The Sounds of Silence
I know that I promised you guys some San Jose Earthquakes content from their home match against the Colorado Rapids last week and I didn't put anything up here. I don't know, the first and fifth all-team leading goalscores in MLS scored in a boring draw. There's your content.
However, I did notice something that I wanted to write about from last night's Sounders - Earthquakes game, and it is more than just the fact that apparently the folks at MLS digital trolled everyone by using the San Jose broadcast for the league's highlights in what was a 7-1 loss for the Quakes.
No, it was the sixth goal that got my attention, a well-worked play that you can watch above in which Seattle No. 9 Raul Ruidiaz dummies the ball for Joao Paulo to side foot into the lower corner of the net.
During this weird time with COVID-19, most games in this country have kicked off sans fans. It's been strange at Republic and Earthquakes games to not have a crowd actively engaging with the play on the field. Or at the very least, it reminds me of Chivas USA during those last few years.
What we have gotten to hear, though, is more of the communication on the field, both from the players and the coaches. Because I sit close enough to the field, I've reported some of those conversations in my columns, most notably three times in my latest Stoppage Time column.
Which brings me back to this sixth goal -- I wonder if it would have happened if there were fans at CenturyLink Field.
I've watched the replay five or six times now and Ruidiaz doesn't check his shoulder as the ball comes in. He's already in a decent position to shoot himself, but Paulo is in a much better spot. It's very well plausible that Ruidiaz is just that good at soccer and knew exactly where Paulo would be, or that someone else on the Sounders would be crashing the top of the box.
Or maybe Paulo just told Ruidiaz to leave it. I'm not sure, but I would imagine this type of communication is impossible with 40,000+ in the stands. I wasn't at the game or on the press conference so I couldn't ask.
But that's what I would have asked about in the postgame if I got the chance.