First impressions from Seattle’s 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field, as Chris Wondolowski cancelled out Chad Barrett’s second-half goal with one of his own in the 65th minute.
– Seattle’s poor run of results continues
It wasn’t a loss, which would’ve been Seattle’s fifth in seven MLS matches, but it was two points dropped in an increasingly competitive Western Conference race against a team toward the bottom of the league.
The Sounders were in control after Obafemi Martins played in Barrett for his third goal in as many games just after halftime. Seattle’s advantage in shots kept climbing – it would finish with a 23-10 edge – and it remained camped out along the San Jose box for long stretches.
But a momentary loss of concentration allowed Wondolowski to sneak in at the back post and tap in Cordell Cato’s cross.
And though it was all Sounders down the stretch, the decisive goal never came.
Adding insult to injury, the L.A. Galaxy rallied from two goals down to beat Colorado 4-3 and keep the pressure turned up in the West.
– There were plenty of notable absences
With Seattle in the midst of its run of five matches in two weeks and with a trip to rival Portland looming this weekend, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid made significant changes to the team that lost 2-1 in Salt Lake City last Saturday.
Just four Sounders who started that match – DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Osvaldo Alonso and Kenny Cooper – did so again Wednesday. Clint Dempsey didn’t come on until the 71st minute, Brad Evans followed seven minutes later and Gonzalo Pineda wasn’t even in the squad.
San Jose, meanwhile, has been ravaged by injuries.
Yannick Djalo, who scored the lone goal when these teams met at Levi’s Stadium at the beginning of the month, was out of the 18, as was new designated player Matias Perez Garcia and veteran defender Clarence Goodson.
The ‘Quakes were trying to make the best of limited options and the Sounders hoping to make it to the weekend, but the result was a free-flowing match, especially in the second half.
– Young stars provided a jolt
Tommy Thompson, making his first-ever league start five days after his 19th birthday, sparked the ‘Quakes with a series of back heels and flicks.
Thompson nearly found Shea Salinas with at the back post in the 12th and played in Chris Wondolowski for the game’s first meaningful chance six minutes later.
Yedlin, the grizzled veteran of the two at age 21, was the one who got to Thompson’s cross before his Salinas did.
Yedlin provided a steady attacking presence on the right, dropping in pinpoint crosses, bringing the crowd to its feet with an inside-out dribble around a defender midway through the first half.
Thompson went silent for long stretches of the second half and Yedlin was partially at fault for the San Jose goal. But two youngsters provided an extra dash of spice to an entertaining match.