Photo Credit: Otto Gruele Jr./Getty Images
It was clear why San Jose sit atop the standings in the Western Conference of MLS as they came to CenturyLink Field to face the Sounders. With high defensive pressure and an in form offense San Jose was able to take three points from the Sounders in a 2-1 victory. Sigi Schmid knew that his team would have to play quick one and two touch soccer and be defensively alert to Chris Wondolowski and Simon Dawkins but the Sounders were unable to come through with those demands in the first half. Not even ninety seconds in, Simon Dawkins found space on the top of the eighteen yard box and smashed a goal into Michael Gspurning’s upper left corner. This set the tone for the rest of the match as both teams intensified their offensive movement. The Sounders responded in the 14th minute when Sammy Ochoa grappled to possess the ball and flicked it across the goal to an open Steve Zakuani who scored his first goal in seventeen months since returning from his broken leg. It was a fantastic moment of jubilation for the number 11 and one that will be a great memory for the 2012 season.
However, the joy was short lived as San Jose was not content with a tying game and found the back of the net through Chris Wondolowski in the 30th minute. The second half displayed a better performance by the Sounders as they evened out possession and kept San Jose away from the dangerous opportunities they were granted in the first half. The Sounders in fact looked the more dangerous side in the later stages of the game and had multiple opportunities to equalize. But to San Jose’s credit, they were defensively solid and kept the Sounders at bay and kept their three points as the final whistle blew.