2011 Apr 2

Brad Evans and O'Brian White open their accounts, but San Jose come back to draw

San Jose Earthquakes  2 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC
Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

17' SEA: Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales, Erik Friberg)

32' SJ: Simon Dawkins (Ryan Johnson, Bobby Convey)
42' SEA: O'Brian White (Steve Zakuani)
52' SJ: Khari Stephenson

San Jose: Jon Busch; Chris Leitch (Ike Opara 70'), Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Ramiro Corrales; Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins (Scott Sealy 85'), Chris Wondolowski, Joey Gjertsen (Khari Stephenson 46'); Ryan Johnson, Bobby Convey.
Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber, Brad Ring, Bobby Burling, Ellis McLoughlin.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez; Erik Friberg (Alvaro Fernandez 46'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani; Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 83'), O'Brian White (Nate Jaqua 66').
Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Servando Carrasco.

Match report from Sounders FC:

The Sounders accomplished two of their objectives in their match with the San Jose Earthquakes at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday. They put the ball in the back of the net twice and stopped 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski.

However, San Jose bounced back off the mat twice when Seattle took the lead and the Sounders finished with their second straight draw, 2-2.

Brad Evans scored his first goal of the season and O'Brian White added his first as a Sounder to propel Seattle to a 2-1 first-half lead. But a goal off a rocket from second-half substitute Khari Stephenson evened things up and left the Sounders with one point from the road draw.

"We scored some goals tonight, so that was a good situation, but I think we let ourselves down a little bit defensively," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "We needed to do a better job of keeping the ball."

Evans got Seattle out to the lead in the 17th minute off a ball from Mauro Rosales, who was making his first start as a Sounder in place of the injured Fredy Montero.

Rosales was a pest to the Earthquakes defense in the early going, keeping the back four on their toes throughout the opening half. Erik Friberg played the ball to Rosales, who took it to the endline, then cut it to Evans on a late run into the box and the midfielder slammed it into the net for the 1-0 lead.

"That's what Brad Evans does," Schmid said. "We said to be aggressive in the box and be the first to the ball and take some risks. That's what Brad did and he got a goal."

Kasey Keller finished the night with two saves, including one on a blistering shot from Wondolowski in the ninth minute, but he couldn't keep Simon Dawkins from scoring his first MLS goal in the 32nd minute to tie it up.

Ryan Johnson played Dawkins into the box on the left side and the Tottenham Hotspur loanee sent a left-footed shot inside the far post to make it 1-1.

Just ten minutes later, the Sounders regained the lead when Steve Zakuani chopped over the ball, then sent a pinpoint cross to the far post where White dove to head the ball past Jon Busch for a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute.

In the second half, much of the momentum was slowed and San Jose took advantage in the 52nd minute when Stephenson found some space and blistered a shot from distance that found its way into the top right corner of the net for the 2-2 equalizer.

"When you're on the road and you take the lead twice, you probably expect to win the game, but it wasn't to be," Zakuani said. "But it's tough to be too disappointed when you know you've come to San Jose - a team who had a big win last weekend - and for the majority outplayed them and create some really good chances on their pitch."

Montero missed the match after undergoing wrist surgery on Thursday. He will be evaluated next week and Schmid hopes to have him available when the Sounders host the Chicago Fire next Saturday.

Friberg was replaced in the second half by Alvaro Fernandez when Friberg was showing ill effects of a flu he has been battling.

           SJ  SEA
Shots:     13   13
Saves:      2    3
Corners:    7    9
Fouls:      4   12
Offsides:   3    3

6' SJ: Leitch cautioned for a tactical foul on Rosales at the touch line
71' SEA: Jaqua cautioned for shirt tugging
80' SEA: Gonzalez cautioned for delay when putting his boot back on

Referees: Edvin Jurisevic; Rob Fereday, Colin Arblaster; Niko Bratsis

Attendance: 10,276

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Thoughts on the match: "Obviously we scored some goals tonight so that was a good situation, but I think we let ourselves down a little bit defensively. Khari Stephenson hits a great shot but we let ourselves down just from a standpoint of the balls we turned over in midfield. I thought we created some turnovers that always put us in trouble and that's something we needed to eliminate. It was an end-to-end game. We had a few more chances. They had some chances. It could've probably been 4-4 and nobody could've complained, but we needed to do a better job of keeping the ball."

