31 July 2014 16:24
The Seattle Sounders will hope to put a torrid display against the Los Angeles Galaxy behind them when they face the San Jose Earthquakes.
Sigi Schmid’s men, leaders of the Western Conference, suffered their fifth league defeat of the season on Monday, losing 3-0 at home to the Galaxy.
The Sounders remain five points clear of Real Salt Lake at the summit, but Schmid is aware his side have to produce an immediate response against bottom side San Jose on Saturday.
“For us, situations like that have to be speed bumps and not detours,” he said.
“You always want to be a tough team to beat every time you step on the field. Sometimes the soccer is going to click or not click for one reason or another.
“But you still have to be a tough team to beat. We know that we didn’t play well and we’ll come out against San Jose ready to play on Saturday.”
Hoping for another Seattle slip-up will be Salt Lake, who visit the Colorado Rapids – the hosts occupying a play-off spot but coming into the match on the back of a 3-0 reverse at the hands of New England.
The Galaxy, who have won three of their last four matches, sit third and will move above Real Salt Lake – temporarily at least – if they claim maximum points at home to the Portland Timbers.
Chivas USA, second from bottom, host fifth-placed Dallas, while in the Eastern Conference the leading duo of Sporting Kansas City and DC United will be out to continue their dominance of the division.
Sporting have taken 19 points from their previous seven matches, having won all of their previous five games away from home, despite being reduced to 10 men in three of those.
Friday sees them return to Sporting Park to take on Philadelphia Union and coach Peter Vermes joked that perhaps they would be better off starting a man light.
“We’re actually going to start the next game down a man,” he said. “We’re just going to play a 4-4-1. That’s what we’re going to do, going forward.”
Matt Besler, sent off in the 2-1 win at Toronto last time out, is absent due to suspension, while Seth Sinovic is a doubt with a groin strain.
High-flying DC United, who are just a point behind Sporting, visit the Houston Dynamo in the hope of extending their four-match winning run.
One side looking to reverse a poor run of results are Montreal Impact, who have lost each of their past five games and sit bottom, but they face a tricky test when they host third-placed Toronto.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Fire welcome the Columbus Crew, and New England visit New York Red Bull.