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Scouting Report: Not falling into a trap

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Seattle will look to remain perfect at home and San Jose will look for their first points on the road.

Kayla Mehring/Sounder at Heart

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders return home for a two-game home stand. First up will be the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night. The Sounders will look to keep their perfect home record alive and bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

The Sounders currently sit in third place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 5-1-1 (16 points in seven games played; 2.29 ppg) and the Earthquakes sit in ninth place in the West with a record of 2-5-0 (six points in seven games played; 0.86 ppg). Last time out, San Jose defeated Sporting KC 4-1 and the Sounders lost 4-1 to LAFC.

This is will be 26th all-time MLS meeting between the two clubs. The Sounders are 10-10-5 with 30 goals scored and 27 conceded. At home, Seattle is 8-5-1 with 22 goals scored and 13 conceded. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is 3-0-2 against the Earthquakes since taking over in 2016.

A Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Leading Goal Scorer: Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz, three goals each

Assist Leader: Nicolás Lodeiro, four assists

San Jose

Leading Goal Scorer: Danny Hoesen, three goals

Assist Leader: Magnus Eriksson and Anibal Godoy, two each

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

San Jose

Out: Kevin Partida (torn ACL)

Questionable: Guram Kashia (lower leg injury)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Seattle

Out: Will Bruin (left hamstring strain)

Questionable: Raul Ruidiaz (right heel contusion) and Chad Marshall (knee injury)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

Referee: Fotis Bazakos

AR1: Chris Wattam

AR2: Jeff Hosking

4th: Marcos de Oliveira

VAR: Guido Gonzales, Jr.

AVAR: Jeremy Hanson

What to Watch

  • Chances are you still think of the San Jose Earthquakes as the team who lost their first four games by a combined score of 14-2 and looked well on their way to becoming one of the worst teams in league history. Well, they aren’t quite that anymore. Since then, they’ve gone 2-1-0, including a 4-1 win over Sporting KC on the weekend. It’s still a stretch to say they are anything like good, but they no longer look absolutely destined to join the ranks of infamous MLS teams. That said, they are riding a seven-game road losing streak that dates to last season.
  • If you know anything about the Quakes other than their general badness over the last few years, it’s probably that they hired Matias Almeyda from Big Chivas and that he brought his man-marking system with him. Essentially, his whole ethos is that he wants his players to focus on winning their individual battles and if they win enough of them, they’ll win some games. It worked well enough to carry Chivas to the Concacaf Champions League title last year, but they were also among the worst teams in Liga MX over the previous year. In other words, the jury is very much still out on how well his system works, especially when teams know what to expect.
  • San Jose’s turnaround seems to have been kickstarted by a host of lineup changes. Among them: Danny Hoesen replacing Chris Wondolowski at forward; Cristian Ramirez moving into the right midfield spot; Jackson Yueill joining the central midfield; Shea Salinas moving up from left back to left mid; and Florian Jungwirth taking over one of the starting centerback spots. It’s unclear how many of those changes we’ll continue to see in this game, as the Earthquakes are dealing with their own three-match week.
  • If there’s one thing the Quakes have done well this year, it’s clog passing lanes. They average a league-best 15.1 interceptions per contest and have managed to hold possession nearly 54 percent of the time while completing 83 percent of their passes. It’s tempting to chalk that up to game-states, but outside of the LAFC game, the Quakes have only allowed three first-half goals in their other six games.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 24 @ 7:30 PM PT

Location: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA

TV: JOEtv

Streaming: YouTube TV, ESPN+ (out of market, affiliate link)

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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