by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The San Jose Earthquakes (v.3.0) fly up to the Evergreen to face our Sounders FC in the final match of the league schedule. You heard me correctly, it’s a Sunday matinee between former rivals of the original NASL. Chris Wondolowski’s Metallo against Stefan Frei’s Superman (Hopefully wearing that killer lead-lined suit). Feel free to insert your own metaphors to describe this clash of old rivals from the way-before-time.
As it often does in MLS, qualification and seeding placement for the League Cup doesn’t get resolved until the last league match of the season. MLS is a fun league like that. FCF, ECS and its subgroups are a pretty resilient lot though, so no worries.
Supporting the Sounders, as always, is vital. As red-letter days go, this fixture is a massive one. So we gather the Green Family where we may. At the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. We will concentrate our voices and focus the energies of the skies, the waters, the mountains and the forests, pouring the life of this region into our Boys in Green and then let the lads settle things on the pitch, as is right and proper.
Join me before kick-off this afternoon in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
The Sounders are on song form-wise and have won their last four matches in a row, and are 13-0-2 in our previous 15. This is where we want to be entering the MLS Cup tournament, sharp and relentless.
The Quakes sit in 23rd position at the bottom of the MLS table. The Sounders currently reside in 6th position. Although the teams are both comparable in terms of goal scoring, the Sounders boast the second-best defence in the league.
The Bad News
The only bad news I can think of is that Brad Smith is unlikely to be fit for selection today. Also, the fact that the Sounders, despite their unparalleled second half of the season, could find their final position anywhere between 2nd and 5th place in the conference table.
For San Jose to defeat the Sounders would require some combination of absolute failures throughout the Seattle side and/or the Sounders underestimating San Jose and not selecting a strong enough team to secure the victory. Although these outcomes are possible, based on all available metrics, I believe them to be unlikely.
The Awesome Scenario
The Sounders win. Dallas draws or loses at Colorado. Sporting KC beats or draws LAFC. Sounders avoid the play-in round of MLS Cup and rest in 2nd Place in the conference table.
The Likely Scenario
The Sounders win. LAFC defeat Sporting. Dallas defeats Colorado. Sounders host an MLS Cup play-in match.
The Grim Scenario
Seattle draws or loses. Treecutters defeat the ‘Caps. Dallas defeats Colorado. LAFC defeat Sporting. Sounders face an away MLS Cup play-in match.
The Side I Would Select
LB Nouhou Tolo
RW C. Roldan
The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
LB Nouhou Tolo
RW C. Roldan
San Jose have nothing to play for except pride. If their new manager is any indication, the Quakes will come out hard and edgy.
The Sounders need to win to have any chance at avoiding the one-match play-in round of MLS Cup. To avoid the play-in, the Sounders would have to win combined with Dallas losing or drawing at Colorado, and Sporting KC defeating or drawing LAFC. The Sounders need only a point to guarantee hosting a play-in match.
General notes on personnel
Despite being listed as injured by mlssoccer.com, the Gaffer led me to believe in a video interview that Torres and Shipp may be available for today’s match.
I have no idea who will line up for the Quakes. Will new Manager Almeyda elect to play his most experienced lineup, or trot out a younger team to see what his club has in the cupboard?
