Here's my game story.
Final: Quakes 4, Sounders 0. It was the most goals the Sounders have ever given up, and their biggest loss ever. Add the fact that it came against the last-place team in the West, and you won't be surprised to heard that the Sounders weren't happy.
"We got embarrassed today," coach Sigi Schmid said. "… When you play 30 games, sometimes you have one of those days. So, we're going to chalk it up to that; and if we have another one, then we'll turn some things upside down."
The loss leaves Seattle (7-4-8) six points behind league-leader Houston and just two points clear of a tie for ninth place in a league where eight teams make the playoffs.
"It's a wakeup call for a few guys; I hope so," goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. "This is the point of the season where you figure out where you're at: Are you going to make a run in the playoffs or are you going to whither and die? Today, it looks like we're going to wither and die."
Both Schmid and Keller weren't happy with the red card -- and their unhappyness was directed at James Riley, not the ref.
"We've taken too many red cards this year," Schmid said. "We've got to stop taking them. We've got to shut up and play. It was preceded by a little go at the referee from James, and we don't need that."
Schmid couldn't name anyone that he thought played a good game ... although he admitted he felt a little sorry for Keller.
Schmid seemed particularly displeased with midfielders Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso, who he said he didn't think combined with each other all day. Evans admitted he didn't think he played well and that many of Seattle's problems began at midfield.
Several Sounders said they were especially disappointed in their performance because it came in front of approximately 200 rave-green-wearing supporters who had traveled to watch. Schmid, Evans, Ianni, Le Toux and maybe a few others made a point of walking to that end of the pitch after the game to applaud the traveling fans. And Schmid said he was unhappy that more players didn't do the same.
The defeat also cost Seattle the inaugural Heritage Cup, which will be presented annually to the winner of competitions between MLS teams playing under their historic NASL names. For now, that's only the Sounders and Earthquakes. And this season, only the final two games were counted, which gives the Quakes the cup even though Seattle won two of three meetings.
And that fact allowed Schmid the only light moment in the locker room.
"I don't know how that works," Schmid said. "Maybe next year we'll play the Heritage Cup and whoever scores the most goals between the 54th minute and the 78th minute of the second game wins the Heritage Cup."
The Sounders return to Qwest Field on Wednesday for a friendly against F.C. Barcelona. They return to league play Saturday at Real Salt Lake.
84th minute: Shea Salinas runs through space in the box and when Keller moves to him, he lays it off to Chris Wondolowski, who finishes. Quakes, 4-0... the most goals the Sounders have ever given up, and bound to be their largest margin of defeat ever.
Attendance: 9,919. Sounders fans still chanting.
78th minute: Darren Huckerby shot blocked by Keller, but Huckerby got the rebound and set it in. 3-0. This is the first time the Sounders have ever been three goals down.
77th minute: The Sounders are in sort of a 3-2-1-2-1 shape right now with Le Toux up front, blanked by Nyassie and Zakuani. It's perking up the offense considerably.
57th minute: Sigi pulls his forwards -- Montero and Jaqua -- and puts in King and Nyassi.
54th minute: San Jose's Cornell Glen took a pass at the top of the area, muscled past Brad Evans, and fired inside of Kasey Keller to put the Quakes up 2-0 at home with a man advantage
(To their great credit, the Sounders supporters remain loud and chanting. Krazy George, on the other hand, has a microphone and a voice like the Wicked Witch of the West. It's a bad combination.)
Halftime: Quakes, 1-0.
San Jose may be the worst team in the league (I've mentally relegated New York), but there's no need to spot them a goal and a one-man advantage. Yet that's what the Sounders have done. And suddenly, getting one point out of this sounds like a major achievement.
Although in fairness to San Jose, even without the Sounders blunders, the Quakes have played with the lead very well and have allowed Seattle no major chances other than a near blunder when Quakes GK Joe Cannon lost the ball in the box and almost gave away a cheap one of his own.
