July 14, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - San Jose Earthquakes
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Honduran winger Walter Martinez scored his first career MLS goal to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-0 win against Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders FC in front of a sold-out crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday.
The Earthquakes (6-9-6, 24 pts.) received a stellar effort from their defensive unit, limiting Sounders FC (7-7-3, 24 pts.) to six total shots and just one on goal. The clean sheet was San Jose's second of the season, the last coming in a 1-0 win against Seattle on March 23 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
After a scoreless first half, Martinez tallied the game's lone goal three minutes into the final stanza. Steven Lenhart misfired from the top of the box, but Martinez found the ball, cut back and curled a close-range shot into the upper corner for his first goal since signing with San Jose on March 15, 2013.
One minute later, Alan Gordon nearly doubled the Earthquakes' lead after a long throw-in from Dan Gargan and a flicked header from Lenhart found the target man open in front of the goal. Gordon took a volleyed shot, but it went high of the target. Lenhart also had a golden opportunity to put San Jose in front by two, but his one-on-one with Sounders FC goalkeeper Andrew Weber was blocked.
AT&T MLS All-Star nominees Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow anchored the back line along with Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez and Dan Gargan, who replaced Hernandez in the 45th minute. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Jon Busch earned his second shutout of the season and 22nd of his four-year career in San Jose.
The match was interim head coach Mark Watson's first at Buck Shaw Stadium. His home debut was a thrilling 3-2 comeback win against the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on June 29.
The Earthquakes return to action on for an international friendly against Norwich City FC of the English Premier League on Saturday, July 20 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PT with a live stream of the match available at www.sjearthquakes.com. The club's next MLS game is Saturday, July 27 against the Portland Timbers at Buck Shaw Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.