recap

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes fell to Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 on Wednesday night at PayPal Park. The defeat snaps San Jose’s two-game winning streak.

Sounders FC took the lead in the 25th minute. Cristian Roldan played a pass to Raul Ruidiaz at the top of the box. He cut from his right foot onto his left foot and took a low shot out of the reach of goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

Ruidiaz doubled Seattle’s advantage in the 42nd minute, converting a penalty kick earned by Roldan moments earlier. Seattle then added a third goal in the 49th minute, with Roldan finishing off a lateral pass from Jimmy Medranda.

San Jose pulled one back just two minutes later when a cross by Marcos Lopez was redirected goalward by defender Shane O’Neill for an own goal.

The Earthquakes will now travel to Canada to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Oct. 2. Saturday’s match will kick off from BC Place at 7:00 p.m. PT and will be aired on NBC Sports California Plus, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.

GAME NOTES

The Earthquakes now hold an 8-10-9 record (33 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, just four points below the playoff line.

San Jose is now 11-15-8 all-time vs. Seattle, including a 5-5-5 record at home.

Rookie forward Benji Kikanovic made his third-straight start, playing 90 minutes.

Midfielder Jack Skahan made his first appearance since July 24 vs. Houston Dynamo FC.

MATCH INFORMATION

MLS Regular Season

San Jose Earthquakes 1 – 3 Seattle Sounders FC

Sept. 29, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.

Attendance: 11,361

Scoring Summary:

SEA (1-0) – Raul Ruidiaz (Cristian Roldan) 25’

SEA (2-0) – Raul Ruidiaz (penalty) 42’

SEA (3-0) – Cristian Roldan (Jimmy Medranda, Fredy Montero) 49’

SJ (3-1) – Shane O’Neil (own goal) 51’

Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Judson (caution) 27’

SEA – Raul Ruidiaz (caution) 38’

SEA – Alex Roldan (caution) 83’

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez, Nathan, Oswaldo Alanis (Cade Cowell 46), Judson (Luciano Abecasis 55); Shea Salinas (Andy Rios 54), Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill, Carlos Fierro (Chris Wondolowski 54), Chofis (Jack Skahan 69); Benji Kikanovic.

Substitutes not used: Jacob Akanyirige, Paul Marie, Tommy Thompson, Daniel Vega.

SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 2

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC: Stefan Frei; Xavier Arreaga (Nouhou 46), Shane O’Neill, Yeimar Gomez Andrade; Cristian Roldan (Alex Roldan 82), Kelyn Rowe, Danny Leyva, Josh Atencio (Joao Paulo 46), Jimmy Medranda (Abdoulaye Cissoko 71); Raul Ruidiaz (Leo Chu 46), Fredy Montero (Alex Roldan 81).

Substitutes not used: Will Bruin, Stefan Cleveland, Ethan Dobbelaere.

SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA

On the game plan for tonight’s match:

“It was a different game plan because Seattle played differently. It was different because we had players that were out. It was different because back then we had few players available, and we had Florian Jungwirth in the middle of the field. But as I always say, each game and every moment is different.”

On Sounders FC containing San Jose’s offense:

“I think we made mistakes on the way through. The game plan was different, and we intended to take away their game, how they play in between the lines. Once we recovered the ball, we wanted to play through the outside, not through the middle. That’s why we had Benji Kikanovic as a striker, Chofis was playing free, and we had Shea Salinas and Carlos Fierro playing on the outside. From that point of view, we should have avoided passes through the middle and in between our lines. That would have allowed us to have a free man in the back. Knowing the power that Seattle has, we couldn’t counteract their individual and collective parts. Their goals resulted from our turnovers, and a team like Seattle puts them away.”

On Seattle’s goals:

“I think they came from the virtue of the opponent, but we also made mistakes on defense. The first mistake was allowing them to receive the ball in dangerous parts of the field. We hurt ourselves the most when we have the ball and give it away instead of passing it to a teammate. They took advantage of our mistakes. I’ve said all week that players like Raul Ruidíaz don’t forgive. Players like Cristian Roldan have a lot of mobility and will move into a position to score. We discussed things that could have been avoided but we have to give credit to the virtue of these players.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI

On what went wrong in the game plan:

“I think that we compounded our mistakes and I mean that by saying Seattle is such a tough opponent and you need to be able to move them side to side with possession. You need to be able to wear them down and also be able to try to expand them and so that you can take out pockets in their organization and we weren’t able to do that. They pressed very high. They did a great job of sending their wing backs up on us and we were missing passes that we normally make and when we miss those passes, it kind of compounds and then we were on our back foot. We were defending a little bit deeper and then we’re not able to trigger our press in the right area of the field and then again when you’re not able to do that, we’re a step late. When we’re not doing it at the right place or at the right time, we’re a step late, against Seattle when given that time can tear you apart.”

On why the team appeared indecisive in attack:

“Yeah, when we’re unable to keep a steady possession then we are unable to send our wing backs and send our outside backs forward unless we have that secure possession and when we don’t have those guys coming forward, we end up isolating ourselves way too much. Leaving ourselves one on one or in a lot of cases especially against Seattle 1v2. They do a great job especially with their back three. That’s one of their best traits is they’re able to push out and those three center backs do such a great job whether they're following a number 10 or a number 9 into the space both behind or in front. I think that’s what they do best, closing down that space and so when we’re unable to keep that possession, secure that possession, it really hurts us and it puts us in some precarious positions.”

On how this result affects the team’s confidence:

“It hurts in the sense that it’s at home. We feel extremely confident that when we are at home that we need to pick up points and it doesn’t matter the opponent. That being said, you look at the other results, today it didn’t do us too much damage, but that being said it would've been a perfect day to move up the table. So, we’re still outside looking in, but we have a huge one against Vancouver on Saturday and if and when we pick up three points there, we can really start to get a move in. The faith hasn’t wavered one bit in the locker room and we still feel confident. We feel that we can do a lot of great things in these seven games and really start clicking.”