The Sounders are in San Jose to take on the Earthquakes tomorrow, looking for their first win in San Jose since 2010.
The Sounders were undefeated against the San Jose Earthquakes last year, beating them at CenturyLink 2-0 in May and tying them 1-1 at Avaya Stadium. In San Jose, the Sounders are a mere 1-5-3 in MLS play, their lone win coming in 2010.
Returning to Avaya will be a strange feeling for Sounders defender Roman Torres, who tore his ACL there soon after joining the team in 2015. His first game back from the injury was, you guessed it, at San Jose.
Clint Dempsey has been on fire for the Sounders and the US Men’s National Team. He has scored 11 goals in his last nine matches and came close to giving Seattle three points for its excellent defensive effort last weekend against Atlanta United, glancing a header off of the goal post. With Quakes defender Victor Bernardez serving a one-match suspension, he’ll try to take advantage and cause havoc for San Jose’s back line.
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The key to penetrating the Quakes’ defense will, as always for the Sounders, be to use the wings. San Jose central defenders will likely have both vertical and horizontal defensive responsibilities in their efforts to protect the area around the 18-yard box. If Seattle attackers can find space in the middle, their normal sideline attacking style will be effective.
With a win, Seattle will move ahead of San Jose in the standings. With their tie against Atlanta, the Sounders sit at five points in sixth place in the Western Conference in this early season. San Jose has six points, holding down fourth. A road win against a conference rival is all the more sweeter when you can leapfrog them in the standings and earn your first win in San Jose in seven years.
Seattle kicks off at 7:30pm tomorrow. Catch the game on Q13 FOX or at any soccer-friendly bar (pretty much any bar in Ballard* should do). Scarves up!
*South End 4 lyfe. You can’t see it but I’m doing the South End gang sign. I scored a goal against Ballard’s city recreational soccer team once. Take that, North End!