On Rosales starting and how he played: "It was a chance to get Mauro out there on the field and see what he could do, and I thought he played very well. I thought for 45 minutes he was very good. I thought in the second 45 he obviously ran out of gas a little bit, but he was still an intelligent player. He would still into the corner and get corner kicks for us and things like that. He really helped us out in that regard. I tried to milk as many minutes out of him as possible because not all our guys were real sharp with their thinking."

On the Friberg/Flaco substitution: "Friberg had a flu so we were almost thinking about switching it at the start of the game. We tried to squeeze 45 minutes out of it."

On the Zakuani/White goal: "It was good for Steve to get an assist on the combination. It was good to see Obi get one. He said he was going to get one tonight, so that was good. I wish Jaqua would've gotten the one in the second half. I'm pleased and two goals ought to be enough to the win when you're on the road."

On not winning despite finally getting goals: "Obviously we want to get three points. A lot of other teams tied today, so it would've been a good chance for us to jump up. If we would've won today we'd have one point less than New York. It's a matter of us continuing to work at it. We know at times we're playing good soccer. I didn't think the second half was particularly good soccer for us. I think we played better soccer in the other three games. I thought the first half at time we played some very good stuff. We got to make sure we could play 90 minutes together on the field."

Was the game at too hectic a pace?: "It's always a little hectic because the field plays small. It's not a small field, but it plays small field. The field is sort of sticky, it's a little bit slippery and so forth, so that gave it a little bit of that frenetic pace to it. At the end, for us, we scored two goals. That should be enough to win. We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball because they had to press. Twice they had to press because they were down to us and we didn't do a good enough job of being able to turn that into good attacking moments for us on a consistent basis."

On Brad Evans' goal: "It's what Brad Evans does. People don't realize that he makes those late runs in the box. We said to be aggressive in the box, to be first to the ball, to take some risks -- and that's what Brad did and he got a goal. That's what Obi did as well on his goal. We showed them scenes and said, 'Hey, you guys are two yards away. You got to be right there where their defender is.' And he was right there and he knocked it in."

Is Montero still on track to play next week?: "We'll have to see when we get back to Seattle how it's doing, how it's healing up. For us, whether he's going to play next week is a day-to-day thing."

On using speed on the flanks: "We felt we had an advantage that way and we could use that. Again, if Erik would have been 100-percent I think we would've gotten a little bit more on the right, because Erik is a very good two-way player and I think that hurt us a bit. I think Zakuani made some runs and got in behind at times and that created danger for us. It was a little bit sporadic and needed to be a little more consistent."

On what you saw for Rosales: "I thought he played well. For 45 minutes I thought he played very well. He showed his experience. He did a good job setting up the first goal. Second half, obviously his fitness came to bear, but he still made good decisions and we tried to get as many minutes out of him as we could."

Do you see a potential Montero-Rosales partnership up top?) "No. That's not a good combination because you don't have a center forward there. You have two guys who are both dropping off looking for the ball behind the center forward. We tried that with Ljungberg and Montero and that didn't work, so why would we try that again?"

How serious is Montero's injury?) "It's not that serious, it's just where the injury is. That bone doesn't get a lot of blood flow so the healing takes some time. Since the fracture wasn't displaced it was important to get the pin in now before it got displaced."

Steve Zakuani

On the second goal: "...It was one of those where I knew the play wasn't dead yet. Ozzie won the ball, gave it back to me and I knew I had people in the box. If you put it in the right area they're going to score eventually. So it went in the right area, Obi tries to get there and puts the header on goal. It was an important goal for us to go 2-1 up before halftime. I wish we could've held onto it, but it wasn't to be."

On not getting the win: "If you score two goals on the road, you expect to win the game. It's tough to score on the road in MLS but we got two of them -- took the lead twice and gave it away. To be fair, I'm not sure there's much more we could've done to stop that strike that the guy had from 30-35 yards whatever it was. You could always say maybe we could've closed down quicker. At the end of the day he hits the ball really well. We had some other chances but couldn't capitalize. We have to wait for that elusive win one more week. Again, it's a broken record now, but all the signs are positive. We're playing good football, creating great chances on the road, just couldn't close out the game today."

