SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – The stadium and the home team came through fine Saturday as the San Jose Earthquakes took a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in the first event at new Levi’s Stadium.
A crowd of 48,765 turned out for the debut of the new $1.2 billion home of the San Francisco 49ers. The building seats approximately 68,500 fans, but the upper deck was closed to give the inaugural event a relatively soft opening.
The Quakes got the first score in the new stadium when Chris Wondolowski lofted a chipped pass over defender Zach Scott and to sprinting Yannick Djalo who touched the ball wide of onrushing goalkeeper Stefan Frei.Wondolowski also came up big on the other end, blocking a Chad Barrett header in the 85th minute as the Sounders failed to score for the second consecutive match.
Seattle played without central defender Chad Marshall, who missed his second match due to a back injury, and midfielder Lamar Neagle, who hurt his ankle Monday against Los Angeles. However, midfielder Brad Evans returned after missing two games with a calf injury.
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A second consecutive loss dropped the Sounders to 12-6-2, while a second consecutive win lifted San Jose to 6-8-5.The Sounders return to MLS play Aug. 10 when the Houston Dynamo visit CenturyLink Field.
However, five players could be active before then. Rookie Sean Okoli has been named to the MLS Homegrown Team, which will play the Portland Timbers U-23s at 7 p.m. Monday at Providence Park in Portland. Meanwhile, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and DeAndre Yedlin are part of the MLS All-Star team, which will face German power Bayern Munich at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Portland.Attendance:
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Quakes 1, Sounders 0. Quite a bit of onrushing traffic in Sounders' rear-view mirror, standings-wise. Big 45 minutes ahead.
42' GOAL Quakes. Nice chip over Zach Scott, which Djalo gets to and touches past Frei. Quakes 1-0.
First 20 minutes: Sounders probably have better of the play so far, but no great chances.
First kick: ... has been struck. Sounders in rave/rave; Quakes in red. red.
Levi's Stadium is open for business.
Lineups: Sounders starters: GK Frei; D Yedlin, Scott, Anibaba, Gonzalez; M Evans, Alonso, Pineda, Pappa; F Dempsey Martins. Reserves: Ford, Traore, Remick, Rose, Azira, Barrett, Cooper.
San Jose starters: GK Busch; D Francis, Bernardez, Hernandez, Stewart; M Harris, Cronin, Pierazzi, Salinas; F Djalo, Wondolowski.Reserves: Meredith, Harden, Cato, Stephenson, Gordon, Thompson, Barklage.
Pregame: The San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC will open Levi's Stadium tonight. Coverage on NBCSN will begin at 7:30 PT, with actual first kick expected around 7:50. The game will be heard on the usual radio outlets and blogged here, with updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
The game is an important one, who have slipped behind Sporting Kansas City in the MLS points race (though still ahead in points average). The Sounders also want to avoid a two-game losing streak, especially with Los Angeles suddenly streaking up at them. The Quakes remain last in the Western Conference, but have been stirring a bit and certainly will want to open the stadium with a win and make a good impression on the expected crowd of 47,000 or so.