Sounders, 'Quakes lock horns at Buck Shaw

A pair of heated Western Conference rivals will clash on Saturday as the San Jose Earthquakes welcome the Seattle Sounders to Buck Shaw Stadium.

San Jose enters Saturday's tilt struggling, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference on 21 points and riding a two-match losing streak.

Last time out, a depleted San Jose team which was missing several key players due to international duty and injuries fell to the New England Revolution by a 2-0 score at Gillette Stadium.

New England opened the scoring last Saturday in the 13th minute as Saer Sene started the sequence with a shot that 'Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was able to punch away. But the ball found its way back to Sene, who wheeled and fired a rocket on the turn that found the top-right corner of the net.

The opening goal seemed to stun the Earthquakes and they struggled to generate many quality scoring chances as the Revs added a second goal 12 minutes from time to put the result to bed.

Lee Nguyen sent a low cross into the six-yard box that second-half substitute Dimitry Imbongo was able to slide in front of after beating the San Jose backline, turning the ball into the goal.

The setback marked the first time San Jose has lost consecutive games since interim head coach Mark Watson took charge.

"With all the issues we've been dealing with, we've played seven of the last nine games on the road, I believe, it's been a tough stretch," said Watson. "We'll dust ourselves off. We'll fly back tomorrow and get everyone rested and healthy or as healthy as we can."

Seattle, meanwhile, is coming off a loss as well, having fallen by a 2-0 score to the surging Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.

Vancouver needed just four minutes to open the scoring as Kenny Miller received a long ball over the top from Corey Hertzog before cutting back on his right foot just inside the box and placing the ball in the bottom right corner of the net.

The Whitecaps then grabbed the all-important second goal 11 minutes from time when substitute Darren Mattocks latched onto a Gershon Koffie headed pass to break through on goal and finish with a well-struck left-footed effort.

The Sounders have been shut out two consecutive matches on the road and for the third time in their last four away from home.

"I thought we had some good combination play up front, I thought we put ourselves in some very dangerous spots. The quality of our crossing still needs to be better, I think there were some good situations we put ourselves in and that's something we've got to get back to as well," said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid.

"We couldn't have created any more chances, we had the chances we just didn't finish them so bottom line is finish your chances but also keep it tight in the defense," Seattle midfielder Brad Evans. "If you look at our chances, it's the most we've created all season, we had a game plan and I thought we stuck to it well."

In 12 all-time meetings between the clubs, San Jose holds a slim 6-5-1 margin and the sides have split two meetings this season, with Seattle posting a comfortable 4-0 win in the last meeting on May 11.