Seattle Sounders make wild comeback to force a draw with San Jose

Seattle Sounders FC

Seattle, Washington (April 25, 2019) — The return home to CenturyLink Field was a wild ride for the Seattle Sounders FC. After losing their undefeated streak to Los Angeles FC on Sunday, the Sounders were faced with a quick turnaround to host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.

On paper, the match looked like it would be a complete breeze. San Jose has struggled to find wins on the road, going defeated in the last seven away matches. However, unlike last year, they’re not just wallowing at the bottom of the Western Conference table. Right now, they’re in ninth place.

Seattle Sounders make wild comeback to force a draw with San Jose

While it’s early to be talking about standings, it’s been a positive start for San Jose.

Plenty of momentum was built for the Earthquakes in the first half of action. Seattle, largely known as one of the best teams in the Western Conference — if not the whole league — gave up a 34th minute goal to Shea Salinas.

Salinas dragged Kelvin Leerdam down the right sideline and completely shook him off to the opposite side. With a curling kick inside the box, Salinas notched the first goal for San Jose. Then, to start the second half, Salinas bagged a second goal.

While it seemed like all hope could’ve been lost for Seattle, it wasn’t. The Sounders made a strong, valiant comeback with two goals in two minutes. Leerdam redeemed himself by scoring his third goal of the season. In the first two matches of the 2019 season, Leerdam scored back-to-back goals. Meanwhile, his defensive teammate Kim Kee-hee, who partners with him on the right, notched the assist.

Two minutes later, Harry Shipp scored his second goal in two-straight matches. Shipp entered the match to replace Gustav Svensson in the 56th minute, as the Swedish international looked to struggle with his hamstring.

With a few other attempts at hand — including a really close chance by young strike Handwalla Bwana — the Sounders were forced to settle with one point. Meanwhile, San Jose picked up their first point on the road in eight matches.

Three Takeaways

  1. Injuries mounting for Seattle: For the fourth-straight match, Raul Ruidiaz missed out due to a right heel contusion. Meanwhile, his backup Will Bruin missed out on his second match with a left hamstring strain. While the team got back Chad Marshall on defense, Nouhou Tolo was forced out of the match early in the second half with a left ankle strain. The injuries didn’t end there, as Victor Rodriguez smacked his head off the pitch. He did not return to the match, but Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said he is not under concussion protocol.
  2. Kim Kee-hee, the midfielder? Last year, Kim Kee-hee made it known that he’s not afraid to play in the midfield. He’s mentioned it before when talking about his partnership with Chad Marshall. That centerback duo looked significantly better than the partnership between Kim and Roman Torres last weekend. Kim bagged his first MLS on Leerdam’s goal and was in the midfield for a large portion of the match. However, according to Schmetzer, this was on purpose to “cause a chain reaction.”
  3. Earning confidence back: The Sounders have struggled these last two matches on all fronts — except with goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who made countless big saves. However, the Sounders can’t let injuries to their comrades derail them. With the lack of depth the team has, it can be hard. However, the Sounders need a decent result at home against LAFC this Sunday to build up momentum and confidence.

What’s Next?

As mentioned, the Sounders will face Los Angeles FC this Sunday. The Sounders have the disadvantage here, as LAFC did not feature in a midweek match. However, the match will be at home in CenturyLink Field. The last time these two teams met was just this past Sunday, with LAFC giving Seattle a 4-1 beating.

Seattle has some injuries, but with the home crowd behind them it will prove to be another good match for viewing.

PHOTO: Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp and Henry Wingo during the Seattle Sounders match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Photo courtesy of Jane Gershovich/Seattle Sounders FC.