Match Recap

MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 3, Seattle Sounders FC 2


SAN JOSE, Calif. The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-2 on Saturday night at PayPal Park in front of 16,109 fans to earn their first victory of the season.

San Jose struck first blood in the 42nd minute when a Jackson Yueill cross and subsequent Bruno Wilson header found Vítor Costa, who promptly scored his second goal of the season. One minute later, San Jose doubled the advantage when Cristian Espinoza tapped in the rebound from a Preston Judd attempt that deflected off Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

However, the visitors would pull one back in the 72nd minute via a Raúl Ruidiaz penalty kick and drew level in the 81st minute from a Danny Musovski strike. But only one minute later, second-half substitute Jeremy Ebobisse would have the final say for San Jose, as he slid in the box to direct Jack Skahan’s cross into the net to give the hosts the game-winner and a crucial three points.

The Quakes will go on the road for their next match against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, March 30. Kickoff from Shell Energy Stadium is set for 5:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast globally on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, as well as on local radio via AM 810 The Spread (English) and AM 1370 La Kaliente (Spanish).


The Quakes and Sounders FC, both founded in 1974 and originally members of the North American Soccer League (NASL), are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this season.

To honor this tradition, Saturday's contest commenced the 16th edition of the Heritage Cup, an annual competition between the Earthquakes and Sounders FC based on their regular-season games. The Quakes

are the reigning champions, keeping the silverware for three consecutive seasons. Since the tradition started in 2009, San Jose has possessed the trophy seven times, while Seattle has owned it for eight. The return leg in Seattle is September 18.

The Earthquakes now have a 15-15-9 record against Sounders FC across 39 MLS regular-season matchups, including a 7-5-5 record at home.

With his first-half goal, forward Cristian Espinoza continued his superb career numbers against Sounders FC (6g/4a), including his only hat trick which he earned in a 4-3 victory on April 23, 2022. The 2023 MLS All-Star also clinched the all-time club assist record last season against Seattle, tallying the 51st in his career.

The Quakes’ two goals happened 1:36 apart, which is the quickest span in MLS this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 2:02 by Austin FC against Philadelphia Union on March 16.


San Jose Earthquakes 3 – 2 Seattle Sounders FC

Saturday, March 23, 2024 – PayPal Park; San Jose, Calif.

Attendance: 16,109

Man of the Match: Cristian Espinoza

Scoring Summary:

SJ – Vítor Costa (Bruno Wilson) 42’

SJ – Cristian Espinoza (unassisted) 43’

SEA – Raúl Ruidiaz (penalty kick) 72’

SEA – Danny Musovski (Cody Baker) 81’

SJ – Jeremy Ebobisse (Jack Skahan) 82’

Misconduct Summary:

SEA – Dylan Teves (caution) 52’

SEA – Jackson Ragen (caution) 65’

SJ – Jack Skahan (caution) 90+3'

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: William Yarbrough; Paul Marie (Daniel Munie 83’), Bruno Wilson, Rodrigues, Vitor Costa; Alfredo Morales, Jackson Yueill (C), Niko Tsakiris (Jack Skahan 64’); Cristian Espinoza, Benji Kikanović (Tanner Beason 84’), Preston Judd (Jeremy Ebobisse 76’).

Substitutes not used: Emi Ochoa (GK), Beau Leroux, Will Richmond, Jamar Ricketts, Tommy Thompson.

POSSESSION: 43.5%; SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; CORNERS: 2; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 17; xG: 2.7

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC: Stefan Frei (C); Nouhou, Jackson Ragen, Yeimar (Paul Rothrock 87’); Cristian Roldán, Álex Roldán, Danny Leyva (Cody Baker 69’), Sota Kitahara (Albert Rusnák 58’), Dylan Teves (Danny Musovski 74’); Raúl Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris.

Substitutes not used: Andrew Thomas (GK), Xavier Arriaga, Nathan.

POSSESSION: 56.5%; SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; CORNERS: 8; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 17; xG: 1.8


On earning the team’s first win of the season:

“It felt great, especially for the players. The players have been fantastic in terms of trying to get better. We obviously have been disappointed with the results. We know that it hasn't bounced our way, but we saw early in the week in competing and with their energy and in their belief. Together they showed that determination.”

On Seattle coming back to tie the game before San Jose ultimately took control:

“Credit to Seattle for getting back in the game, but credit to our boys for being resilient and determined. I thought we carried it forward from the Kansas City game. We created opportunities. We knew what we needed to do offensively and defensively, and we did that tonight.

“It's never easy because you have to be prepared, you have to prepare against Seattle, who have good players. We have to find a way to neutralize Jordan Morris' speed, his instincts in and out of the box; Christian Roldan's service in the box. … But it's about us. It does not matter how well we scout the opponent and prepare for the tactical details if we are not ourselves, putting our bodies on the line in duels and playing with confidence.”


On the group effort tonight:

The start of the season isn’t the results we wanted, but I think we’ve improved as a group. We’re still integrating some payers, and we are missing some guys, and some new guys had to step in. The guys who came in this year; you look at Will [Yarbrough] and Alfredo [Morales], and you know they have a lot of MLS experience, and they’ve played in these types of games before. They bring a veteran mentality, a winning mentality. It was nice to have Niko [Tsakiris] back. There’s a lot of depth in the team that we need to rely on and that we relied on today. It was a good, resilient effort from the group. We’re happy with three points, and it’s a good team that we played against but it’s our first win and we’re hoping to build off it.”

On fighting until the end for the win: 

I’ve definitely had some tough starts to the season. I think some of the games we didn’t deserve to lose the way that we did and so you definitely think back to, ‘Oh this is happening again,’ but you know, the final whistle came. I think it was a great team effort. It maybe wasn’t a sigh [of relief], but it was an ‘OK, fine’ that we got this under our belt and that this is something that we worked hard for in those 99 minutes. It’s something that we’re proud to do. Like I said, it’s something that we want to keep building off of. We have a great team. It’s something that we’ve accumulated over these past few years. I think the first four games will only make us stronger.”


On his game-winning goal coming off the bench:

“We all want to be on the field and we are going to make the most of it when we are on it. It does not mean you don't have each other's backs. The situation on the field is for one striker. Even if you want to be the best for yourself, you have to acknowledge when things are going right.”

On staying the course during the early-season struggles:

“It's easy to create a hole with consecutive losses, so stopping the bleeding is very important. Now, we have to stick together and find a way to get results. Because we dropped a couple of home games, we need to make up those points on the road, only way to do that is by working hard and trusting each other.”

On keeping a level head after the team’s first win:

“This gives us confidence, but keeping it in context is important. Earlier, we were not on the board, and it was not the end of the world. It's not the end of the season; we just won one game at home, and it was a nail-biter. It does not mean we are flying. So we need to keep it in context by appreciating the good, learning from today, and finding a way to capitalize on the next opportunity.”