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Lowly Earthquakes host Sounders
It won't help their awful 2018 MLS season, but the San Jose Earthquakes finally recorded a shutout.
The Earthquakes, who host the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, played Manchester United to a 0-0 exhibition match draw on Sunday, the Quakes' first shutout in 10 months.
San Jose (2-11-6) is winless since beating Minnesota United on May 12 and sits in 12th place in the Western Conference with a league-worst 12 points.
The friendly, which saw United playing without many of its stars, featured the 'Quakes debut of Guram Kashia, who arrived from the Netherlands during the summer transfer window.
"He coached from behind," midfielder Florian Jungwirth said of the Georgian, according to the (San Jose) Mercury News. "That went very well. You're not captain for Vitesse Arnhem for nothing."
Kashia is expected to give a boost to the Earthquakes' young talent, including his Georgian national teammate Valeri Qazaishvili.
"I understand the club needs more stability, especially with defensive football," Kashia said.
"This team cannot be in last place because we have the talent to have at least 20 or 15 points more to be in the middle of the league."
Tenth-place Seattle (5-9-5) is unbeaten in its past four matches, but it's running out of time.
The Sounders trail sixth-place Real Salt Lake by 10 points with 15 games remaining on their 2018 schedule.
On Saturday, Seattle got two goals from Nicolas Lodeiro and beat the rival Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0.
"The team feels happy because we won, we played well, we finished things," Lodeiro said, according to the Seattle Times. "We won in front of our fans, and that's a good thing for us. We need the confidence."
The 61st-minute appearance of new striker Raul Ruidiaz should serve to boost the team's confidence as it attempts to continue its midseason turnaround.
"I knew there was going to be a lot of people coming to this game. It filled me with motivation," Ruidiaz said.
The Sounders have their work cut out for them if they want to climb into postseason contention. For San Jose coach Brian Schmetzer, his team's current 2-0-2 stretch is a decent start.
"Every point that we can collect is vital for us to make the playoffs," Schmetzer said. "(The unbeaten streak) gives the guys more belief that they can persevere over what has been a challenging season.
"I mean, it hasn't been easy so far."
Updated July 23, 2018