San Jose head coach Mark Watson kept the same starting XI as that which took the field four days earlier at Stanford Stadium, where a crowd of 50,006 watched the Galaxy prevail, 1-0, and got the same result. Watson did push Khari Stephenson from midfield to forward as a partner for Steven Lenhart, and also brought on striker Alan Gordon as a sub, but the attack lacking Chris Wondolowski couldn’t produce a goal.
Wondo will be back in the lineup Friday and perhaps he can lift San Jose out of its mire; no goals in 315 minutes. The anemic attack explains why a team that has conceded only six goals in the past eight games has lost four of them.
By now D.C. (8-5-4, 28 points) has erased most memories of the dismal doormat it was last year when it won three games, and it heads toward the midpoint of the season in first place. Only Seattle, at 2.05 points per game, is doing better than United at 1.65. With regular playing time, midfielder Luis Silva is flourishing; in a fourth consecutive start last weekend, he earned his first assist of the season in a 2-1 defeat of Toronto FC. He’s also scored a hat trick during the string of starts.
RANCOROUS RENEWAL. The LA Galaxy (5-3-6, 21 pts.) and Real Salt Lake (7-3-7, 28 pts.) wind up their season series at a relatively early juncture Saturday (10:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick) at StubHub Center and considering they also played twice within four days last November during the playoffs, some testiness wouldn’t be a surprise.
The Galaxy blew a 1-0 lead by surrendering two goals in three minutes to Portland last weekend before rallying to tie, 2-2, with an own goal. RSL got back on track by beating New England, 2-1, but both goals came off penalty kicks and it is still struggling to regain the early-season form that included a 1-1 tie and 1-0 victory against the Galaxy in March. The defeat of the Revs snapped a five-game winless streak and marked the return of Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman.
SEA OF GREEN AT C-LINK. Sounders officials are hoping that a viewing party for the World Cup final that precedes a Cascadia Cup clash with Portland Sunday (live at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2) will yield a full-capacity sellout of about 67,000.
The teams have already played this week in the U.S. Open Cup, with the Sounders winning, 3-1, in extra time after Portland’s Darlington Nagbe hit an equalizer in stoppage time to match a strike by Osvaldo Alonso. Timbers midfielder Diego Chara was sent off in the first period of extra time and after the teams changed ends Kenny Cooper and Marco Pappa scored for Seattle, which sent out DeAndre Yedlin to start and play 90 minutes in his first post-World Cup appearance
As in the case of RSL and the Galaxy, these rivals met in last year’s playoffs, though this is their second regular-season meeting. In the first encounter on April 5, the Timbers blew a two-goal during an amazing game that ended, 4-4. Perhaps that portended what was to follow; the Timbers, who played 15 draws last year, have tied one-half of their games this season (4-5-9).
Seattle (11-4-2) lost last weekend, 1-0, to Vancouver yet still the Sounders have won four of the last six games. Injuries, fatigue and suspensions deprived them of five starters against the Whitecaps; they should be at or near full strength against Portland as they attempt to win a regular-season game against a Northwest rival for the first time this year.MLS WEEK 18, Schedule: