San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders, July 12, 2023

July 12, 2023

MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 2, Seattle Sounders FC 0

Quakes victorious at home, Espinoza breaks all-time club assist record
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 on Wednesday night at PayPal Park. A goal and record-breaking assist from Cristian Espinoza helped the Quakes earn three points at home and win the 2023 Heritage Cup.  The Quakes opened the scoring in the 19th minute on a penalty kick from forward Cristian Espinoza. Jeremy Ebobisse was brought down in the box by the Seattle defense before Espinoza fired a shot into the bottom left corner to take the lead.  Forward Jack Skahan almost doubled the lead in the second half, but his one-time volley in the box was ruled offside. San Jose eventually found their second goal in the 65th minute from defender Miguel Trauco, who struck a full volley from outside the box past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland. Espinoza tallied the assist on Trauco’s goal and is now the all-time assist leader for the Quakes (51), passing club legend Shea Salinas. The Earthquakes will take a break from MLS league play and prepare for the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament. The Quakes will open the tournament on the road against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, July 22. Kickoff from Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, is slated for 7:00 p.m. PT and will be streamed globally on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, FS1 and Univision.

The Earthquakes now hold an 8-7-8 record (32 pts.) during the 2023 MLS regular season and currently sit in fifth place in the 14-team Western Conference.San Jose currently holds a 14-15-9 record against Seattle, including a 6-5-5 record at home.With tonight’s win, the Quakes earned their second win of the season against the Sounders to claim the Heritage Cup for the second year in a row. The Heritage Cup is an annual competition between the two teams with North American Soccer League (NASL) heritage, taking place across both regular season matches. The Earthquakes have only lost once in their last five matches against Seattle and have not lost to their Pacific Northwest rival at home since May 12, 2021. San Jose have only lost once in 12 home matches this season (7-1-4). Forward Cristian Espinoza scored his 11th goal of the season and 26th of his MLS career. Espinoza has now successfully converted nine consecutive penalty kicks and has made nine of ten overall during his MLS career. He is now tied for the fifth most goals in Quakes history with Vako. Espinoza, who tallied his 51st MLS career assist on Trauco’s goal, now holds the all-time record for most assists in Quakes history.Defender Miguel Trauco scored his third goal of the season and of his MLS career. Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski earned his fourth shutout of the season and 18th of his MLS career. Midfielder Tommy Thompson made his 200th career appearance for the Quakes, entering as a sub in the 85th minute. He is the fourth player to reach that milestone in team history.

San Jose Earthquakes 2 – 0 Seattle Sounders FC
Wednesday, July 12, 2023 – PayPal Park, San Jose, Calif.
Attendance: 13,577
Man of the Match: Cristian Espinoza

Scoring Summary:
SJ (1-0) – Cristian Espinoza (penalty kick) 19’
SJ (2-0) – Miguel Trauco (Cristian Espinoza) 65’

Misconduct Summary:
SEA – Nouhou (caution) 41’
SEA – Leo Chu (caution) 45+4’

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Paul Marie (Benji Kikanovic 90+1’), Tanner Beason, Rodrigues, Carlos Akapo; Miguel Trauco, Carlos Gruezo, Judson (Cam Cilley 90+3’), Jack Skahan (Tommy Thompson 85’), Jeremy Ebobisse (Ousseni Bouda 90+3’), Cristian Espinoza (C). 
Substitutes not used: Emi Ochoa (GK), Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Munie, Will Richmond, Niko Tsakiris.  


SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC: Stefan Cleveland; Nouhou (Reed Baker-Whiting 81’) Jackson Rogen, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Cody Baker (Alex Roldan 46’); Joao Paulo (Josh Atencio 66’), Nico Lodeiro (C) (Dylan Teves 67’), Albert Rusnak, Leo Chu, Obed Vargas; Heber (Raul Ruidiaz 66’)Substitutes not used: Andrew Thomas (GK), Abdoulaye Cissoko, Fredy Montero, Andrew Thomas.



On the team building strong performances and momentum:
“We started the game [last week] really well against LAFC. The game planning was really good, and the guys were executing. Tonight, we started similar in terms of our principles. We were trying to build pressure and win the ball and attack, but it was different also. We have to be ready to tweak each game and moment based on what’s available. What I want to grab are the things that have helped us compete. I feel like we have built momentum in a positive way in the past few weeks in terms of competing and responding. You just feel the guys are always ready to respond and compete, and I am proud to coach them. Those are the things we want to do with energy, enthusiasm, and intensity.”

On preparing for the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament:
“We’ll work in a positive way to get everyone full force. We want to approach Leagues Cup with as many healthy guys as possible. We are taking the next steps against very good opponents, which are going to be Portland [Timbers] and Tigres [UNAL]. We’re excited to have a little time off with family and friends to recharge our batteries, and then get back to work next week.”


On seeing how far he has come since first joining the club:
“I remember when I arrived here, I was very excited to play [at San Jose] and to play in the MLS, and to have this experience. To be honest, I didn’t expect what would happen [breaking the club assist record]. I am really happy with this moment and with everything that has happened before. I am very thankful for my teammates.”

On what this season means to him being a record breaker and an all-star:
“It makes me feel very happy because I can see all the effort and sacrifices that I made in every single training session since I arrived here paying off now. At the same time, I try to keep the focus on trying to help the team. I think that is the most important thing for me.” 

Earthquakes Communications Contacts:
Ryan Negrette – Coordinator, Communications
C: 408.489.8891