Sounders Shutout Earthquakes

Sounders FC beat the visiting Quakes 2-0 on the strength of rookie forward Steve Zakuani’s goal and assist.
SEATTLE, Wash.--Before another sellout crowd of 28,830 at Qwest Field, the Seattle Sounders (4-2-0) ended their two-game winless streak by defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0. The ‘Quakes record fell to 1-3-2 for the season. 

Rookie forward Steve Zakuani scored his second goal of the year in the 38th minute. He was also awarded an assist the 50th minute on midfielder Brad Evans’ second goal of the season. 

Seattle’s veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller earned his fourth shutout and set the MLS record for consecutive scoreless minutes to start a season. 

First Half 

Seattle scored in the 42nd minute to take a 1-0 lead. Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg was brought down by ‘Quakes defender Nick Garcia on the right edge of the box. Ljungberg’s free kick landed in the middle of the box and eventually fell at the feet of Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall. Marshall made a deft lofted pass to Zakuani, who headed the ball past San Jose ‘keeper Joe Cannon.  

San Jose had four shots on Keller with one on goal in the first 45 minutes of the game. The ‘Quakes only scoring chance to score occurred in the 23rd minute when forward Ryan Johnson’s shot was easily handled by Keller. 

Second Half 

San Jose returned from the halftime break with renewed energy and almost scored in the 48th minute. Midfielder Shea Salinas’ deflected shot resulted in a corner that was taken by midfielder Arturo Alvarez.  Johnson headed the ball towards the net. Keller made a diving stop to keep the ‘Quakes off the scoreboard. 

Two minutes later, Zakuani passed the ball between several San Jose defenders to forward Nate Jaqua on the left side of the box. Jaqua crossed the ball on the ground to Evans, who one-timed the pass into the net to give Seattle a two goal lead and claim his second goal of the campaign. 

The 'Quakes have scored one lone goal all season in the second half.  Against the Sounders, San Jose put up four shots on goal in eight attempts. Johnson led the offensive attack with all three of his shots going on target.   

In the 77th minute, Seattle’s veteran ‘keeper set the MLS record for scoreless minutes to start a season. Keller’s 389 scoreless minutes passed New York’s Ronald Waterreus’ previous record of 375 that was set in 2007. 

Seattle’s next MLS game will be at Toyota Park to play the unbeaten Chicago Fire next Saturday night May 2. 

San Jose’s next outing will be a home game against Chivas USA next Saturday.

John Zielonka is the Seattle correspondent. 

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