For the first time this season, the Seattle Sounders are forced to deal with defeat.
The Sounders look to rebound Wednesday night when they try to continue their recent strong head-to-head form against a visiting San Jose Earthquakes club that has played well of late.
Seattle (5-1-1) looked strong in just about every game it played in 2019 until being brought back down to earth with a 4-1 loss at the hands of host Los Angeles FC on Sunday. The Sounders trailed 2-0 by the time Harry Shipp provided the visitors with their lone tally of the match in the 51st minute against the MLS leaders.
This could be considered somewhat of a wake-up call for Seattle, which had conceded just five goals in the first six games of the season. The Sounders will get another crack at LAFC this weekend at home, but first have the Earthquakes sandwiched between.
"I don't think we played up to our normal standards," coach Brian Schmetzer told the Sounders' official website after the loss. "We've got San Jose, that's what we're looking towards ... San Jose has put together some good performances. So, if we even think about looking past San Jose, that would be a mistake."
Schmetzer could be right.
San Jose (2-5-0) has won two of three after opening the season with four consecutive defeats. However, the Earthquakes are trying to avoid beginning a season with three straight road losses for the first time since 2009 and are 0-4-3 overall against the Sounders since a 2-0 victory at Seattle on June 20, 2015 - that slide includes three consecutive defeats in the series.
The Quakes, though, will look to build on an impressive 4-1 win over visiting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Danny Hoesen recorded a brace within the first 12 minutes of the match, and Magnus Eriksson added a goal with an assist in the second half for San Jose.
"(Saturday's victory) gives us confidence, but we (have to) build on it," defender Nick Lima told the Earthquakes' official website. "We continue to work things out communication-wise. That's a huge part of it. We get a little better for the next game."
One storyline that continues to linger in the San Jose camp is Chris Wondolowski's quest to match Landon Donovan's record of 145 MLS goals. The longtime San Jose star is one goal away from Donovan's tally, but does not have a score this season and came on as a substitute in the last two contests.
With the quick turnaround from the weekend's action, it's possible Wondolowski could feature in the starting XI for this match. He's recorded 11 goals in 22 regular-season games versus Seattle during his stellar MLS career.
Updated April 22, 2019