The San Jose Earthquakes won all three league meetings with the
Seattle Sounders last year, with one coming in typical dramatic
They’ll have to overcome a pair of key defensive absences if
they’re going to continue that success against the visiting
Sounders on Saturday night.
San Jose (1-1-1) is 5-2-1 in its last eight meetings with
Seattle (0-1-1), winning all three matchups last season with one
coming in stunning fashion at Buck Shaw Stadium on Aug. 11.
The Earthquakes gave up the tying goal two minutes into stoppage
time, but Steven Lenhart came to the rescue a minute later to
clinch a 2-1 win.
Those dramatics continue to be commonplace for San Jose, which
scored 40 of its league-leading 72 goals last year from the 60th
All three of the club’s goals this season fall into that
category, including Justin Morrow’s 73rd-minute tally to rally the
Quakes to a 1-1 draw at Columbus last Saturday.
Morrow isn’t available to build on his heroics this weekend
since he’s with the United States national team for World Cup
qualifying, while fellow starting defender Victor Bernardez is with
That likely means Nana Attakora will make his season debut in
central defense while veterans Ty Harden and Dan Gargan are options
to fill in for Morrow on the left.
“This is going to give opportunities to other players,”
goalkeeper Jon Busch said. “That’s why Frank and (general manager
John Doyle) built this team deep and picked Nana up, and picked Ty
up and picked Dan up. It’s another test for us, to see where our
Another strong effort from Chris Wondolowski would also help.
The forward has five goals in eight career games against Seattle,
getting two last year on his way to tying the MLS single-season
record of 27. However, he’s found the net just once so far this
season, and came up empty on four shots – two on goal – last
The Sounders are dealing with absences of their own as forward
Eddie Johnson is with Morrow on the U.S. team, while midfielder
Mario Martinez has joined Bernardez. Forward Obafemi Martins,
acquired last week after a stint with Levante in Spain, has joined
Nigeria for its World Cup qualifying matches.
Johnson has Seattle’s only goal of the season, scoring in a 1-1
draw at home with Portland last Saturday.
With Johnson and Martins gone, David Estrada seems to be in line
for his season debut. He had five goals in 20 games – 12 starts –
last year, but he scored only once in his last 18 appearances after
getting four in his first two games.
“He’s hungry,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “That’s never an issue
with David. It’s about being smart. He’s the kind of guy that you
have to lock into his locker to make sure he doesn’t
The Sounders are on the road for the first time after going
5-9-5 last year, winning once in the past six games (1-2-3).
“Sometimes going on the road is good early in the season because
it’s a reminder that you’re in the season. It gets you into that
routine again,” Schmid told the team’s official website.