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By MATT BEARDMORE
(AP) -- Michael Gspurning deserves as much credit as anyone for the Seattle Sounders' best start in franchise history.
However, it's uncertain if the injured 6-foot-5 goalkeeper will be standing in the way of the Philadelphia Union's progress.
Rookie Brian Meredith could make his first career start Saturday when host Seattle tries to win four consecutive matches for the first time since 2010.
Signed by the Sounders in the offseason to replace the retired Kasey Keller, Gspurning is among the league's best with a 0.46 goals-against average. The Austrian has started all seven matches for Seattle (5-1-1), which has allowed three goals - tied with Eastern Conference-leading Kansas City for the fewest in MLS.
Gspurning, though, is questionable for Saturday after aggravating a sore right hip and being replaced by Meredith at halftime of Wednesday's 2-0 victory over Los Angeles. The 22-year-old Meredith made one save against the defending MLS Cup champions.
"It's invaluable," coach Sigi Schmid told MLS' official website of Meredith's debut. "His nerves are good, he's been with the team a long time. They are familiar with him."
Whoever is in net will try to help the Sounders extend their four-game point streak and win four straight for the first time since a team-record five-match winning streak Sept. 18-Oct. 15, 2010.
Seattle, also looking to equal the club's longest single-season home winning streak at three, has outscored opponents 8-2 while posting a 4-1-0 record at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders have won six of seven at home since a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia on Oct. 8.
Pulling off another win in the Pacific Northwest will be a tall order for the Union (2-4-1), who will be coached by assistant John Hackworth for a second straight game as Peter Nowak completes a two-game suspension.
"Certainly traveling all the way to Seattle playing in that environment on the surface against a very good team it's going to be a huge ask for us," Hackworth told the club's official website. "We're ready and we're kind of anxious to get out there again."
Philadelphia opens a stretch of three of four on the road following a 2-1 loss to San Jose last Saturday. Goalkeeper Zac MacMath had recorded three straight clean sheets, and the club's record shutout streak ended at 407 minutes.
MacMath will make his second start against the Sounders after making two saves in last season's victory in Seattle.
Sounders midfielder Fredy Montero missed that match due to yellow card accumulation, but he's ready to face the Union in this season's only meeting after scoring Wednesday for the first time in 10 matches.
"I was looking to score a goal from Day 1," Montero said. "This is soccer. You don't know exactly the reason, but finally I scored."
It's uncertain how much playing time will be given to Montero or Eddie Johnson, who has scored in each of the last two matches, as the Sounders continue a stretch of five matches in 15 days.
Union midfielder Keon Daniel is eligible to return Saturday from a one-game suspension, but defender Gabriel Farfan's three-match ban continues.
Updated May 4, 2012