Both teams will have to make adjustments, with a full one-sixth of the USA's 30-man squad drawn from their ranks and San Jose dealing with injuries and suspensions.
The Rave Green were taken out behind the woodshed and beaten 5-0 by the New England Revolution last week, bringing a screeching halt to their Supporters' Shield campaign. A win against the 'Quakes could make that look like a minor detour. U.S. men's national team trio Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and Brad Evans will be missing, but Seattle should have enough strength in depth to cover even those absences.
The goalscoring burden will probably need to be borne by Obafemi Martins, who is in good form but hasn't found the net in his last two games. More importantly, last week's woeful defensive display will need to be corrected without the team's starting right back or its defensive-minded captain.
For San Jose, the talk isn't about who's playing poorly, but of who's even playing at all. The Earthquakes are painfully depleted of some big players, with Shea Salinas and Victor Bernardez ruled out by suspension, Clarence Goodson and Chris Wondolowski on national team duty and a laundry list of injured or questionable players including forwards Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon. Second-year pro Adan Jahn was recalled from his loan to Sacramento to round out the numbers.
The NorCal side will take heart from its last performance, where a red to Shea Salinas saw the Earthquakes dig deep and hold out for a win against FC Dallas.
They will also look to last season's record, which saw them take two of three meetings against the Sounders, both 1-0. Seattle will be more inclined to recall the third result, which saw it smash four past the 'Quakes.