Your Seattle Sounders face the San Jose Earthquakes today in the first sporting event at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium. The non-sports narrative involves the Quakes’ front office price-gouging fans and the Emerald City Supporters’ boycott of the game. I applaud the ECS’s firm stand to not be a party to the further corporatization of American soccer.
The perspective from the pitch involves each team’s adaptability. It is that time of the year when teams need to evolve or die. The Sounders, surprisingly for a team that had such a lengthy layoff, have caught the injury bug. Brad Evans, Djimi Traore and even Dylan Remick are still working back to full fitness while Lamar Neagle and Chad Marshall are likely out. How coach Sigi Schmid can shuffle the lineup to maximum effect will be key for the Sounders’ success, especially after last week’s last-minute roster shuffle resulted in a blowout.
San Jose rarely blows out the opposition. They traditionally rely on with the long ball into the box where big-bodied forwards Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon outmuscle opponents or leave crafty striker Chris Wondolowski to poach the scraps. But the Quakes may be the bash brothers no more . In San Jose’s recent breakout game, the 5-1 victory over the Chicago Fire, coach Mark Watson abandoned the bash and paired speedy Yannick Djalo up top with Wondo to stunning effect. With the fresh signing of an attacking DP, midfielder Perez Garcia, the Sounders may be facing a new look San Jose.
Bold Prediction: San Jose seeks to impress in front of the large home crowd, but the Sounders play pissed. The cream rises to the top: Seattle 3-2.