The Seattle Sounders are visiting the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday (7:30 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM) in their third and final meeting of the regular season. Here are three matchups to watch:
Will Bruin vs. Nathan
Fresh off starting alongside Raúl Ruidíaz in a return to a two-forward lineup, Bruin rewarded Head Coach Brian Schmetzer with his second goal of the season and the match-winner in a crucial 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City last weekend. Bruin will go head-to-head with big Brazilian center back Nathan, who the ‘Quakes signed this summer from FC Zurich. He’s started 13 matches so far and has shored up a San Jose defense alongside running mate Oswaldo Alanís.
Cristian Roldan vs. Judson
Roldan has scored twice in as many matches entering Wednesday, each on a brilliant one-timed finish off a late run into the box. His work ethic in the final third is incredibly difficult for defensive midfielders to match, and the Brazilian Judson will have a hard time staying with the United States international. If Roldan is able to find pockets of space and drag defenders out of space, the Sounders will have a great shot to leave San Jose with their second straight road win.
Sounders defense vs. Eduardo “Chofis” López
In the Earthquakes’ last three matches, Chofis has lined up as a left winger, a right winger and an attacking No. 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He scored six goals and added an assist in those three matches and enters as the most in-form player in MLS. He will be priority No. 1 for this Sounders team defensively, no matter where he lines up. For context: he has 11 goals on the season. The second-highest goalscorer for San Jose has just four. The Sounders need to do what San Jose’s last three opponents couldn’t do and keep Chofis off the score sheet if they want to leave California with three points.