SEATTLE – Three games. Three losses.
Call it a San Jose sweep.
Sounders FC hosted the MLS-leading Earthquakes in a battle of Western Conference powers Saturday at CenturyLink Field, and once again San Jose emerged victorious, this time by a 2-1 score.
Seattle’s loss in front of 38,948 featured Steve Zakuani’s first goal in 17 months, but also snapped a four-game home winning streak, dropped the team to fourth place in the conference and marked a second failed attempt in as many weeks to clinch a playoff berth for the Sounders (13-7-9).
The Earthquakes, who improved to 18-6-6, were led by a familiar hero.
San Jose broke a 1-1 tie in the 30th minute, and it was star Chris Wondolowski who provided the winner. The 29-year-old forward cleverly redirected a pass from Victor Bernardez past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning for his 10th game-winner this season. Wondolowski has more goals overall (22) than the entire Chivas USA team (21).
Wondolowski has scored in his last four games in Seattle and has five goals all-time in the series.
Seattle’s best chance at a late equalizer came in the 86th minute, but forward Fredy Montero’s header in front of the goal went high. A chance also came to David Estrada, a second-half substitute, in stoppage time, but he couldn’t connect on a cross.
The Earthquakes, who boast a league-leading 62 goals, took a 1-0 lead in the second minute when midfielder Simon Dawkins scored on a rocket from 23 yards.