Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, June 20 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)
Match Odds: Seattle 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – San Jose 5/1
Seattle Sounders take on the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field for the second time this term, looking to bounce back from a shock early season defeat to their Western Conference rivals.
Seattle will also need to bounce back from their midweek US Open Cup defeat to the Portland Timbers, in a game that saw them end the match with seven players on the field. That 3-1 defeat to Portland means the Sounders cannot retain their Open Cup trophy this season and all focus will now be on reclaiming their Supporters’ Shield.
They still lead the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings after 15 weeks and look to be the strongest side in Major League Soccer, but having already lost to the Quakes at home this year, they will need to be fully focused on Saturday night.
Photo: Denise McCooey
Sigi Schmid’s side come into the game off the back of a 3-0 home win over FC Dallas last weekend and they have now won three straight league games in front of their own fans.
San Jose are the only side to have beaten them at CenturyLink Field this season and will be hoping to repeat that stunning performance that saw them win 3-2 in Week 2.
Dominic Kinnear has led his side to just five MLS wins in total so far and they currently sit in eighth place in the Western, but are just three points off the playoff places.
They are without a win in three coming into the game, but did enjoy US Open Cup success against Sacramento Republic on Tuesday night, coming from two goals down to advance on penalties after Chris Wondolowski netted twice in five second half minutes.
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They might not be winning enough but they have only lost one of their last seven in MLS and look to be in good shape to try and sneak a playoff place late in the campaign.
Saturday evening’s clash will be the second of three between the two this season. Seattle have not beaten San Jose in their last three MLS meetings and so this is far from clear as to who will win.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid was rocked by the loss off Obafemi Martins on Tuesday night, as the Nigerian was stretchered off in the US Open Cup clash with Portland and is unlikely to feature here. Chad Barrett is also ruled out, while Osvaldo Alonso is a doubt. The extra-time loss with just seven players on Tuesday could leave players fatigued.
San Jose Earthquakes had two players sent off in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with FC Dallas and so Mark Sherrod and JJ Koval will both miss the game. Innocent Emeghara, who scored in the previous meeting, is still out for most of the season, while Steven Lenhart will also miss out. Paulo Renato and Leandro Barrera are both doubtful.
Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: D/W/W/L/W
San Jose Earthquakes’ last five in MLS: D/W/D/L/D
Key Stat: Seattle have won just one of the last five MLS meetings between the two sides.
Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes powerhouse netted twice in midweek and was instrumental in the early season win in Seattle. Expect him to cause the Sounders defence problems on Saturday once again.
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Seattle Sounders 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Both sides had to play 120 minutes on Tuesday night and that could lead to a slower paced game than usual. San Jose will look to absorb pressure and if Seattle fail to score early it could be a cagey affair. Score draw.