The San Jose Earthquakes crashed out of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night in Seattle.
The Quakes lost to the Seattle Sounder 4-1 on penalties after the teams could not be separated during 120 minutes of action at the Starfire Sports Complex.
“We held strong and we had our moments to score,” said head coach Mark Watson. “But once it gets to penalty kicks, it’s really anyone’s game.”
San Jose opened the scoring in the 24th minute courtesy of a volley from Steven Lenhart. The strike marked the first time in 2014 that the forward has found the back of the net. The Sounders then equalized just two minutes later thanks a goal from Kenny Cooper.
Despite the fact that the first-place Sounders poured in 31 shots, there would be no more scoring after the 26th minute strike from the Sounders veteran.
San Jose only made it to PK’s due to an impressive showing from backup goal keeper David Bingham, who was appearing in his second game of the season. The 24-year-old was filling in for Jon Busch, who was rested in advance of Saturday’s California Clasico.
“David was excellent tonight for us and he kept us in the game at times,” said Watson.
Meanwhile, Bingham gave much of the credit to his teammates.
“That was a great team effort. All the guys in front of me played their hearts out for 120 minutes and made my job easier. I had two great center backs in front of me that cleared a lot of the danger for me and I was able to clean up the other stuff.”
However, not even Bingham could save the Quakes during PK’s. Khari Stephenson stepped up to cooly deliver the first penalty, but it all fell apart from there. Alan Gordon clattered the second attempt off the post before JJ Koval’s effort was easily corralled by Seattle’s Marcus Hahnemann.
“It was tough to lose that one after putting in so much effort,” said Bingham.
“The game could have gone either way,” said Stephenson. “Now we will just have to change our focus quickly and be ready for this weekend.”
Up next, the Quakes take on the LA Galaxy on Saturday at Stanford Stadium. San Jose sits eighth in the Western Conference standings just one point behind their southern rivals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Network and heard on KLIV 1590.
Note: All quotes courtesy of San Jose Earthquakes Media Relations.