Last year, Seattle and San Jose split their league series 1-1-1. It took the 2014 MLS Goal of the Year and what forward Obafemi Martins called one of the best goals of his career to earn the Sounders’ only outright win over the Earthquakes.

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On paper, the San Jose Earthquakes should pose even less of a threat to Seattle’s goal on Saturday than New England did last weekend, when the Revolution were shut out 3-0 by the Sounders in their MLS season opener.

The Earthquakes scored just 35 goals in 34 league games last season, second-worst in MLS to Chivas USA. San Jose opened 2015 with another blanking in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, managing just two shots on target in 90 minutes against FC Dallas.

Yet to focus purely on the numbers is to ignore the first wild card, veteran forward Chris Wondolowski.

Saturday’s game

Who: San Jose at Seattle.

When: 7 p.m.

Where: CenturyLink Field.

TV: Ch. 13.

Radio: KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, ESPN Deportes 1490 AM.

Traffic advisory: Westbound drivers should use Interstate 90 or another route around Lake Washington. SR 520 westbound will be closed between 92nd Ave. N.E. and Montlake Blvd.

“Wondo is so good in the box,” Sounders defender Brad Evans said this week. “His movement is really unlike any other forward, in the way that he moves and in the way that he finds goals.”

To casual U.S. soccer fans, Wondolowski is the guy who missed the chance to send the United States into the World Cup quarterfinals late in stoppage time against Belgium.

In MLS circles, though, Wondolowski’s reputation is the opposite: He’s the ultimate goal-poacher, the forward who will make you pay for any lapse in concentration, the type of opportunistic goal-scorer who can give a work-in-progress defense such as Seattle’s fits.

“He’s more of a thinker in the way that he goes about his game,” said Evans, who made the first start at center back last weekend since moving to that position. “If you look away once, Wondo’s gone.”

On paper, Saturday night’s match at CenturyLink Field between the teams that finished first and last in the Western Conference last season should be straightforward. Yet recent history suggests otherwise.

Last year, Seattle and San Jose split their league series 1-1-1. It took the 2014 MLS Goal of the Year and what forward Obafemi Martins called one of the best goals of his career to earn the Sounders’ only outright win over the Earthquakes. Martins’ no-look, far-post chip that looped over goalkeeper Jon Busch’s head and just under the bar was the game’s only tally in May at CenturyLink.

Factor in Open Cup play, and the teams scored four goals apiece in four meetings last year, with the Sounders winning the Cup matchup on penalties.

“It’s really strange,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “When I was coaching in Columbus, every time we played San Jose, we had good results. … For some reason, here, San Jose has always been a tough opponent for us.”

Part of that just comes down to matchups.

The Earthquakes fit the rough outline of the teams that can give the Sounders trouble: They can be tough to break down defensively, clog the middle and are unafraid to get physical with opposing attackers.

San Jose has a new coach — Dom Kinnear replaces Mark Watson — and a new home in Ayava Stadium. It turned over a significant chunk of its roster from last season.

But the team’s ethos remains fairly untouched.

“We expect the same,” Seattle midfielder Gonzalo Pineda said. “Last year, it was hard for us to break them. We expect a similar game.”

Expect Saturday’s match to be gritty — at least for the first 45 minutes or so — and highly competitive. Expect San Jose to stay disciplined defensively and for Seattle to see the majority of the ball.

Just don’t expect it to be as simple as it looks at first glance.