SEATTLE, Wash. – The San Jose Earthquakes fell to Seattle Sounders FC 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. The Quakes finished the regular season in eighth place in the Western Conference and will now play the top seed Sporting Kansas City in the first round of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
After a scoreless first half, Seattle scored two goals in the first nine minutes of the second half to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Just moments later, San Jose cut the deficit in half when defender Marcos Lopez scored a direct free kick from a tight angle along the end line.
Sounders FC then regained their two-goal advantage through Jordan Morris in the 74th minute before adding another by way of an own goal six minutes later.
The Earthquakes will now return to San Jose to prepare for their first-round playoff match against Sporting Kansas City. The date, time and broadcast details of the match will be announced soon.
The Quakes finished the 2020 regular season in eighth place in the Western Conference with an 8-9-6 record (1.30 PPG).
The Earthquakes held a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 matches, tied for the best record in the Western Conference during that span, while keeping four shutouts.
Defender Marcos Lopez scored his second goal of the season and the second of his MLS career.
Homegrown defender Nick Lima made his 100th MLS appearance, starting and playing 90 minutes. He became the second Homegrown Player in Quakes history to reach 100 regular season appearances, following Tommy Thompson.
MLS Regular Season
Seattle Sounders FC 4 – 1 San Jose Earthquakes
Nov. 8, 2020 – CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.
Scoring Summary: SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (unassisted) 52; SEA – Raul Ruidiaz (Cristian Roldan) 54; SJ – Marcos Lopez (unassisted) 57; SEA – Jordan Morris (Nicolas Lodeiro) 74; SEA – Marcos Lopez (own goal) 80.
Misconduct Summary: None.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez (Paul Marie 82), Oswaldo Alanis, Florian Jungwirth, Nick Lima (Tommy Thompson 59); Shea Salinas, Judson, Luis Felipe (Eric Calvillo 59), Cristian Espinoza (Siad Haji 59); Cade Cowell, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes not used: Jacob Akanyirige, Tanner Beason, Gilbert Fuentes, Jack Skahan, Daniel Vega.
SHOTS: 5, SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 4, OFFSIDES: 0.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC: Stefan Frei, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou (Alex Roldan 65), Kelvin Leerdam (Jordy Delem 81), Yeimar Gomez, Joevin Jones (Jimmy Medranda 82), Joao Paulo (Joshua Atencio 90), Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris (Shandon Hopeau 90).
Substitutes not used: Will Bruin, Stefan Cleveland, Danny Leyva, Roman Torres.
SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 7; CORNER KICKS: 4, OFFSIDES: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On tonight’s match against Seattle:
“We always try to prepare to compete and win. I think discounting the goals, the game was good. If we had taken advantage of our chances in the first half as they did, this would have been a different match. The difference is that they capitalized on their chances and we did not. Nonetheless, it makes me happy to see Cade Cowell be able to play 90 minutes, as well as seeing the other youngsters come on. It was a good game and we still came here to compete.”
On heading into playoffs:
“First and foremost, we are going to give the players two days to rest. Since the beginning of the season, the players have not taken a break. It’s about enjoying everything we have achieved up until Wednesday when we made the playoffs. We will focus on recovery for the players and ultimately focus on the upcoming game, which will be like a final.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER TOMMY THOMPSON
On the team’s preparation for the first-round match against SKC:
“It’s a little bit strange matching up with a team in the Western Conference playoffs without playing them once all year, but this year has presented all kinds of new obstacles that we’ve had to learn to overcome. I’m sure Matias [Almeyda] and the rest of the staff will do a great job of preparing video on Kansas City, like we always do for every team. By the time kickoff starts, we’re going to know their plays, we’re going to know exactly what we need to do to get the result, so that’s what we’re going to be focusing on. We’re really looking forward to being back in the playoffs.”
On the team’s bounce-back mentality:
“I think this team has shown a lot of character. We’ve gone through great moments this year. We’ve gone through extremely difficult moments as well, but there’s a belief in this group that whoever is on the field can get the job done. We’re going to learn from our mistakes today. Seattle is a great team, and they made us pay. We’ve got to make sure that we’re going to be as sharp as we can against Kansas City, and this game is a good reminder that against the top teams in this league, you can’t take your foot off the gas pedal for one minute. It’s a tough way to end the season, but we’ve accomplished a lot. We’re definitely going to have a short memory going into Kansas City. We’ll be full of confidence and ready to go in a couple weeks.”