SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A two-game slide is new territory for the Sounders FC.
Fortunately for Seattle, the MLS midseason break will give it a needed week to regroup.
The 1-0 defeat Saturday for Seattle (12-6-2, 38 points to lead the Western Conference) against the last-place San Jose Earthquakes (6-8-5, 23 points) ends the otherwise successful first-half campaign on the sour note of being shut out in two consecutive games.
“It is a streaky league and we have been on pretty good streaks,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “For us right now, this is our bad streak and we just have to make sure we get out of it quickly and I think we have the talent and ability to get out of it.”
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It was a hallmark game for the host Earthquakes — the first event at the new Levi’s Stadium and in front of 48,765 spectators.
Playing without All-Star center back Chad Marshall, out with back spasms for the second consecutive game, the Sounders continued to suffer on defense following their poor performance in a 3-0 home defeat Monday against the Galaxy.
“Obviously, Chad is a big part of our team, so missing him alters things for us a little bit,” Schmid said.
The lone goal of the game came in the 42nd minute as San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski sent a perfect looping pass to a marked Yannick Djalo. Djalo made a quick one-time flick with his right foot from just outside the top of the penalty box past onrushing Sounders goalie Stefan Frei.
The Sounders came close to tying it in the second half, but could never polish off the finish.
“We just couldn’t catch that little break, that last pass to finally be completed,” said Sounders midfielder Brad Evans.
Seattle’s best chance at the equalizer was in the 85th minute, as a sharp header from substitute Chad Barrett from 8 yards out was cleared near the left post by Wondolowski.
“I thought we created chances in the second half,” Schmid said. “We had some good looks off corner kicks. I can’t be displeased, I thought we played much better than we did on Monday.”
The Sounders have four players — Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin, Obafemi Martins and Osvaldo Alonso — going to Portland to play in the MLS All-Star game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Marshall was nominated but won’t play due to his injury.