Seattle Sounders FC vs San Jose Earthquakes in MLS is Back opener

Seattle Sounders FC 0

San Jose Earthquakes 0

MLS is Back

July 10, 2020

Seattle Sounders FC and San Jose Earthquakes returned to the pitch in the MLS is Back Tournament on Friday night in Orlando. A rivalry that dates back to NASL matches in 1974 and has included epic US Open Cup matches prior Seattle joining MLS in 2009 was renewed in the quarantine bubble in an empty stadium to a home only audience.

With both sides facing live opposition for the first time in four months and having to acclimate to the Florida weather leading in, match fitness and substitution patterns would likely play a roll in the match.

San Jose brought steady man marking pressure to the first thirdhe of the match, forcing Seattle to attempt to play through with limited ability to get numbers forward. Sounders FC still managed a few dangerous chances early, but the Earthquakes controlled the flow of play going into the first hydration break. The story moving forward into the interval would be whether Seattle could break the pressure and take control or if the pace of play would be controlled by San Jose.

Going into the interval goalless was surprising given the amount of possession from San Jose throughout the first forty-five. However, it was a continuation of the trend of the first MLS is Back Tournament matches all being level and scoreless at the half.

The pace of play altered to slower early in the second half, as the short return to training window and Florida climate began to play a role. Once substitutes began to enter, and the line up shifts followed, a very different final third would emerge. Weathering the first sixty minutes meant Seattle had the opportunity to find their legs as the San Jose pressure slowed. Moving to near the middle of the second half cramps in players began to cause stoppages, as the Florida climate acclimation continued to be a factor.

The final stretch of the match would either see late heroics or a goalless stalemate and a point to both sides. The pace of the early stages faded down the stretch, as bot clubs continued to look to chances, but not attacking in big numbers or with nearly the energy of the first third.

Nether side took significant risks in stoppage time, poking forward, but the notion of a point in the first match back and clean sheets seemingly something to build on after slogging through this first match.

And with the final whistle, the single point each was what both teams got.

About Jeffrey Lageson

Father, Brother, Son, Goalkeeper, Writer, Dancer, Minion, [E] Enforcer, Marathoner, Rocker, Black Belt, Coug, ECS, Keeper Studios, Teacher, Shotgun Trapper ... WellDressedGandalf