|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
San Jose faces road test in Seattle
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Seattle Sounders FC will cap a busy week on Saturday when the club welcomes the top team in MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes, to CenturyLink Field.
The match will mark the third game in eight days for Sigi Schmid's team, which started the stretch with a 1-1 draw against Portland before securing a place in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday by winning 3-2 against Marathon in Honduras.
Not only did Seattle clinch a place in the next round of the competition on Wednesday, but according to defender Brad Evans, the club got a bit of a lift heading into a tough match this weekend.
"For us, it's a good confidence booster going into this weekend, especially with a big one coming up for us," Evans said. "This win under our belt will help us along the way, I think, in the long run. Putting in the effort tonight that the guys put in - we got to rest some guys and some guys got to stretch their legs a little bit tonight."
The victory also continued a great spell of form for the Sounders, who are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and who have put together a record of 8-1-3 in the last 12 matches.
San Jose provided the only blemish on that record with a stoppage-time winner against Seattle on Aug. 11, and the Earthquakes have a four-game unbeaten streak of their own to protect.
That streak nearly ended on Wednesday as the 'Quakes trailed Portland 2-0 with 20 minutes to play, only for Chris Wondolowski to come off the bench and score two times to level the match.
"It kind of fires us up a bit," Wondolowski said of the comeback. "I wouldn't say we were in a lull, but it's almost a playoff atmosphere. Each game is going to be a battle. We can't make silly mistakes. We've got to be a little bit sharper."
Wednesday's result might serve as a wake-up call to San Jose, which sits nine points clear at the top of the Western Conference, but Saturday's visit to Seattle figures to offer up a much different atmosphere.
"These are the games that really matter," San Jose forward Alan Gordon said of facing the Sounders at CenturyLink Field. "These are the games that we're going to have to be playing in the playoffs, regardless of [winning] the Supporters' Shield or not. We've got to play good teams at their home, and we've got to do well and come out with points."
09/21 14:28:28 ET
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