Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - A pair of heated Western Conference rivals
will clash on Saturday as the San Jose Earthquakes welcome the Seattle
Sounders to Buck Shaw Stadium.
San Jose enters Saturday's tilt struggling, sitting in eighth place in the
Western Conference on 21 points and riding a two-match losing streak.
Last time out, a depleted San Jose team which was missing several key players
due to international duty and injuries fell to the New England Revolution by a
2-0 score at Gillette Stadium.
New England opened the scoring last Saturday in the 13th minute as Saer Sene
started the sequence with a shot that 'Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was able to
punch away. But the ball found its way back to Sene, who wheeled and fired a
rocket on the turn that found the top-right corner of the net.
The opening goal seemed to stun the Earthquakes and they struggled to generate
many quality scoring chances as the Revs added a second goal 12 minutes from
time to put the result to bed.
Lee Nguyen sent a low cross into the six-yard box that second-half substitute
Dimitry Imbongo was able to slide in front of after beating the San Jose
backline, turning the ball into the goal.
The setback marked the first time San Jose has lost consecutive games since
interim head coach Mark Watson took charge.
"With all the issues we've been dealing with, we've played seven of the last
nine games on the road, I believe, it's been a tough stretch," said Watson.
"We'll dust ourselves off. We'll fly back tomorrow and get everyone rested and
healthy or as healthy as we can."
Seattle, meanwhile, is coming off a loss as well, having fallen by a 2-0 score
to the surging Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.
Vancouver needed just four minutes to open the scoring as Kenny Miller
received a long ball over the top from Corey Hertzog before cutting back on
his right foot just inside the box and placing the ball in the bottom right
corner of the net.
The Whitecaps then grabbed the all-important second goal 11 minutes from time
when substitute Darren Mattocks latched onto a Gershon Koffie headed pass
to break through on goal and finish with a well-struck left-footed effort.
The Sounders have been shut out two consecutive matches on the road and for
the third time in their last four away from home.
"I thought we had some good combination play up front, I thought we put
ourselves in some very dangerous spots. The quality of our crossing still
needs to be better, I think there were some good situations we put ourselves
in and that's something we've got to get back to as well," said Sounders head
coach Sigi Schmid.
"We couldn't have created any more chances, we had the chances we just didn't
finish them so bottom line is finish your chances but also keep it tight in
the defense," Seattle midfielder Brad Evans. "If you look at our chances, it's
the most we've created all season, we had a game plan and I thought we stuck
to it well."
In 12 all-time meetings between the clubs, San Jose holds a slim 6-5-1 margin
and the sides have split two meetings this season, with Seattle posting a
comfortable 4-0 win in the last meeting on May 11.
The Sports Network