Jeremey Ebobissee celebrates his 17th goal of the season with his teammates at Lumen Field on Sunday OCT 9, 2022. (San Jose Earthquakes)
by Marko Ukalovic
It’s the end of an era, be it a short one.
The San Jose Earthquakes came back from a one goal deficit in the second half to earn a 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders in their season finale on Sunday afternoon at Lumen Field.
San Jose finished their turbulent 2022 season with an 8-15-11 record and 35 points to finish dead last in the Western Conference. Seattle had a subpar season finishing with a 12-17-5 record and 41 points to finish in 11th place and out of the playoffs.
This match marked the final one for interim head coach Alex Covelo, who took over for Matias Almeyda after he was dismissed following an 0-6 start. Covelo won his final home match last weekend, a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United.
The Quakes finished with an 8-11-8 record in MLS play under Covelo. Next season the ‘Quakes will be led by recently hired head coach Luchi Gonzalez, who is currently an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team that will be playing in the World Cup next month in Qatar.
“I talked about my emotions the other day. I didn’t talk about it in the past and I am not going to talk now. I think that these guys, this locker room, is very unique. They are very unified, and they are enjoying the way that we are playing. And at the same time, I cannot be more proud. We are working here everyday downstairs, every day with the players, from the medical part and also with Wondo [Chris Wondolowski], Lucho [Luciano Fusco], Steve [Ralston]. We have a lot of value, not only provisional but also as human beings, which is very important. But I am not going to talk more about emotions,” Covelo said.
Seattle drew first blood in the match’s opening minute. Alex Roldan crossed a ball into the middle over to Nicholas Lodeiro who one-timed a left footed shot past ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski for his sixth goal of the season.
San Jose answered back three minutes later. A shot from Cristian Espinoza was punched out to the middle by Souders goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland. Jeremy Ebobisse cleaned up the rebound for his team leading 17th goal of the season.
It was also Ebobisse’s 44th of his MLS career. He set a new single-season career-high in goals and finished the season third in goals among all American players in MLS, only behind FC Cincinnati’s Brandon Vazquez (18) and FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira (18).
Lodeiro gave the Sounders back their lead in the 49th minute when he recorded his brace. A corner kick was headed back to the D and Lodeiro one-timed the ball out of the air with a power shot into the left corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season, which was second best on the Sounders.
San Jose scored the equalizer in the 75th minute. Defender Miguel Trauco found Cade Cowell along the left sideline. Cowell dribbled down the middle before pin placing a right footed shot past Cleveland into the lower right corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
“It shows a lot of what we have been doing this year. This is a resilient team. I think we battled until the end, and there is a lot of character and a lot of passion in the locker room. The guys have been fantastic the whole year. This is a hard place to play, and although they are not in the MLS Playoffs, they’re a really, really, really good team. To play how we did, we suffered at times, but it was a positive end to the season and I’m proud of the guy’s work today,” ‘Quakes captain Jackson Yueill said.
Marinkowski finished the match with four saves on six shots on target in his final match of the season. Cleveland made two saves on four shots.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with one corner kicks. Seattle had four.
San Jose is now 12-15-9 all-time vs. Seattle Sounders FC, including a 6-10-3 record on the road.
Trauco made his first MLS start, playing 78 minutes. He also tallied an assist on Cade Cowell’s goal, marking his second assist of the season and of his MLS career. He has now tallied two assists in his last three matches.