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Sounders to visit past/present/future rival Quakes

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Aug. 18, 2008 at 8:16 am with No Comments »
August 18, 2008 8:16 am

The Seattle Sounders have announced a friendly match Sept. 2 at San Jose against the MLS Earthquakes.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

The match comes in the middle of a 13-day break in their league schedule.

The opponent is a special one. The Sounders’ rivalry with the Quakes goes back to NASL days. And this is a preview of a rivalry that will be born again next season, as the Quakes will be the nearest MLS rivals for Sounders FC; their expansion big brothers, since they got a one-season head start in MLS; and they will represent the only MLS teams playing with their old NASL names. And, of course, both will compete in the MLS Western Division standings.

"We look forward to our friendly against the Earthquakes," Sounders general manager Bart Wiley in a press release. "The match falls in a great spot on our schedule and will give us yet another chance to test ourselves against an MLS side."

More from that release:

The Earthquakes are playing in their first season back in MLS after suspending play for two years at the end of the 2005 season. The Quakes are currently in last place in the western conference but have had some success in the last month going undefeated since July 5 and beating the LA Galaxy in their last match on Aug. 3.

The Sounders and Earthquakes have squared off six times with Seattle holding a 3-2-1 lead in the series. Two of the Sounders victories came via penalty kick shootouts after ties in regulation. All six previous games took place in Washington State. The last time the two sides squared off was on August 5, 2003 in the U.S. Open Cup when the Sounders defeated the Quakes 1-0. The previous year, on July 17, the Earthquakes defeated the Sounders 4-3 in overtime in the Open Cup with goals scored by Ronnie Ekelund (2), Dwayne De Rosario, and Ariel Graziani.

Four current Sounders players have ties to the Earthquakes. Roger Levesque spent three seasons with San Jose from 2003-05, while Leighton O’Brien played four matches in his career for San Jose. Kevin Sakuda was a 2002 Earthquakes draft pick, and Noah Merl was a 2005 Supplemental Draft pick. Merl also played in reserve games for the Quakes in 2005.

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