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Matchday Preview: Quakes vs. Sounders

Tinkering on the brink of missing the postseason yet again, the Quakes are back at Avaya looking for a win against a formidable conference rival.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

But it's more than a rivalry trophy that's on the line Saturday night for both clubs — only one point separates the two Heritage Cup rivals in the Western Conference standings as both clubs up their efforts to qualify for the postseason.

San Jose trail the defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers by three points for the sixth and final postseason spot in the West, Seattle finds themselves adrift of the Quakes by just a single point, tied with Vancouver for eighth in the conference.

The Sounders emerged victorious from the meeting between the two teams back in May, goals from Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris powered Seattle to a 2-0 clean sheet win. At the time, the win equated to the Sounders' fourth consecutive home win of the still-young season.

But little has gone right for Seattle since then.

The Sounders suffered a rather embarrassing 4-0 loss at the hands of the Timbers on Aug. 28, with all four goals coming before the halftime whistle. The loss snapped their five-game unbeaten streak.

Things haven't looked much brighter for San Jose during the same span — the Quakes suffered their most recent defeat on Aug. 27, being held scoreless in a 2-0 loss on the road at the hands and feet of the Columbus Crew. San Jose remains winless in six of their last seven matches, which includes a three-game winless streak on the previously immortal grounds of Avaya Stadium.

Seemingly looking for a change, and quick, San Jose recently dismissed general manager John Doyle in the wake of the underperformance.

Offense has served as the primary issue for San Jose — the squad have scored just five goals in seven matches and have been shutout in two straight. Chris Wondolowski, the undisputed offensive leader of the team, remains without a goal since July.

However, Wondolowski has developed quite the reputation over his career as serving as the kryptonite to the Seattle defense — his nine goals against the Sounders are tops amongst all active MLS players.