Comparison against common opponents
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA/ SJ 3:2 MIN – MIN 1:3 SJ
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / SKC 3:2 SJ – SJ 1:5 SKC
SEA 3:1 NYC / SJ 1:2 NYC
SEA 0:1 PHI / PHI 1:1 SJ
SEA 4:1 HOU – HOU 2:3 SEA / SJ 2:2 HOU – HOU 3:2
ORL 1:2 SEA / SJ 3:2 ORL
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 2:1 SJ
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / SJ 0:1 POR – POR 2:1 SJ
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / VAN 2:2 SJ – SJ 2:3 VAN
SEA 3:1 DC / SJ 1:3 DC
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / LAG 1:0 SJ – SJ 3:3 LAG
SEA 1:1 CHI / CHI 2:1 SJ
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / SJ 3:4 LAFC – LAFC 2:0
NE 0:0 SEA / SJ 2:2 NE
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / RSL 1:1 SJ – SJ 0:0 RSL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 2:0 SJ
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 1:3 SJ – SJ 4:3 DAL
COL 1:2 SEA – SEA 4:0 COL / COL 2:1 SJ – SJ 0:0 COL
TOR 1:2 SEA / SJ 1:1 TOR
ATL 1:1 SEA / SJ 3:4 ATL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / SJ 1:3 NYRB
Know Thine Enemy
(San Jose as they lined up against Colorado at Coleman Avenue on 21 October)
JT Marcinkowski, 21, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and Georgetown (NCAA). Marcinkowski began his career in 2016 with Burlingame Dragons (PDL). Marcinkowski signed a Homegrown Player contract with San Jose in 2017 and has since played four times with the club. All four matches were during the 2018 season. During his loan to Reno 1868, the Quakes’ USL affiliate, Marcinkowski has played 24 matches, all during the 2018 season.
Shea Salinas, 32, is a domestic footballer produced by Furman (NCAA). Turning professional in 2005, Salinas began his football apprenticeship in the PDL playing 27 matches over three years for DFW Tornados and Carolina Dynamo, scoring 10 goals in the process. 2008 would see Salinas selected by San Jose in the MLS SuperDraft. Salinas signed with the Quakes in 2008 and played 46 matches over two seasons scoring two goals. 2010 saw Salinas move to Philadelphia where he played 17 matches scoring one goal in his single season at Chester. In 2011, Salinas moved to Vancouver where he played 26 matches scoring one goal in his only season at BC Place. In 2012 Salinas was swapped to San Jose for allocation money. Since his return to the South Bay, Salinas has played 194 times in the league scoring nine goals with 38 assists over seven seasons. Salinas’ total numbers for the Earthquakes are as follows: 240 appearances scoring 11 goals over nine seasons. Salinas’ MLS totals are 283 appearances scoring 13 goals with 46 assists over 11 seasons. You don’t continue to get regular, professional, first-team football for 11 years without having some level of quality and consistency to your game. Though listed as a midfielder, Salinas can also play as a full-back.
Francois Affolter, 27, is a Swiss international produced by Etoile Biel, Biel-Bienne, and Young Boys. Beginning his pro journey in 2008, Affolter would play 100 times for Young Boys scoring two goals. A loan to Werder Bremen saw Affolter play in 13 matches. A 2014 move to Luzern opened a new chapter for Affolter seeing him play 101 times scoring four goals during his three-year tenure with the club. Affolter signed with San Jose on a free transfer in 2017. Since his move to the South Bay, Affolter has played 14 times for the Quakes. Affolter has five caps for Switzerland.
Jimmy Ockford, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by Mount St. Mary’s and Louisville (NCAA). Following a two-year apprenticeship in the PDL and USL with Central Jersey and Reading that began in 2012, Ockford was drafted by the Seattle Sounders FC in 2014. During his time in the Evergreen, Ockford played only one time in the Sounders’ first-team though he played for the New York Cosmos of the NASL (28 matches/2 goals) and the Sounders reserves (13/1) on loan. Ockford would move to Reno 1868 of the USL in 2017 playing 31 times and scoring four goals. In 2018, Ockford was signed by San Jose where he has since played 15 matches, interrupted only by a two-match loan to Reno.
Nick Lima, 23, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and California (NCAA). After a brief apprenticeship at Burlingame (PDL), Lima signed with San Jose on a Homegrown Player contract in 2017. Since his signing, Lima has appeared in 55 matches scoring four goals over two seasons.
Jackson Yueill, 21, is a domestic footballer produced by Minnesota Thunder and UCLA (NCAA). After his studies at UCLA, Yueill signed a Generation Adidas contract with MLS in 2016. Yueill was a 6th overall selection for San Jose in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Yueill would sign with San Jose in 2017 and has played 33 matches over two seasons with the club.
