Sounders win, 2-0. (Here's my game story.) Seattle moves to 4-2 on the season, and those 12 points keep them four points behind West-leading Chivas USA, who also won tonight.
Naturally, the Sounders were happy to end the two-game losing streak, and coach Sigi Schmid seemed pleased with the new-look lineup -- especially
"It's nice to get back on the wining track," he said. "I thought our team played very well at times. We moved the ball around, and I thought we created a number of opportunities in the first half. Steve Zakuani gave us a good boost starting on the left side. He was running at people and he was creating problems for people early on. … I though defensively we came up with plays when we had to. … And obviously, what can you say about Keller?"
Keller is 389 minutes into his MLS career and he hasn't given up a goal yet. As the closing minutes played out Saturday, he passed Ronald Waterreus' previous record of 375 scoreless minutes to start a season.
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I asked him after if the record means anything to him.
"No. I just like the fact that we're winning home games, and I stayed on the pitch this time, which was nice," he said, referring to his return from a red-card suspension. "(The record is) nice for the team, it's nice for the club. I think we've been solid defensively, so it's nice to have those little credits. But it's not something for me, it's something for the whole team."
Keller ended the night with five saves, four of those coming in the second half.
Looking ahead, Schmid said he would probably field a team mixed of regulars and reserves Tuesday for the US Open Cup play-in game against Real Salt Lake at Starfire. The Sounders return to league play next Saturday at Chicago, where the Fire is the only unbeaten team left in MLS.
SEA -- Steve Zakuani 2 (Tyrone Marshall 1, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 1) 42
SEA -- Brad Evans 2 (Nate Jaqua 2, Steve Zakuani 2) 50
San Jose Earthquakes - Joe Cannon, Chris Leitch, Nick Garcia, Kelly Gray, Eric Denton,
Arturo Alvarez, Ramiro Corrales (Simon Elliott 46), Shea Salinas (Quincy Amarikwa 65), Bobby
Convey, Pablo Campos (Cam Weaver 77), Ryan Johnson.
Substitutes Not Used: Brandon McDonald, Jamil Roberts, Davide Somma, Andrew Weber.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Ryan Johnson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Ryan Johnson 4); FOULS: 13
(Quincy Amarikwa 4, Pablo Campos 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Pablo Campos 1, Ryan Johnson 1);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (Arturo Alvarez 4); SAVES: 1 (Joe Cannon 1)
Seattle Sounders FC -Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall,
Nathan Sturgis, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg (Roger Levesque 87), Steve
Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 67), Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero (Sanna Nyassi 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Eylander, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (4 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 8 (Osvaldo
Alonso 2); OFFSIDES: 2 (Nate Jaqua 1, Steve Zakuani 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Fredy Montero 4); SAVES: 5 (Kasey Keller 5)
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Reckless Foul) 4
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 30
SJ -- Nick Garcia (caution; Reckless Tackle) 41
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: -Rob Fereday; Hector Vergara
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-52-degrees
Final: Sounders win, 2-0, and moves to 4-2 on the season, remaining four points behind West-leading Chivas USA.
I'll be back later with notes a quotes. But meanwhile, what did you think of the new lineup? And the result? Or anything else?
Added time: Defender Osvaldo Alonzo shaken up, but walks off field under his own power ... and then returns for the final couple of minutes.
87th minute: Roger Levesque (a former Quake) in, Ljungberg out.
80th minute: Montero out, Sanna Nyassi in.
77th minute: Kasey Keller just ticked into the MLS record books, bettering the previous record of 375 scoreless minutes at the start of a season.
67th minute: Le Toux in for Zakuani.
50th minute: The Sounders go ahead 2-0 after a steal by Steve Zakuani at midfield. Zakuani then found Nate Jaqua alone in space, and he crossed to Brad Evans, who finised from around the pk dot.
Assuming the Sounders hold on from here, they will go to 12 points on the season, one point behind Chivas USA.
Halftime: 1-0. The Sounders dominated play and had several very good chances. But there was no payoff until the 42nd minute, when Steve Sakuani's place in the starting lineup was justified.
On the other side of the field, Kasey Keller wasn't tested much, as his season-opening scoreless streak ticked up to 344 minutes. The MLS season-opening shutout record is 375 minutes, so Keller can win a game and set a record with a clean second half.
42nd minute: Sounders take the lead on a Steve Zakuani header, assisted from Marshall and Montero.
Game begins: We're underway. Sounders wearing their usual rave and blue. Quakes in black. (By the way, when I was interviewing San Jose front office personnel for the story that we ran today on the historic Earthquakes/Sounders names, I was told that some traditionalist Quakes fans were unhappy that the team added black to the traditional Quakes blue.)
Lineup changes: The lineups have been released and for the first time we have Fredy, Freddie and Zakuani in the same starting lineup. Zakuani shows up in midfield at the expense of Sebastien Le Toux. Also in the starting lineup for the first time is defender Nathan Sturgis, in place of Zach Scott.
Here's the Sounders lineup: GK Kasey Keller; D James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis; M Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg, Steve Zakuani; F Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero.
Here's the Quakes lineup: G Joe Cannon; D Chris Leitch, Nick Garcia, Kelly Gray, Eric Denton; M Auturo Alvarez, Ramiro Corrales, Shea Salinas, Bobby Convey; F Pablo Campos, Ryan Johnson.
Meanwhile, we'll continue with what has become our usual game-night blogging plan. I'll pop in before the game if anymore news happens. Then I'll pop in with updates on each goal and with a halftime report. Then I'll head down to the locker room before reporting back with notes and quotes. And of course the floor is always open for in-game and postgame comments and discussion.