Shots are 6-0 Quakes. Shots on goal are 5-0 Quakes. Corners are 5-1 Quakes.
If this result holds, the Quakes would win the Heritage Cup on the second tie-breaker of road goals (1).
33rd minute: Major self-inflicted wound No. 2: James Riley set off with a straight red card for a foot-up late tackle on San Jose's Bobby Convey.
(And followed in the 35th minute by a yellow to Montero.)
2nd minute: Osvaldo Alonso has just "cleared" a Ryan Johnson cross into his own goal. Quakes, 1-0.
Kickoff: The Sounders teams have completed their trek from the locker rooms ... which are located, I believe in Ventura County. (OK, there's an exaggeration, but they're quite a hike: All the way across a practice pitch, a road, and in the basement of the Santa Clara Broncos' basketball arena.)
Sounders wearing green/green; Quakes in black/black, which can't be comfortable in this noonday sun.
Here we go.
One point gets them the cup. But the MLS standings and the Quakes' downtrodden status really demands three points as the only fully satisfying result.
Heritage Cup: As mentioned in an earlier post and today's game story, the Heritage Cup will be awarded at the end of the game. Another nod to the old NASL rivalry between these two cities is the presence of cheerleader/drum-banger Krazy George, wearing a throw-back red Quakes jersey. (Frankly, I thought the Quakes always wore blue.)
(And now the stadium PA announced has just raised the stakes by declaring Krazy George -- not Seattle -- as the inventor of the wave.)
And I've gotta say just one more time that an impressive presence the Sounders fans are here today. They are just now being outnumbered by Quakes fans on their side of the stadium. But the folks in rave green are still owning the place. They're the only ones chatting, the only onces waving flags. The one ones, frankly, who seem to be having any fun.
Nice job, guys.
Starting lineups: Sounders: GK Keller; D Riley, Ianni, Marshall, Wahl; M Zakuani, Le Toux; Alonso, Evans; F Jaqua, Montero.
For San Jose: K Cannon; D Leitch, Hernandez, McDonald, Convey; M Moreira, Sanchez, Johnson, F Salinas, Glen, Huckerby.
Gonzalez didn't travel: We haven't received lineups yet. However, I have received word that newly acquired Costa Rican defender Leonardo Gonzalez did not travel with the team. So that part of my story today: Nevermind.
Rave green in the house: A large group of chanting, rave-green-wearing Sounders fans had just made a very notable march into the stadium. The locals have noticed. And so did the Sounders, who walked halfway across the field to applaud their traveling fans.
(I'm not sure you'll be able to, however. They are now settling in an upper corner that is on the TV camera side.)
Barca next: After today, the Sounders next game is the sold out match with Barcelona at Qwest Field on Wednesday. Barca began its U.S. tour with a 2-1 win over the Galaxy last night at the Rose Bowl. Here's the game report.
Stadium scene: While out wandering the stadium, I noticed a scene that MLS must love: five kids walking together, all in soccer jerseys: two internation jerseys, two Galaxy/Beckman jerseys, one Sounders/Patrick Ianni jersey.
Pregame: It's almost two hours before kickoff and a clear majority of the handful of fans already wandering the stadium area are wearing rave green. (That's not unusual. Visiting fans tend to be early arrivers, and there's no missing rave green.)
Some of the morning clouds are burning off, and it looks like it's going to be a warm day in sunshine.
As mentioned yesterday, this is an odd stadium, which wraps around the pitch on three sides. And my impression is that the camera for the TV coverage is on the other side of the pitch, so what you see as left-to-right, I'll see from right-to-left.
Usual gameday blogging is planned: Pregame news, lineups (which should be interesting today), in-game updates and postgame notes and quotes. Your comments are welcome as always, and maybe even moreso today because the view from the pressbox isn't very good and there doesn't seem to be a TV in here for replays ... meaning you're probably going to be seeing things better and more often than me. All help appreciated.