After four months off, due to the pandemic, the Seattle Sounders return to the pitch in a bubble environment in Orlando versus the San Jose Earthquakes. The match is a part of the MLS is Back tournament that is an attempt to salvage the 2020 season. The Quakes and the Rave Green competed Friday night to a 0-0 tie in the first game of group play.
While the Sounders are the favorites, it was evident that San Jose was in better condition—probably due to their 16 days of practice in the hot and humid Florida environment. At 9pm the weather was 81 degrees with 88% humidity making for rough conditions. The Sounders will have the benefit of the next game being early in the morning which should be much cooler.
Seattle lacked significant possessions in the 1st half and Joao Paulo would find himself removed form the game due to a quad injury. Paulo would be the first of several players who would pull up with cramps due to heat and dehydration.
The Sounders got a got a good look at the new defense that sees Xavier Arreaga at center back with Yeimar Gómez Andrade. The duo looked strong enough but the questions will arise if they are up to the challenge of lofty goals set by Chad Marshall and Roman Torres who are no longer on the team. Time will tell.
SSU Man of the Match
Sounder goalie Stefan Frei was the Man of the Match showing off why he is the key factor to the Sounders 2 championships in the last 4 years. Frei had several diving saves—7 total saves on the night.
Vs Chicago, Jul 14, 6:00 AM
Photo credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports