MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Seattle (10-5-7) at San Jose (13-5-5), 10:30 p.m.
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - Seattle Sounders FC will attempt to put its
disappointing U.S. Open Cup finish in the rearview mirror on Saturday when it
takes on the Western Conference-leading San Joe Earthquakes at Buck Shaw
The Sounders missed the chance to claim a fourth-straight Open Cup title this
week, losing in the final to Sporting Kansas City on penalties.
League form has not been an issue in recent weeks for Seattle though.
A nine-game winless streak has given way to a formidable Sounders run that has
seen them claim 10 points from their last four games. Seattle has won its last
two matches in league play, which came against Western Conference opponents,
by a combined score of 6-1.
"What was important was our reaction to an important game, and it's six-point
games when we're playing against the West that keeps us ahead of where we want
to go," said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. "I think it sends a message to
the other teams, as well, that streak that everybody was talking about is
behind us and we're moving forward."
Eddie Johnson has been a welcomed addition to the Sounders squad this season,
reaching double-figures in goals to occupy fifth place in the race for the MLS
On Saturday, Johnson will go up against the man who leads that race, Chris
"One of the things I put down as my goal is be consistent," said Johnson. "The
best players in the world are consistent week in and week out and in this
league Chris Wondolowski is a perfect example. To score that many goals year
after year is something that's hard to do.
"Considering when teams know that you can score goals and their whole scouting
report is to stop you scoring goals ... to be considered the best up there
with the forwards in the league you have to be consistent."
Consistency has been key for San Jose as a whole, not just Wondolowski.
Last time out, the 'Quakes salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw with the Chicago
Fire thanks to Steven Lenhart's goal deep into second-half stoppage time. It
was San Jose's fourth goal scored in stoppage time to gain a victory or a draw
San Jose has made a habit of scoring late this term - 16 of its 45 total goals
have come after the 76th minute.
"We never say die and we never come into a game, or at any moment in the game,
do we think that we are going to lose," said Lenhart. "I think we have had
that mentality all season. We are very strong as a team with our focus and
San Jose and Seattle last met on March 31 with the 'Quakes stealing a 1-0
victory at CenturyLink Field thanks to a 24th-minute strike from Wondolowski.
08/10 18:53:23 ET