Even without injured striker Fredy Montero, the Sounders offense finally got going Saturday night.
After netting only one goal in the first three games on the 2011 season, Seattle twice found the net in a 2-2 draw on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes.
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Brad Evans and O'Brian White got their names on the score sheet for Seattle, which went a long way toward exorcising the scoring demons that have plagued the team so far this season. Coach Sigi Schmid took heart in the positive play but wished his team could have turned the two goals into three points.
“We had some chances and they had some chances,” Schmid said. “It probably could have ended 4-4 and nobody could have complained. But two goals should be enough to win when you’re on the road.”
While the twin tallies will please many Sounders fans, the players conceded that Seattle turned in a less-than-stellar performance in other areas. A few of the team’s bug-a-boos that prevented still-winless Seattle from claiming three points: suspect finishing, unforced turnovers and goals allowed on shots from distance.
On the first account, Nate Jaqua’s miss in the 81st minute may have been the most glaring. A poor clearance gifted Jaqua the ball in the penalty area, but the substitute striker failed to find the net, sending it wide left instead.
[inline_node:332787]Additionally, turnovers in midfield came back to haunt the Sounders. Goal-scorer Evans committed an unfortunate one that led to San Jose’s first goal. The Quakes deserve credit for the opportune counterattack goal that led to Simon Dawkins’ goal, but more care on the ball could have earned the visiting team and additional two points in the standings.
"We let one go for sure. We didn't play our best game today," Evans told The Seattle Times.
For the second game in four, Seattle also allowed a long-range goal from the midfield. Schmid will certainly want to tighten that area up this week in training before Seattle take on Chicago next Saturday, when Schmid expects to welcome back injured striker Fredy Montero.
Before the match, Montero’s absence might have caused worry for Seattle’s attacking corps. Even without the striker, who failed to make the trip after undergoing wrist surgery earlier in the week, Seattle managed to eke out a draw in an evenly-fought game that saw each team record 13 shots.
Part of the credit goes to Mauro Rosales, who found himself in the middle of Seattle’s attacks, especially in the first half. The Argentine’s cross was turned home by Evans for Seattle’s first goal.
Two goals off four shots on goal would leave most coaches pleased, especially on the road. Nevertheless, the Sounders players wanted more.
“They’re a quick defensive team,” Steve Zakuani said of the Quakes. “But they like to attack and leave themselves open defensively a bit. With all the chances we created, we should make you pay for it. The game was there to be had.”