After the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 1-1 tie with visiting Houston last Saturday, their lone tally coming on an own goal by the Dynamo, the team's website noted the Quakes had extended their unbeaten streak with a fourth consecutive MLS draw.
That was the glass-is-half-full analysis.
Looking at it another way, the Earthquakes (3-7-5, 14 points) are winless in 11 matches (0-6-5) entering Saturday afternoon's match at Western Conference-leading Seattle (9-2-5, 32 points).
"We made changes while retaining our style of play to try and get the three points," San Jose coach Matias Almeyda said. "We are missing that final pass, but the team has been improving quite a bit. I look at the individual part and I see that the level is rising. We have to keep working and try to be consistent in this game. We need to convert on the goal-scoring chances that we get."
One of the few Earthquakes who have accomplished that this season is 17-year-old Cade Cowell, who leads the team with four goals and is tied for first with four assists.
The Sounders are coming off a 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City last weekend that snapped their home unbeaten streak at 17 matches (13-0-4).
It was the third match in eight days for the Sounders -- including their first defeat of the season, 1-0 at Minnesota.
"The guys are mentally tired, you could see that in the game," said Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer, who gave his team two days off earlier this week. "We need to give them a little bit of a break. Is it a complete reset? Is it just a little rest? Do we just need to refocus? Do we just write it off as a bad performance? It's probably a combination of all of those things."
Raul Ruidiaz has scored a league-leading 11 goals this season for the Sounders, who are unbeaten in their past 14 matches with San Jose (8-0-6) dating to 2015.
--Field Level Media