[caption id="attachment_47477" align="alignright" width="480"] Sounders-Quakes just before start of match.[/caption]Playing their fourth game in 11 days, the Seattle Sounders went with a mix and match lineup of regulars and reserves tonight at CenturyLink Field.
But when that lineup couldn’t shake the San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid eventually sent on usual starters such as Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle.
Even they couldn’t produce the game-winner down the final hectic minutes, however, and the slumping Sounders settled for a 1-1 draw with the eighth-place Quakes before a crowd of 38,909.
The result moved Seattle (13-7-3) into a three-way tie atop the Major League Soccer standings, along with Sporting Kansas City and Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake. However, the Sounders dropped to 1-3-1 over their last five matches. San Jose moved to 6-9-7, eight points out of playoff position.
Seattle controlled the run of play from the start, and seemed to become particularly dangerous in the closing minutes of the first half. Still, the teams went to the locker room scoreless.
The Sounders struck quickly in the first minutes of the second half, when Obafemi Martins rolled a pass up the middle of the field to Chad Barrett, who finished from the top of the penalty area.
San Jose drew even in the 65th minute, when former Sounder Cordell Cato jittered into the penalty area and sent a pass across to the far post, where Chris Wondolowski knocked it in.
Schmid started only four field players who went at least 80 minutes at Real Salt Lake the previous Saturday: defender DeAndre Yedlin and Chad Marshall, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and forward Kenny Cooper.
The Quakes also lost a key player earlier in the day, as it was announced that newly signed designated player Matias Perez Garcia had undergone meniscus surgery and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old homegrown forward Tommy Thompson made his first career start for San Jose.The Sounders return to league play at 2 p.m. Sunday with visit to Portland.
71: Clint Dempsey on for Chad Barrett.
65' GOAL Quakes. Very familiar faces combine and Cato works nicely into box and finds Wondo where Wando always is. 1-1.
46' GOAL. Chad Barrett takes nicely touched pass from Oba and scores from top of penalty area. Seattle, 1-0.
Second half: ... has begun. One change, San Jose sending in Cato for Salinas.
Halftime: Scoreless, although Sounders were becoming dangerous in final minutes of the half. Great turn-and-fire by Oba from about 20 yards deflected away by Busch. Shots 11-4 SEA; on target 4-2 SEA; corners 4-0 SEA; possession 55.5% SEA.
First 15: Scoreless. Quiet. No real chances.
First kick: ... has been struck. We're under way. Sounders in rave/blue; Quakes in red/red.
Lineups: Sounders: GK Frei; D Yedlin, Marshall, Traore, Anibaba; M Cooper, Alonso, Rose, Pappa; F Barrett, Martins. Reserves: Hahnemann, Azira, Dempsey, Evans, Gonzalez, Neagle, Scott.(That puts 131 U.S. national team caps on the Sounders bench: Dempsey, Hahnemann, Evans.)
San Jose starters: G Bush; D Harden, Bernardez, Hernandez, Stewart; M Harris, Cronin, Koval, Salinas; F Thompson, Wondolowski. Reserves: Meredith, Barklage, Cato, Francis, Jahn Pierazzi, Stephenson.
Pregame: It's sunny and warm at CenturyLink Field about two hours before the first kick of the Sounders' match against San Jose.
The game will be shown on JOEtv, heard on the usual radio outlets and blogged here, with more comments and updates on Twitter @donruiztnt.Already today there has been some news, with the announcement out of San Jose that Earthquakes DP Matias Perez Garcia underwent surgery today and will miss four to six weeks.