Nicolás Lodeiro, Raúl Ruidíaz and Jordan Morris all got on the scoresheet as the Seattle Sounders ran riot in the second half against San Jose Earthquakes to win 4-1 on the night. The victory sees them finish second in the Western Conference and set up a play-off tie against LAFC.
Story of the match
The Sounders looked to be in control from the off against their opponents and almost went ahead on 22 minutes. Nouhou Tolo's headed effort just evaded the back post with away goalkeeper James Marcinkowski looked to have it covered as he dived to his right.
After nothing of note for either side in terms of chances, the Rave Greens opened the scoring in the 52nd minute. Lodeiro cut inside into the middle of the 18-yard box and arrowed a shot into the right side of the net. Just two minutes later, Raul Ruidíaz picked up the ball from a powerful run by Cristian Roldan and took a shot from just outside the area. His effort took a deflection off an Earthquakes defender and went into the back of the net to double the home side's advantage.
San Jose pulled a goal back in the 57th minute when Marcos López curled his free kick past the outstretched hand of Stefan Frei, but it turned out to be little more than a consolation. Jordan Morris added a third goal for the Sounders in the 74th minute, when he took a pass from Lodeiro and flicked it over Marcinkowski. López scored an own goal in the 80th minute to give Sounders FC their eleventh win of the season and see them finish second in the Western Conference and San Jose scraping into eight place to make the playoffs.
Takeaways from the match
With the win, Seattle made sure they took second place in the Western Conference, and they will meet LAFC next in what is sure to be a grudge match after the Black and Gold defeated the Sounders 3-1 only a couple of weeks ago. That contest is slated to be played at CenturyLink Field, with the date and time to be announced by Major League Soccer imminently. The Earthquakes will now return to San Jose to prepare for their first-round playoff match against Sporting Kansas City, who finished top of the conference. The date, time and broadcast details of the match will also be announced soon.
No Sounders player has scored more against San Jose than Raul Ruidíaz. He now has six goals against the Quakes, two more than Obafemi Martins and Fredy Montero (both scored four times). He was excellent throughout, but so were Morris and Lodeiro. When the three of them click, Seattle can't seem to stop scoring - but the question for the Sounders moving into the playoffs is can those players consistently produce to see their team progress?
Seattle Sounders: Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Jordy Delem 81’), Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou (Alex Roldan 65’); Cristian Roldan, João Paulo (Josh Atencio 90’), Joevin Jones (Jimmy Medranda 82’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Shandon Hopeau 90’); Raúl Ruidíaz.
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Román Torres, Danny Leyva, Will Bruin.
San Jose Earthquakes – James Marcinkowski; Nick Lima (Tommy Thompson 59’), Florian Jungwirth, Oswaldo Alanis, Marcos López (Paul Marie 82’); Judson, Cristian Espinoza (Siad Haji 59’), Felipe (Eric Calvillo 59’), Shea Salinas, Cade Cowell; Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes not used: Daniel Vega, Jacob Akanyirige, Tanner Beason, Jack Skahan, Gilbert Fuentes