Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Seattle Sounders FC and the San Jose Earthquakes will attempt to rebound from a pair of poor defeats when the two sides meet at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.
The Sounders once appeared a lock to claim the MLS Supporters' Shield, but a run of three defeats in their last four outings - including a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at the weekend - has seen the club slip to second place in the West in favor of the Claret and Cobalt.
Seattle still has a chance to make 2014 a memorable campaign, a feat that head coach Sigi Schmid says his side is well-positioned to accomplished.
"For us, we have a chance to do a lot of special things this year and we have to recommit ourselves and rededicate ourselves to wanting to do that. I think we are a committed team and I think we are dedicated to those goals and we've got to realize that this can be a very special year," Schmid told Seattle's official website. "We're in an Open Cup final, we're in the hunt for the Supporters' Shield and certainly the playoffs then loom at the end of the season. We can make this a very memorable season but that's in our hands. It's a matter of us now grabbing (hold) of that. But I'm confident the team is ready to grab (hold) of that."
The Sounders surrendered a two-goal lead to Salt Lake only to pull one back and push for an equalizer for the remainder of the contest.
Ever the optimist, Schmid chose to focus on the 7-1 edge in shots that the Sounders enjoyed over the final 20 minutes of the game.
"We showed some of that spirit and resolve that we've had throughout this whole season. We just have to continue to do it. They were highly motivated and played a good game," Schmid continued. "We've run into a couple of teams that have played their best or close to their best games against us. If it takes somebody's best game to beat us, they're not always going to be able to bring that best game. It's just a matter of us getting ready now for the task at hand this week."
Seattle will welcome striker Obafemi Martins back to the fold. The Nigerian was omitted from the club's clash with RSL due to a red card suspension, but his potential return on Wednesday is a worrying proposition for a San Jose side that shipped five goals against FC Dallas at the weekend.
The 'Quakes were thrashed on home soil behind a hat trick from Tesho Akindele and a brace from Fabian Castillo.
It was a disconcerting result for a club that entered the match on a three- game unbeaten run, but with San Jose entering Wednesday's match at the foot of the Western Conference table with 24 points, a win in Seattle is a must if Mark Watson's men hope to make a dent in the playoff race.