Anibal Godoy, 28, Is a veteran Panamanian international (89 caps, 1 goal) produced by Arsenal di Sarandi and Chepo (113 matches/10 goals). From 2013-2015, Godoy played at Honved in Hungary playing 24 times scoring one goal. In 2015, Godoy signed with San Jose and has since played 85 times for the Quakes scoring five goals with five assists over four seasons.
Tommy Thompson, 23, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and Indiana (NCAA). Thompson signed a Homegrown Player contract with San Jose in 2014. Since joining the Quakes, Thompson has played 92 matches scoring one goal. During his contract, he has been on loan at Sacramento Republic (19 matches/4 goals) and Reno 1868 (2/0).
Eric Calvillo, 20, is a domestic footballer produced by Real So Cal. Calvillo’s professional career began in 2016 with the New York Cosmos where he played 19 times scoring four goals. In 2018 Thompson signed with San Jose and has since played two matches.
Danny Hoesen, 27, is a Dutch national produced by SV Eikenderveld, Groene Ster, and Fortuna Sittard. His career highlights include playing at Ajax (32 matches/7 goals) from 2012-2014 and Groningen (57/11) from 2014-2017. Lent to San Jose in February 2017, the move would be made permanent in December of that year. Hoesen’s league totals at San Jose are 65 matches and 17 goals with nine assists over two seasons.
Chris Wondolowski, 35, is a veteran domestic footballer produced by De La Salle High School, Diablo Valley Soccer Club, and Chico State (NCAA II). Despite being a 41st overall selection in the MLS Supplemental Draft, Wondolowski has exceeded all expectations in becoming one of MLS’ elite goal-scorers. Signing with the Quakes in 2005 he would make only two first-team appearances with no goals scored. A move to Houston Dynamo the following year saw Wondolowski play 37 matches scoring four goals over four seasons. A return to San Jose in 2009 saw Wondolowski truly hit his stride as a professional playing 287 times for the Quakes scoring 140 goals with 37 assists. Wondolowski’s MLS career totals are 326 matches scoring 144 goals with 39 assists. Wondolowski’s rise to prominence as an attacking player earned him the attention of the United States National Team seeing Wondolowski earn 35 caps scoring 11 goals for the Yanks since his debut in 2011. No MLS player has scored more goals against Seattle than Chris Wondolowski. Wondo has scored 11 goals against the Sounders in the league since the two sides began playing each other in the MLS-era (2009). Wondo is Seattle’s kryptonite.
A 2014 2nd round MLS SuperDraft pick for the Sounders FC, defender Jimmy Ockford signed with San Jose in 2018. In Ockford’s three years at Seattle, he played only once in the first team in the league. Ockford played 13 times for Sounders FC reserves (S2) scoring one goal in 2015.
San Jose goalkeeper, Matt Bersano played twice for Sounders FC reserves in 2016. He currently plays with San Jose’s reserve team, Reno 1868.
San Jose midfielder, Chris Wehan played eight matches scoring one goal for Sounders FC U-23s in 2014.
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Ruidiaz.
San Jose from: Tarbell, Bersano, Marcinkowski, Affolter, Cummings, Kashia, Lima, Marie, Ockford, Quintana, Qwiberg, Calvillo, Eriksson, Felipe, Fuentes, Godoy, Jungwirth,“Vako” Qazaishvili, Salinas, Thompson, Wehan, Yueill, Hoesen, Musovski, Oduro, Thiaw, Wondolowski.
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)
Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (knee).
San Jose –
OUT: Partida (ACL), Hyka (multiple facial fractures), Akanyirige (head).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)
Sounders FC: none suspended. Alonso and Delem out next booking.
San Jose: none suspended. Felipe out next booking.
Sounders reserve player, Sam Rogers has been named to Tab Ramos’ roster for the United States U-20 CONCACAF Championship. Well done, lad! Do us proud.