 86).
Substitutes Not Used: Roger Levesque, Terry Boss, Michael Seamon, Zach Scott.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; CORNER KICKS: 6; OFFSIDES: 4; FOULS: 8; SAVES: 2.
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez (Chris Wondolowski 74), Bobby Burling, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Joey Gjertsen, Sam Cronin, Brandon McDonald (Arturo Alvarez 45), Bobby Convey, Scott Sealy (Ryan Johnson 45), Cornell Glen.
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Cannon, Justin Morrow, Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 8; FOULS: 8; SAVES: 6.
SJ – Sam Cronin (caution; Reckless Tackle) 15
SJ – Ramiro Corrales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 80
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 91+
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Ian Anderson
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees
86th minute: Jaqua in for Nkufo.
Attendance: 10,351, including a couple of hundred Sounders fans in Section A.
74th minute: Chris Wondolowski, who hit the game-winner in Seattle, has just entered for San Jose.
69th minute: New DP Alvaro Fernandez has just subbed in for Steve Zakuani.
63rd minute: Blaise Nkufo aaaaaalmost got first goal as a Sounder. Nice low left foot shot in the box, but Jon Busch managed to get his left hand on it, steering it off target.
60th minute: No shell for Sounders … both teams still attacking.
Second half: Has begun. Sixth place in MLS race — play Heritage Cup — hangs on these 45 minutes.
One change in Sounders’ lineup: Tyrone Marshall in for Jeff Parke, who suffered a head injury late in the first half.
Halftime: Sounders up 1-0 on the Montero header.
Seattle had six shots to San Jose’s four; Seattle put four on goal to San Jose’s one.
Meanwhile, more good news for the Sounders from Kansas City, where the Wizards beat Toronto, 1-0.That means that if the Sounders hold on tonight, they will move past San Jose, Colorado and Toronto in the standings, moving back into playoff position.
38th minute: Parke back in.
35th minute: Jeff Parke being tended to after several players went up for a head in front of the Sounders goal.
He got up, seeming woozy, and is with a trainer off the pitch.
26th minute: Sounders move ahead 1-0 on a Fredy Montero flying header from about 5 yards. That finished a nice cross from Sanna Nyassi.
That’s eight straight MLS games with either a goal or an assist from Montero, and he has either scored or assisted in 12 of the last 15 games.
24th minute: Lots of up and down action. Seattle still getting generally the better of it. But no score.
15th minute: Alonso misses steal attempt. San Jose’s Jason Hernandez runs into the box unmaked, but Keller makes 1-on-1 save.
Ninth minute: Sounders dominating early. Busch just went high to tap a Monero head over the bar.
Second minute: First chance to the Sounders: Montero cross onto the head of Nkufo, who puts it on goal to the low-near post, but Busch knocks it away.
Kickoff: Game has begun. Sounders in rave/rave; Earthquakes in black/black. What breeze there is will be going left to right from your TV view.
Sounders fans in the house: No surprise, but Sounders fans are in the house, taking up about half of a section at Buck Shaw. … Unfortunately, their section is on the same side as the television cameras, so I don’t know how obviously they’ll be on the KING broadcast tonight, but they look good with lots of rave green and three banners whipping in what seems to be a pretty good breeze out there.
Oh, yeah: This game will determine if San Jose gets to hold on to the Heritage Cup. The Cup isn’t decided by aggregate score, but on the basis of three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss. The tie-breaking procedure is listed at the website linked above.
Lineups: For Seattle: G Keller; D Riley, Parke, Iann, Gonzalez; M Nyassi, Sturgis, Alonso, Zakuani; F Montero, Nkufo. Bench: Boss, Fernandez, Scott, Seamon, Jaqua, Levesque, Marshall.
For San Jose: G Busch; D Burling, Opara, Corrales, Hernandez; M Cronin, Convey, McDonald, Gjertsen; F Sealy, Glen. Bench: Cannon, Morrow, Beitashour, Ring, Alvarez, Wondolowski, Johnson.
45 minutes until kickoff: Sounders are warming up. New DP Alvaro Fernandez is in uniform, wearing No. 15.
70 minutes until kickoff: Potential good Sounders news out of Colorado today, where FC Dallas and the Rapids played to a 1-1 draw. That means with a win tonight, Seattle goes past San Jose and Colorado.
Two hours before kickoff: Well, if you can’t have one of the great stadiums, I guess there’s something to being unique. And it must be said that Buck Shaw Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, is unique in MLS.
As you can see, it’s a beautiful day. Warm now, but the forecast calls for temperatures in the 60s by gametime.
We’re here for what looks to be a huge game for the Sounders’ playoff hopes. Win, and they move past San Jose in the standings … although, granted, the Quakes will still have games in hand. But lose and San Jose goes shooting ahead in the standings again … still with those games in hand. And frankly, the time may have passed where the Sounders can feel very good about draws … even on the road. One-point per game isn’t going to get them anywhere they want to go.
Here’s a preview from the San Jose Mercury News.
We’ll keep our normal gameday blog open for news and comments before, during and after tonight’s game.