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Supporters Shield/playoffs on line as Sounders prepare for Saturday match with league-leaders

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Sep. 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm with No Comments »
September 21, 2012 4:04 pm

A few notes and quotes from the Sounders’ final training session before their 7:30 Saturday home match against the MLS-leading San Jose Earthquakes.

The game matches the No. 1 and 2 teams in the MLS Western Conference, and with five games after this one, here is some of what’s at stake:

“I think for us to make any run at Supporters Shield we need to win this game on Saturday,” Schmid said. “More than anything, it’s a good measuring stick for us; a measuring stick for them as well. It should be a great game for the fans and for the league.”

A win or draw clinches a playoff spot for Seattle.

Personnel issues could make things a little tougher for the Sounders. Leading scorer Eddie Johnson will be out due to yellow-card accumulation. Sammy Ochoa is expected to start in his place.

Christian Tiffert apparently is ready to return to the pitch, however the status of David Estrada was less clear, and Mauro Rosales seems unlikely.

Even at that, goalkeeper Michael Gspurning sounded mighty confident heading into this match against the league’s highest scoring team.

“It’s a big game tomorrow,” he said. “But I am not worried about San Jose at all. Not about tomorrow and not about the playoffs. OK, they are a good team, and they use the momentum of their season, but we have quality and we have proved this in MLS, we have proved this in the Open Cup, and we have proved this in the Champions League. Of course, tomorrow is a six-point game, but we are all looking forward and we are all excited because it’s getting close to the playoffs, and we want to succeed this year in the playoffs.”

The Sounders and Quakes will meet in an MLS Reserve League match at 2 p.m. Sunday at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Schmid said the club hasn’t decided if newly acquired goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann will appear in that game.

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