It can be a surprising sport, of course, but it seems that goals will be tough to come by Saturday when the Sounders and Earthquakes meet in the first meeting of this season's Heritage Cup competition.
San Jose uses a pack-it-in defense and arrives without having allowed a goal in three straight games or in four of their last five.
A quick preview:
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-2-1; 13 pts.)AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS (3-3-3, 12 pts.)Noon Saturday, Qwest Field.TV: KONG 6/16 (and tape-delay to 3 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel).Radio: 97.3 FM (1210 AM in Spanish).Head-to-head: Seattle leads, 2-1, as both teams won their home matches last season. This season’s return meeting is July 31 at San Jose.Team leaders: For San Jose: G 4 Chris Wondolowski; A 5 Bobby Convey; S 20 Ryan Johnson; SOG 12 Johnson. For Seattle: G 3 Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani; A 3 Montero; S 25 Montero; SOG 9 Montero. Sigi Schmid scouting report: “Defensively they’ve been very compact and tight. … They get eight guys back – a lot of times nine guys back – behind the ball, so they make it difficult for you to break them down. So, defensively they’ve been very solid. They’ve kept themselves in games and they’ve come up with timely goals.”Notes: This is the first of two games for the Heritage Cup, which goes to the series winner between the only two MLS teams playing under their historic nicknames from the North American Soccer League. … San Jose has shut out its last three opponents and four of its last five. Veteran Joe Cannon was in goal for all four shutouts. He ranks fourth in MLS with a 1.0 goals-against average. Seattle’s Kasey Keller ranks 12th with a 1.29 GAA. … Quakes midfielder Joey Gjertsen is from Tacoma, and attended Wilson High School, TCC and Evergreen State College. However, he has a quad injury and is one of three Quakes listed as questionable, along with Eduardo (oblique) and Arturo Alvarez (hamstring). For the Sounders, Nate Jaqua, Michael Fucito and Peter Vagenas are out, while Osvaldo Alonso, Miguel Montano and Brad Evans are questionable. … Schmid hasn’t announced if Montero will return to the starting lineup after scoring the game-winner as a reserve last week at New York. … Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall has four yellow cards and will be suspended for one game if he is cautioned. … The referee will be Alex Prus. … Donations of non-perishable food will be accepted at the stadium as part of a Sounders/QFC/Food Lifeline drive.Next: International friendly vs. Boca Juniors, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Qwest Field.