Seattle Sounders FC (12-5-2 38pts) will look to bounce back from last weeks 3-0 beat down suffered at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy (8-4-6,30pts) when they travel to Santa Clara to take on the San Jose Earthquakes(5-8-5,20pts) Saturday Night at Levi Stadium(7:30p.m. PT NBC Sports Network). Saturdays game will be the first event held at Levi Stadium the new home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
On paper Saturday night’s game looks to be just the tonic the Dr. ordered for a team in need of a quick feel good win. Sounders FC are the top team in the Western Conference and the San Jose Earthquakes are in last place. The last time the Sounders FC suffered a defeat by three or more goals (5-0 at New England, May11) they went on a five game (4-01) unbeaten run in which they outscored their opponents 11-4. The first team they beat (1-0) on their way to the five game unbeaten streak was San Jose at home.
If Seattle is to repeat another remarkable bounce back streak, it will need to play better defense on all areas of the field. Against LA there was no communication between forwards, midfield and back four. The lack of communication enabled the Galaxy midfielders and forwards to run rough shot at Century Link Field.
“ We have to get tighter, step up on guys, “ Sounders FC Coach Sigi Schmid said of his teams man to man marking.“ Situations like these are speed bumps and detours, we have to improve on.”
USMNT player Chris Wondolowski leads the Earthquakes offensive attack with seven goals and one assist in 12 appearances. Benfica loan playerYannick Djalo’s arrival( March 10th) has been a great complement to Wondolowski as well as midfield players Sam Cronin, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and Shea Salinas. "I feel as though the team has been gelling of late, but it hasn't resulted in goals or wins. I think there have been some positive signs recently,” said Quakes head Coach Mark Watson.
“I thought New York was a good performance as well. I thought we did some good things, but we just didn't have that quality in the final third .We continued to do that, raised our quality in the final third and scored some goals.” San Jose has a win and a tie in its last two games.
Sounders FC are hoping the return of Brad Evans and Leo Gonzalez will bring some stability in the middle of the field. Midfielder Lamar Neagle (ankle sprain) and Chad Marshall (neck sprain) will be game time decisions.