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June 13, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Gameday: Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

The battle for the Heritage Cup begins. Here’s a link to my story from today about this game starting a crucial stretch for the Rave Green.

Seattle Sounders FC and the San Jose Earthquakes meet for the second time this year with both looking to put together a streak of victories. Sounders FC has won just once in their last nine games after a 1-0 defeat at Chivas USA last weekend, while the Earthquakes have just one win in their last 10, though they’ve answered a five-game losing run with a win and a draw in their last two. The teams met April 25 in Seattle, a 2-0 Sounders FC win that reignited a classic West Coast rivalry that harkens back to the 1970s and the NASL.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu.

– Arturo Alvarez has scored goals in consecutive games and now has four on the season, one behind San Jose team leader Ryan Johnson – the only Earthquakes with multiple goals on the season.

“It would be nice if it was a win but Arturo in the last two games has scored unbelievable goals. I don’t know if you saw the goal he scored against Real Salt Lake but it was better than that one (against Dallas),” coach Frnak Yallop said. “That’s Arturo. He is so talented and has spectacular stuff and it came at the right time for us. It’s a shame that

we couldn’t see the game out.”

– San Jose got a nice boost in stoppage time when midfielder Darren Huckerby returned to the field. It was his first action since April 11 against Chicago. He had been bothered by a right quadriceps strain. “Darren has only played three games for us this year. He was so good last year and we miss his threat. It showed in the three or four minutes he was on,” Yallop said.

-The Earthquakes then went through a significant squad shakeup during the week. Forward Cam Weaver was dealt to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for local product Chris Wondolowski, and veteran defender Nick Garcia was sent to Toronto FC for a draft pick.

“We haven’t been happy all season so far,” said Earthquakes GM John Doyle. “It’s come to a point where we had to change some things around, and some opportunities came up.”

-Sounders FC’s unbeaten streak of 4-0-5 when goalkeeper Kasey Keller goes the distance came to an end at the Home Depot Center against Chivas USA last saturday. it was keller’s first match at the Home Depot Center after missing the previous match with Chivas on April 18 due to a red-card suspension. Keller set an MLS record for consecutive scoreless minutes to start a season (457 minutes), and he is the only

goalkeeper in league history to post three complete shutouts to start an MLS career.

-Kickoff time for the June 17 match between Sounders FC and D.C.United has been moved to 7:30 p.m. The game will be aired live on ESPN2.


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