Earthquakes upset Sounders to open Levi’s Stadium

 

Yannick Djalo

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JASON MITCHELL

Well, that’s how you show off a new billion dollar house, even if it isn’t exactly yours.

Yannick Djalo’s first-half strike gave the San Jose Earthquakes all the scoring they needed in a 1-0 upset victory over the Seattle Sounders in front of 48,765 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Opening the new home of the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night, the Earthquakes (6-8-5, 23 points) rode stellar play from Djalo and Chris Wondolowski and survived a late barrage from the Sounders.

Although the Earthquakes are still tied with Chivas USA for the worst record in the Western Conference, they have now won two straight after going 0-4-1 since the start of June. Newly minted Designated Player Matias Perez Garcia also waits in the wings, likely to add firepower as soon as next weekend.

Djalo opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, tracking down a looping ball over the top from Wondolowski and finishing with just one touch past a charging Stefan Frei. Djalo now has two goals and two assists in his last two matches after a slow start to his first season in MLS.

Wondolowski recorded his second assist of the season on the play.

Seattle nearly equalized off an 85th-minute corner kick, but Wondolowski stood tall at the near post to deny a thundering Chad Barrett header.

San Jose almost doubled the lead in the 59th minute, but Atiba Harris skied a point blank volley off a deflected cross. Moments later Wondolowski played Djalo behind Seattle’s back line again, but Djalo sent his shot wide left. The Portuguese midfielder left the match in the 62nd minute with what appeared to be a thigh injury.

Seattle actually started the match on the front foot. Obafemi Martins, Marco Pappa, and Clint Dempsey all found ample space to combine in the attacking third, but never managed to create meaningful chances. At times the Sounders were perhaps too unselfish, with both DeAndre Yedlin and Brad Evans passing up good first-half looks in the penalty area in search of teammates never found.

San Jose controlled the start of the second half, but the Sounders started to get a foot back in the match around the 65th minute.

Clint Dempsey tracked back to take control of the Seattle attack. Dempsey nearly finished with an over-the-head volley in the 68th minute. Two minutes later Dempsey combined nicely with Kenny Cooper, but Cooper’s shot barely troubled goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Seattle created a flurry of half-chances as the game wound down, but was unable to find the back of the net. The Sounders (12-6-2, 38 points) have now lost back-to-back matches and suddenly trail Sporting Kansas City by a point in the Supporters’ Shield race.

Looking forward, the Earthquakes visit the LA Galaxy (9-4-6, 33  points) on Friday, while the Sounders host the Houston Dynamo (5-11-4, 19 points) on Aug. 10.

Here are the match highlights:

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22 Responses to Earthquakes upset Sounders to open Levi’s Stadium

  1. JosiahTheChosenOne says:

    they’ll have an annual game there, and continue the game at stanford….even when they open their new stadium. I think they should just play all big games at Levi’s (NYCFC, LA, Sea, and maybe the Orlando match).

  2. richard perez says:

    Note to Earthquakes …keep those through back kits and PLAY AT THIS STADUIM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!! ALSO GET 3 DPs

  3. Ali Dia says:

    Much as I love your work Ives, you should probably be shot dead and dragged through the streets on the back of a Yugo for allowing a shambles of a company like “Instant Checkmate” to pollute your site. MIdget porn would be a more honorable sponsor. For shame.

  4. ivan says:

    Didn’t see the game. Question: does the stadium have real or fake grass?

    • petaluman says:

      real

    • beto says:

      Real, but it didn’t look 100% yet.

      Give it some time and that place will absolutely be a great venue for the USMNT

      • Alex H says:

        Too narrow for official FIFA matches.

        • beto says:

          True… Shame

          Was reading that nfl is looking to increase their field size from 53.33 yards to 60 yards. More acceptable width for soccer, most sss are 60-75 yards. I think this would be great for nfl football to open field up a bit and limit the amount of dangerous tackles but would be even better for soccer in this country! Just think about USA-Mexico in Ohio Stadium and other big games in any egg ball stadiums..

          link to articles.latimes.com

        • Luke says:

          It absolutely meets FIFA rules on field dimensions. Otherwise the Mexico vs Chile friendly on Sept. 6 would not be scheduled here.

          FIFA rules on field dimensions:
          Length (touch line):
          * minimum 90 m (100 yds)
          * maximum 120 m (130 yds)

          Width (goal line):
          * minimum 45 m (50 yds)
          * maximum 90 m (100 yds)

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      Let me get this straight.

      You didn’t care enough to watch the game, it isn’t the Earthquakes future stadium, it is the 49ers, and you STILL cared whether the game, which is already finished, WAS played on grass or turf ?

  5. ATXsportsguy says:

    I always make fun of of FC Dallas for their annual collapse, but it’s Seattle who’s truly perfected the mid-summer swoon.

    • Unser says:

      The annual late season Sounders collapse that we all know and love seems to be right on schedule again this year.

    • Jason Mitchell says:

      A common mischaracterization. Fell apart late in the season last year, but have actually often been at their best down the stretch (before collapsing in the playoffs).

  6. AlexH says:

    I was disappointed to see that field too narrow for FIFA matches. Does any stadium in the Bay Area have a field that is wide enough for qualifiers?

    • r.benjamin says:

      stanford?

    • beto says:

      Really.. Thats a shame you would think they would think of that even if soccer is a secondary priority there…

      • Alex H says:

        The sad thing is that FIFA requires a 70 yard wide field and judging from the pictures of the game it isn’t THAT much narrower and it is only in the corners It looks like even an afterthought would have made it so FIFA games could have been played but unfortunately it doesn’t even rate that.

  7. beto says:

    Looked like another big stadium win for San Jose, like those games in Stanford they seem to win on pure drive and a bit of luck. Good night for Quakes fans.

  8. CSD says:

    Levi’s Stadium reviews are in:

    link to businessweek.com