Rave Green Claim 4-1 Decision Day Win over San Jose, as Sounders FC Locks up Second Place in the West
SEATTLE, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC (11-5-6, 39 points) closed out the 2020 MLS regular season with a 4-1 Decision Day victory over the San Jose Earthquakes (8-9-6, 30 points). Goals from NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, RaÃºl RuidÃaz and Jordan Morris - all scored in the second half of play - sealed the victory for the home side. With the win, Seattle secures second place in the Western Conference, with a first-round matchup against seventh-seeded LAFC on the horizon. That contest is slated to be played at CenturyLink Field, with the date and time to be announced by Major League Soccer in the coming days. The two sides met in last season's Western Conference Championship, a 3-1 road victory for Seattle en route to the 2019 MLS Cup title.
The Rave Green opened the scoring in the 52nd minute as Lodeiro cut a ball into the middle of the 18-yard box and rifled a shot into the right side of the net. Just two minutes later, RuidÃaz took a shot from just outside the area that deflected off an Earthquakes defender and into the back of the net.
San Jose found a goal of their own in the 57th minute when Marcos LÃ³pez curled his free kick past the outstretched hand of Stefan Frei. Morris added a third goal for the Rave Green in the 74th minute, when he took a pass from Lodeiro and flicked it over JT Marcinkowski. LÃ³pez scored an own goal in the 80th minute to give Sounders FC its 11th win of the campaign.
Seattle concludes the 2020 regular season with 11 wins, five losses and six draws, good for second position in the Western Conference ahead of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Since Decision Day was implemented by MLS in 2015, Sounders FC has never lost. The club has a record of 6-0-0, outscoring opponents 15-4. All of those matches have been played at CenturyLink Field.
Coincidentally, Seattle has now finished second in the West for four-consecutive seasons heading into the playoffs.
Sounders FC previously assured its postseason fate on October 27, securing the club's 12th playoff berth in 12 MLS seasons. In addition to being an MLS record, Seattle's 12-straight postseason appearances rank second among the active postseason streak leaders in all five major U.S. sports leagues, behind only the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins (14 straight postseason appearances).
In 2020, Seattle moves to 2-0-2 against San Jose, including the July 10 Group Stage match in the MLS is Back Tournament. Prior to tonight's contest, the Rave Green played to a scoreless draw on October 18 and defeated San Jose 7-1 at CenturyLink Field on September 10.
Sounders FC is now 13-10-18 all-time against San Jose in MLS regular season play, including a 10-5-2 mark inside CenturyLink Field.
With his strike in the 54th minute, RaÃºl RuidÃaz netted his team-leading 12th goal of 2020. The Peruvian poacher finishes with double-digit goals for the third time in three seasons with the Rave Green, and he breaks his previous single-season high (11 goals in 2019).
No Sounder has scored more against San Jose than RuidÃaz. He now has six goals against the Quakes, two more than Obafemi Martins and Fredy Montero (both scored four times against San Jose as Sounders).
In the race for the MLS Golden Boot, RuidÃaz finishes in a three-way tie for second place, alongside Columbus' Gyasi Zardes and Chicago's Robert Beric. Both Zardes and Beric also scored on Decision Day, with all three players finishing two tallies behind LAFC's Diego Rossi.
Jordan Morris' goal puts the forward into double-digital goals for the third time in five seasons. The former MLS Rookie of the Year finishes regular-season play with 10 goals, tied with last year's final tally.
With the first goal of the match tonight and an assist on Morris' goal, Nico Lodeiro finishes the campaign with seven goals and ten assists. He leads Sounders FC in assists, and is tied with Toronto's Alejandro Pozuelo and Houston's Darwin Quintero for the league lead. Since joining Seattle during the 2016 summer transfer window, the Uruguayan playmaker has 33 goals and 58 assists in 121 regular season games (all starts).
With the win, Seattle secures second place in the Western Conference with 1.77 points-per-game. Next up: a first-round matchup in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs against seventh-seeded LAFC. That contest is slated to be played at CenturyLink Field, with the date and time to be announced by Major League Soccer in the coming days. The two sides met in last season's Western Conference Championship, a 3-1 road victory for Seattle en route to the 2019 MLS Cup title. Seattle has faced LAFC four times this year, going 2-2-0.
Seattle Sounders FC 4 - San Jose Earthquakes 1
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistants: Jason White, Jeff Hosking
Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Jon Freemon
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 47 degrees and clear
SEA - NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro 52'
SEA - RaÃºl RuidÃaz (Cristian Roldan) 54'
SJ - Marcos LÃ³pez 57'
SEA - Jordan Morris (NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro) 74'
SEA - Marcos LÃ³pez (OG) 80'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Jordy Delem 81'), Yeimar GÃ³mez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou (Alex Roldan 65'); Cristian Roldan, João Paulo (Josh Atencio 90'), Joevin Jones (Jimmy Medranda 82'), NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Shandon Hopeau 90'); RaÃºl RuidÃaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, RomÃ¡n Torres, Danny Leyva, Will Bruin
Total shots: 10 (Ruidiaz, 3)
Shots on goal: 6 (Lodeiro/Morris, 2)
Fouls: 7 (Arreaga, 2)
Offside: 1 (Lodeiro, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Lodeiro, 4)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
San Jose Earthquakes - James Marcinkowski; Nick Lima (Tommy Thompson 59'), Florian Jungwirth, Oswaldo Alanis, Marcos LÃ³pez (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
Total shots: 5 (Five players, 1)
Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)
Fouls: 12 (Cowell/Judson, 3)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Calvillo, 2)
Saves: 2 (Marcinkowski, 2)
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro
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