Clint Dempsey scored his second goal of the season and Jordan Morris scored for the fourth consecutive game to lead the Seattle Sounders (4-4-1, 13 pts.), to a statement making 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes ( 4-3-3, 15 pts.), in front of 39, 570 green clad fans Saturday at the Xbox Pitch at Century Link Field.
The match between the two Western Conference powerhouses was always going to be an inthralling fast paced affair. While both sides have good solid defenses, it is their attacking styles that earn them their keep.
The Sounders attack has evolved to a quick passing game with the fullbacks pushing up the flanks and the forwards making intricate run toward the opponents defenders.
The Sounders first goal came on a hitch and go play between Erik Friberg and Clint Dempsey. Dempsey made a run into the San Jose goal mouth stopped, took two steps backwards and was fed the ball by Friberg who waited for Dempsey to come open.
“We had a little eye contact, I as pointing with my hand to go back but I needed to make a step back to keep the momentum of the defender to keep coming with me. And I was able to check out and he was able to find me…that comes with confidence that comes with being in more of a rhythm and us winning games,” Dempsey said after he game.
When in possession of the ball the Quakes like to flood the opponents goal mouth with captain Chris Wondolowski directing traffic. The multiple runners in the goal mouth is intended to confuse defenses. On Saturday night the strategy created several solid chances
The first good look came in the 59th minute when Simon Dawkins free kick beat Seattle Goalkeeper but could not beat the crossbar and the exquisitely taken kick was for naught.
The Quakes other golden chance came in the 84th minute when Chris Wondolowskis penalty kick hit the bottom left corner of the post denying the Quakes once again. It was Wondolowskis second miss in his last 12 penalty kick attempts dating back to 2013.
With the Quakes in soul searching mode, Osvaldo Alonso fed Morris with a neat wall pass into space and the rookie sensation right footed the ball into the back of the Quakes net in the 89th minute to assure the home side all three points.
With his fourth goal in four games, Morris became just the third rookie in MLS history to accomplish the goal scoring spree.
The only other players in league history to reach that mark were Jamaican international Damani Ralph with the Chicago Fire in 2003 and New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins in 2014 while with the New England Revolution.
No rookie in league history has scored a goal in five consecutive games. Orlando City forward Cyle Larin holds the record for goals in a single season by a rookie with 17, reached in 2015.
The Sounders have now won their last four games at Century Link Field and the win over the Quakes snapped a five game winless streak (0-3-2). The Quakes have not won a road game this season ( 0-3-2).