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April 1, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Sounders FC vs. San Jose ‘Quakes, preview and prediction

San Jose Earthquakes Logo.jpgSounders FC (0-2-1) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (1-1-0)

Saturday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., Buck Shaw Stadium

Dual broadcast: KING-5 TV, 97.3 KIRO-FM (Arlo White and Erin Mayovsky)

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic


F Chris Wondolowski — Not a big surprise. The reigning Golden Boot winner from 2010 is off to a good start with two goals this season, both expertly taken against Dallas last week. Seattle is yet to hold anyone to zero this year and he’ll test them for sure. Will the attention on him free up space for teammates?

M Bobby Convey — Had a career-high 10 assists for the ‘Quakes last year as their top playmaker, winning Comeback Player of the Year. Seems like an old man since he’s been on our radar for about a decade, but he’s just 27 years old. Will be a handful on the left.

GK Jon Busch — The Sounders haven’t fared well against any goalkeeper this season and Busch might be the best of ’em all. A former Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008, he already has six saves this season. If he comes up big on a couple early chances by Seattle, the away side might get discouraged.


Steve Zakuani vs. Chris Leitch — With Fredy Montero likely out of this one, Zakuani becomes the focal point on offense. He might play as a withdrawn forward, but even if he’s wide left, expect him to come inside and get involved in the play. Either way, he should get the better of the 32-year-old right back.

Wondolowski vs. Jeff Parke — I assume Patrick Ianni is in line for another start, but it could be Jhon Kennedy Hurtado as well. Regardless of the partner, Parke is the constant in the back and a large portion of the Wondo duties will fall on his shoulders. He could begin to make a case for an all-star berth with a big night.

Schmid’s lineup selection vs. performance — For the most part, Sounders FC has looked very good in the run of play. But Montero’s likely absence is a big hole to fill. Finding the right replacement — I’m guessing it’s either Mauro Rosales or Nate Jaqua — will be paramount to getting a result. We’ll see…


Even a below-average MLS team has to win eventually, right? Even a team that’s out-shot and outplayed gets lucky sometimes by the law of averages, right? Unless, of course, the Sounders are cursed.

Having said that, I don’t think this is the breakout game for Seattle. The defense has allowed a goal in every game and is facing perhaps the league’s top goal-scorer on his own pitch. Losing Montero is also a big deal, as he’s been the go-to guy in this attack for three years.

I see this up-and-down game playing evenly. Should be entertaining with chances galore. I’m seeing another goal and another point. The elusive first win will have to wait another week.

Sounders FC 1, San Jose Earthquakes 1

38′ — O’Brian White (Erik Friberg)

65 — Ryan Johnson (Bobby Convey)

* * *

Your turn. What’s your prediction for Saturday night?


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