On tucking inside: "Trying to find the ball. Credit to San Jose I think they came out the first 10-15 of the second half and kept the ball really well. I just think first half I had to stay wide because we had the ball the whole game. Second half, coming inside trying to find the ball and when Fredy doesn't play -- he's usually the guy that drops off and gets the ball. He wasn't there today so we missed that and what he provides for us there. I had to try to go inside and get the ball. Just learn as the game goes, as you grow as a player you just find different ways to get yourself involved. That's all it was. I felt I got the ball a little more but we weren't able to connect and get wide like we did in the first half."

On not protecting leads: "When you're on the road and you take the lead twice you expect to win the game. It wasn't to be. It's disappointing. Of course it hurts again, but it's tough to be too disappointed when ... you probably for the majority outplayed them, created some really good chances on their pitch and fall back to Seattle tomorrow without three points."

Brad Evans

On his goal: "I think Mauro just got the ball, beat a couple guys and I just saw him coming in late. I think someone dragged a couple defenders away so I was able to sneak in and just get my right foot on it and put it past Busch."

A typical goal for you?: "Just a late run, I guess. I saw just it early. I think I made one before that and didn't see the ball. Sigi says it all the time, when you least expect it the ball is going to be there. He makes that run one time and the ball is there. You might not get it (the first time), but the next time the ball should be there."

What's the sense after letting two leads go?: "We let one go for sure. We didn't play our best game today especially coming off last week where I thought we played our best game. This one wasn't as good, but there are things we can take away from it that are positives and things for sure that we still need to work on."

On playing with Rosales: "It's somebody who we've been playing with for the last month-and-a-half/two-months so it's probably some guys' first game with him to be honest. (We're) kind of learning his tendencies and what he's going to do. It's something that we still need to work, but I think he brings a different dynamic -- especially as a player that other teams haven't seen before as well. I think that adds to it. They're unsure also. In the first half I think he did extremely well, pressuring the ball. He gave us a bit of energy up front and making good runs as well and holding the ball also. He provided the assist, swung in good corners. I think in the second half they switched to more of a 4-5-1 and we didn't really catch on, the communication wasn't there. Just little things like that that can be tweaked and I think it'll be more positive in second halves of games and going 90 minutes."

Kasey Keller

On defending Wondolowski: "He had a couple of good chances. On the first, if he'd put that a little lower I would've had no chance to save it, but sometimes you find yourself in the right place to make the save. I think we focused so much on him that we let a couple guys run through the middle."

On the Earthquakes: "They have a good team here, there's a fun atmosphere, it's a great pitch to play on and I'm just looking forward to seeing the new stadium."

San Jose Earthquakes

Frank Yallop - Head Coach

On the game: "We felt a little unlucky tonight that we didn't get the win, but to come back into the game being a goal down twice is very good in any match. I'm very happy with tonight's match, with the outcome and with the performance by our players. For the most part, I feel we dominated play against a good team."

On coming from behind: "What I liked about our play tonight was that we didn't give up. We dominated play in the second half, we got the goal and I felt that we were unlucky that we didn't get the third one to win it."

Bobby Convey

On the match: "I thought we played a good game. We created a lot of chances and fought back. Khari had a good goal in the second half, Dawkins' goal in the first half helped us get momentum and we completed the comeback."

On how the team is playing: "I think we are playing a lot better. Last year we were more defensive and relied on the counter. This year we possess the ball more, creating more chances; last year we only created a few. As long as we continue to play with confidence and keep the ball, we will create the chances and score."

Simon Dawkins

On his first career MLS goal: "I had a chance before; I wish I would have taken it earlier. I said to myself the next time I get an opportunity, I will hit first time. I got the opportunity, I hit it, and it went in. I am very happy."

Khari Stephenson

On importance of home play: "We haven't had a good home record for a while now, it was important to play a good team at home and come away with a draw. Starting the season of at home with two losses isn't a good sign. It was good for us to finally get back into the game and tie it up the way we did."

On first goal of the season: "I picked up the ball, I'm not sure if it came from Bobby or Sam . I tried to play the ball to Wondo, made a bad pass and the ball ended up on my feet. I looked up, I had time and space. I had the shot and I took it, and it went in."