The Seattle Sounders face off against the San Jose Earthquakes in Group B’s opening match at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, July 10. Here is everything you need to know, presented by Premera Blue Cross.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. PT at the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. Originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT, MLS announced Tuesday a Tournament Schedule Update.
WHERE TO WATCH: The match will be televised on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and TSN.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The match will air on 950 KJR AM.
2019 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders: 16-10-8 (56 points, 2nd West), Earthquakes: 13-16-5 (44 points, 8th West)
2020 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders: 1-0-1 (4 points, 6th West), Earthquakes: 0-1-1 (1 point, 11th West)
FORM GUIDE (most recent first): Seattle: DW, San Jose: DL
ALL-TIME HISTORY: The Sounders are 11-10-6 all-time against San Jose.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Vying for seeding in a jam-packed Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders visited a desperate Earthquakes side in the penultimate match of the 2019 MLS regular season. Stefan Frei stood on his head all afternoon, producing 10 saves as he kept a dangerous San Jose attack at bay. Frei’s heroics in goal proved pivotal, as Jordan Morris pounced on an errant back pass in the 94th minute to steal all three points late. Seattle’s last-gasp victory in San Jose provided the foundation for 2019 MLS Cup title, as they finished the regular season with the No. 2 seed in the West – just three points ahead of Real Salt Lake – which saw them host three of their four playoff matches.
THE RAVE GREEN ARE BACK: Friday’s fixture marks the Rave Green’s first competitive match since a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field on March 7.
POINTS ON THE LINE: All three of Seattle’s group stage matches will count toward the 2020 regular season standings, with the league planning to announce a revised for team’s in home markets in the coming weeks.
RETURN OF THE KING: After missing the first four matches of the campaign through injury, Friday’s tilt with the Earthquakes could feature team captain Nicolás Lodeiro’s first appearance in Rave Green since lifting the 2019 MLS Cup at CenturyLink Field on November 10, 2019.
DOMINANCE: Seattle have enjoyed plenty of success against the Earthquakes in Recent years, posting a 5-0-4 record in their last nine outings. The Rave Green haven’t lost a regular season match against San Jose since June 20, 2015.
NEW FAMILIAR FACES: The Rave Green’s roster features some young reinforcements, with the club announcing three Homegrown signings in the past month. While they’re new to the First Team, the trio of Ethan Dobbelaere, Josh Atencio and Shandon Hopeau have a combined 16 years of service with Sounders Academy and the Tacoma Defiance.
SEAvSJ MEMORIES: There have been several iconic moments for Seattle in games against the Earthquakes over the years. Whether it’s Obafemi Martin’s ridiculous lobbed goal or Kasey Keller’s quadruple save, some of the most memorable plays in club history have come against San Jose. The match on Friday is an opportunity for the current squad to add to that rich history.
RED-HOT RUIDÍAZ: Raúl Ruidíaz is an assassin in tournaments, averaging a goal every 85.6 minutes across the last two MLS postseasons. From just six Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, the Peruvian scoring machine has posted seven goals and four assists.
NICO WATCH: Already the all-time club leader in regular season assists, Lodeiro could break the 50-assist barrier on Friday if he sets up at least two goals, a feat he’s accomplished on eight occasions since 2016.