Nicolas Lodeiro's brace leads Sounders to draw with Earthquakes

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Nicolas Lodeiro scored twice as the Seattle Sounders completed their first playoff-less MLS season in franchise history with a 2-2 draw against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday afternoon.

Jeremy Ebobisse and Cade Cowell scored for San Jose (8-15-11, 35 points), which finished last in the Western Conference.

The Sounders (12-17-5, 41 points), who became the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League in its current format this spring, ended up six points below the playoff line.

The Earthquakes' Cowell came off the bench and knotted the score at 2-2 in the 75th minute. The 18-year-old took a pass from Miguel Trauco near the top left of the penalty area, pulled the ball back and dribbled a couple of yards toward the center of the field before unleashing a 22-yard shot that took one hop off the turf and into the far side netting.

Lodeiro, the Sounders' captain, gave his team leads early in both halves.

He scored the opening goal just 30 seconds into the contest. Cristian Roldan sent a pass to his brother, Alex, who was making an overlapping run down the right wing. He made a cross just before reaching the end line back toward Lodeiro, who was about a yard right of the penalty spot. Lodeiro hit a low, left-footed one-timer into the far side of the net past diving San Jose goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

The Earthquakes tied it three minutes later on a counterattack.

Cristian Espinoza drove down the right wing and took a hard, 15-yard shot that goalie Stefan Cleveland made a diving stop on. But the rebound deflected off defender Nouhou Tolo and fell to Ebobisse at the penalty spot. His sidewinding half-volley bounced off the turf and made its way just between Cleveland and defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade and into the net.

Lodeiro made it 2-1 in the 49th minute. Albert Rusnak's corner kick from the left wing was headed clear of the front of the net by a defender, but the ball fell to Lodeiro just outside the top of the penalty.

Lodeiro's right-footed volley went off Marcinkowski's fingertips and into the upper left corner of the net for the advantage.