BY SPNW Staff 10:26PM 08/02/2014

Sounders help Quakes open new stadium happily

It’s one thing to lose to the Los Angeles Galaxy, which the Sounders did Monday at home. But the San Jose Earthquakes (6-8-5), basement dwellers in the Western Conference? The Sounders followed up the Galaxy debacle with another embarrassment, a 1-0 loss in the first event in the new, $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

GK Jon Busch made seven saves in the second half to repel a desperate onslaught by Sounders to avoid a second consecutive shutout.  The Sounders talked before the game about their ability to bounce back, but for a second game in a row, could get no clean looks.

Their once-robust lead in the West shrunk from 10 points to 38-36 after a win Saturday by runner-up Real Salt Lake.

The difference came in the 42nd minute on a Seattle defensive breakdown. San Jose’s World Cup participant Chris Wondolowski lofted a beautiful pass straight ahead to Yannick Djalo,  who ran past Zach Scott and saw an open goal. GK Stefan Frei over-committed to play the ball and Djalo sidefooted a little grounder from the top of the box that rolled leisurely into the net.

The Sounders again in the first half had trouble organizing, managing just a single shot on goal despite possessing 55 percent. Pressure improved in the second half, but Busch and his defensive mates thwarted the Sounders every time.

Wondolowski, a great scorer, showed his defensive chops in the 86th minute when he manned the near post and saved a certain goal by heading away a bullet of a shot during a Sounders frenzy.

In the 69th minute, a curiously wide open Clint Dempsey sized up a high carom and attempted a bicycle kick from 15 yards that sailed just over the crossbar.

The Sounders welcomed back Brad Evans to the starting lineup after missing two games with a strained leg ligament, but top defender Chad Marshall missed his second in a row with a sore back.

The new home for the Earthquakes and 49ers drew about 45,000 fans, but those who stayed to end were surprised to see a fireworks show erupt in the 88th minute. The pyrotechnics belonged to the Great America theme park next door, which does fireworks nightly, but looked to be a major gaffe with a sports event underway.


  • jafabian

    Two matches in a row getting shut out is not good. With this team that shouldn’t happen. Better defense than last week but they need to be n the same page offensively. They seemed out of synch.