TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders put in one of their worst performances of the year in Monday’s 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field.
But if previous data is any indication, they could be in for a bounce-back effort in Saturday’s away matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET, NBCSN, free stream on NBCSports.com, TSN2 in Canada).
Seattle haven't lost back-to-back games all year, posting a 3-0-1 mark following their previous four losses before the letdown against the Galaxy. After getting demolished 5-0 against the New England Revolution on May 11, the Sounders responded by going on a 4-0-1 run in which they outscored opponents 11-4.
“It’s encouraging, but you don’t want to have defeats like that,” said Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid of his team’s propensity for strong responses. “You’ve always got to be a tough team to beat every time you step on the field. You’ve got to have that mentality.”
On paper, the matchup against San Jose would seem to favor the Sounders, with the two clubs currently occupying opposite ends of the Western Conference standings.
Even with the loss against LA, the Sounders still co-lead the Supporters' Shield race, with 38 points and a 12-5-2 record. The Earthquakes, meanwhile, are 5-8-5 and have a conference-low 18 points overall. But San Jose have showcased improved play of late, including a 5-1 rout of the Chicago Fire on July 23.
After getting carved up by the high-octane Galaxy offense throughout the first half on Monday, Seattle hope to regain the services of Chad Marshall, who is working to return from a back injury sustained after getting rear-ended in a car accident prior to the game against LA.
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The loss of their star defender was damaging enough to Seattle, a problem that Schmid said could have been compounded by rustiness on the part of one of Dylan Remick, who was returning from an adductor injury.
“It certainly hurt us,” Schmid said. “Chad’s a big part of our defense. Dylan Remick hadn’t played in a long time, so it was a big game for him to back into. It made it a little bit harder.”
Schmid said Marshall is being evaluated day-to-day, and it’s still unclear if he will be in the lineup for the game Saturday.