The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Fredy Montero and Steven Lenhart traded stoppage time goals as Seattle Sounders FC (10-6-7, 37 points) fell 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes (14-5-5, 47 points) on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
—Sounders FC Press Release—
After over an hour of scoreless play, San Jose went up in the 70th minute when Simon Dawkins scored after a long Earthquakes throw-in was cleared right to his feet. Dawkins spun and whipped the ball into the near post from 10-yards out.
Just minutes after entering the match, Fredy Montero pulled Seattle level in the first minute of stoppage time when Brad Evans’ long throw-in bounced in a scrum in front of goal. Montero charged the loose ball and headed in the equalizer from six-yards out.
It was the seventh goal of the season for Montero, who has now scored three goals in his last four games.
Two minutes later, Lenhart headed in the game-winner on a corner kick from Shea Salinas for San Jose’s fifth win or tie in second-half stoppage time. It was the second consecutive stoppage time goal from Lenhart after equalizing with Chicago on July 28.
The loss snapped Seattle’s league-best six-game unbeaten streak and is the team’s first road loss since June 24.
New designated player Christian Tiffert made his first MLS start and created a number of scoring chances. In the 16th minute, the German midfielder curled a free kick from 25-yards out that barely missed wide of the post for a goal kick.
In the 50th minute, Tiffert’s free kick from outside the box on the left side was on target, forcing Jon Busch to punch it away. Ten minutes later, he found Andy Rose for a diving header in the box, but Busch made a diving save.
Also making his first MLS start for Seattle was forward Sammy Ochoa, who has four goals across all-competitions in 2012. In the 32nd minute, the striker’s overhead kick hit the crossbar after Tiffert flicked it on in the box. He hit the crossbar for the second time in the 60th minute when Jeff Parke headed a corner kick back in front of the goal and Ochoa’s header hit the frame.
Eddie Johnson came on for Ochoa in the 68th minute, and nearly equalized five minutes later when Adam Johansson’s cross found him for a strong header, but the shot sailed just high of the crossbar.
Sounders FC returns to action next weekend with a home Cascadia matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
SJ – Simon Dawkins 70′
SEA – Fredy Montero 90+1′
SJ – Steven Lenhart (Shea Salinas) 90+3′
Seattle Sounders FC: Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Mauro Rosales 82), Alex Caskey (Fredy Montero 84), Christian Tiffert, Sammy Ochoa (Eddie Johnson 68).
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Leo Gonzalez, Patrick Ianni, Cordell Cato.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 17; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3.
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, Marvin Chavez (Shea Salinas 87), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins, Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Ramiro Corrales, Ike Opara, Jed Zayner, Mehdi Ballouchy, Khari Stephenson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2.
SJ – Victor Bernardez (caution) 15′
SEA – Adam Johansson (caution) 82′
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert, Paul Scott
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On Seattle’s performance against San Jose:
“We’ve played a lot of games. At the end of the day, I’m proud of what we did and proud of our ability to come back. There were times when we gave up territorially a little bit more than we would have liked, but at the end when you look at good, clean chances, we had as many as San Jose did.”
On San Jose’s game-winning goal:
“It’s inexcusable to give up that goal late. We talked about [San Jose's set pieces] and showed our guys examples of it, and we had done a good job of marking [Steven] Lenhart on all the free kicks and corners up until [the goal]. You can’t give him a free path where he has three or four yards to run up to the ball because he’s a big guy and he jumps well and we paid the price for it.”
On mentality of the team after two close losses:
“We’ve just have to keep going. With our character, I think we’re right there. I don’t think there’s any team in the league that we have to fear. We’re starting to get [Christian] Tiffert integrated into the team; I thought he played well tonight. Now hopefully we can get into a rhythm in terms of not having to play every weekend and midweek and play all these games in a short period of time.”
On fresh faces in the lineup on Saturday:
“I think the guys adapted well. I thought [Christian] Tiffert did a good job underneath and I thought Sammy Ochoa did what we asked him to do. Brad [Evans] was playing wide right, which is a different position for him. I thought all the guys stepped up and pretty much did what we asked them to do, but at the end of the day, we made a mistake with 15, 20 seconds to go in the game; that’s the last piece of the puzzle. We have the whole puzzle in front of us and we need to find that last piece.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER MICHAEL GSPURNING
On Seattle’s last two games:
I don’t know – I have no words for what happened this week. Losing two times in one week is not normal, but from the performance we can keep our head up high. We had two targets and we didn’t reach both, so we have to speak about this, but in the end we can’t change anything.
On his team’s effort to come back and equalize late against San Jose:
“I think our effort tonight showed the character of the team. We had a big effort, but in the end we didn’t reach our two targets, so the effort was for nothing.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CHRISTIAN TIFFERT
On getting the start for Seattle:
“It was a good feeling. I said it before, I’m fit and I think I had some good action and good crosses. I also think we could play better because we have many good players, good technical players. San Jose played better than us tonight, but maybe next game we can create more chances.”
On Seattle’s last two games:
“After Wednesday, it was a penalty but we lost nearly the same way late in the game. That is terrible, but it can happen – that’s football. San Jose’s [Steven Lenhart] had a good header to win the game and that will happen.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES ASSISTANT COACH MARK WATSON
“Once again, this team showed great spirit and resiliency and found a way to win the game. They really don’t stop playing until the final whistle blows and they don’t put their heads down for a second. We could have done that after Seattle tied the game, but they kept going and got the win. It was a great ball by Shea (Salinas) and an excellent finish by Lenny (Steven Lenhart).”
“Seattle is a very good team and they made it tough for us out there. Each team had good moments in the game and it was back-and-forth, so give them a lot of credit. I think the difference was that we came out strong in the second half and had a good stretch of play. We were a bit unlucky not to get one earlier in the half, before Simon (Dawkins) got his goal. Most teams would have not come back from giving up that late goal, but this team just keeps going.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD STEVEN LENHART
On last goal:
“It really is more about the team than it is about me scoring. This team never gives up and keeps going all the way to the end. Shea (Salinas) played in a great ball and tonight it happened to be me that got on the end of it. The team went hard all game and we got the win.”
On team’s attitude:
“We are playing well as a team and we have a great attitude. Whether it is the first minute or the last minute, we are playing hard and creating chances. We are playing for each other and we are having success. That shows at the end of games.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER SIMON DAWKINS
“Steven (Beitashour) had a long throw and I saw the ball get knocked down. I knew that if I took a touch, I might lose the scoring opportunity so I decided to hit it one-time. Luckily, it found the corner and went in.”
On dramatic finishes:
“I want to say that I am surprised but it seems to be happen every game. We have a bunch of guys that keep pushing and we all believe that we will find a way in the end. You see it in training. We score a lot of goals there so when we get to the games, we all have confidence that we can score no matter what minute it is..”