Earthquakes-Sounders Preview

Earthquakes-Sounders Preview

Published May. 11, 2013 12:43 a.m. ET

After snapping a lengthy winless skid, the San Jose Earthquakes might get some help as they try to earn their first road win of the season.

Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart could return from suspensions Saturday as San Jose tries for its fifth consecutive league victory over the Seattle Sounders, the only MLS team without a home win.

San Jose (3-3-5) was 0-2-4 over a six-game stretch before a 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Wednesday. Chris Wondolowski had the tiebreaking goal in the 81st minute and his five this season are one behind the league leaders.

The Earthquakes once again played without a pair of forwards. Gordon was forced to sit out three games for using a homophobic slur in a 1-0 loss at Portland on April 14 and had to miss another one because of a red card he received in that defeat.


Lenhart had to sit out the past two games after his cleat hit Chivas USA's Mario de Luna twice in the face in a 2-all draw April 27. The two had a combined 23 goals and nine assists while leading San Jose to last season's Supporters' Shield, but the duo have one assist - from Gordon - in seven total matches this year.

Gordon and Lenhart both missed a 1-0 home victory over Seattle (2-3-3) on April 23 while recovering from surgeries. Wondolowski scored late in the first half, and has four goals in his last five league games against the Sounders.

He has three scores during the Earthquakes' four-game win streak in the series, including a 2-1 victory in Seattle on Sept. 22.

San Jose is 0-2-2 on the road so far this season - one of five teams without a victory away from home - but will face a club that's tied for last in the Western Conference.

Seattle, however, is returning home after earning seven points over a three-game road stretch. The Sounders used Djimi Traore's stoppage-time goal to claim three of those points Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City.

"We're happy to get the win. We needed the points," coach Sigi Schmid said. "This team has played well over this last period of time, in terms of us competing, and we needed a smidgen of luck, which we haven't been getting."

One of the next tasks for Schmid's club is improving on its 0-1-2 mark at home. Seattle, which was 11-4-2 at home last season, has allowed a combined two goals in those three games but scored only once.

"We need some victories at home. For us, Saturday is a big game," Traore said.

San Jose has won in its past two visits to Seattle after losing three of its first four. Both teams will be playing their third games in eight days.

The Earthquakes will be without midfielder Marvin Chavez after he was suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount by MLS for violent conduct that endangered the safety of an opponent.