Despite a second-half goal from Aaron Kovar, the Seattle Sounders flamed out in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 Wednesday night, losing 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. Seattle’s Francisco Narbon was sent off late in the first half, reducing the Sounders to 10 men.
The Earthquakes struck first in the sixth minute, when Shea Salinas’ follow-up shot from a corner kick took a deflection and went in to the net.
Narbon was sent in for an early shower after being issued a red card in the 35th minute for a rough challenge on Jackson Yueill.
Kovar brought the match level in the 48th minute, scoring his second Open Cup goal in as many matches by curling a free kick to the top right corner past keeper Andrew Tarbell.
San Jose took full advantage of its numerical superiority, outshooting Seattle 20-4 and controlled 67.4 percent of the possession.
Despite the dominance, the Sounders looked ready to force extra time, until substitute Danny Hoesen dribbled through a group of defenders and slotted a shot on the ground past GK Tyler Miller in the 84th minute.
Coach Brian Schmetzer acknowledged the defensive breakdowns stemmed from his decision to field mostly young players.
“I thought both goals were preventable,” Schmetzer said. “The first one we needed to be a little bit quicker to react to that ball on top of the box. And then the second goal: Learning curve. Can’t let a guy dribble past four of our guys.
“The stats don’t look very pretty after we went down a guy, but the one stat that sticks out is we won 57.6 percent of our duels. The guys battled and that’s all I could ask for.”
The Sounders return to league play July 4 on the road against the Colorado Rapids (6 p.m., Q13 Fox).