The Seattle Sounders look to rebound from Monday night’s 3-0 defeat to the L.A. Galaxy during their visit to San Jose tonight, a match which doubles as the grand unveiling of Levi’s Stadium. Here are some key points to watch for.
Last time out: Sounders 1, Earthquakes 0 at CenturyLink Field on May 17 — Obafemi Martins submitted an early entry for Seattle’s goal of the year with an eighth-minute, far-post chip that held up as the match’s lone tally.
Battle to watch: New look ‘Quakes vs. old look ‘Quakes
San Jose began Wednesday night’s match against Chicago without a target forward for one of the first times all season and ended it with a resounding 5-1 victory.
It was a break from the physical style that helped the Earthquakes to the 2012 Supporter’s Shield but also from a disheartening run of form. San Jose limped into Wednesday riding a five-game winless streak and emerged from it in the Western Conference basement even after the win.
“They play differently,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “They try to connect a bit more. They’ve become a little less direct.”
Will the Earthquakes deviate from their midweek lineup and bring back a target man in Steven Lenhart or Alan Gordon? Do they keep play open or pull back and try to limit Seattle’s chances?
The answers should become clear early on.
Player to watch: San Jose winger Yannick Djalo
The Portuguese attacker was instrumental in the Chicago win, assisting on a pair of goals before adding one of his own.
He is equally vital in San Jose’s attempt to adjust its style, a player who has the potential to both link with the midfield and create chances on his own.
The question is whether Djalo can build on that breakout performance or whether he’ll revert to the form that saw him go nearly two months without a goal or assist.
How to watch: The match will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m.