Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Avaya Stadium – Saturday, October 3 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST – Sunday, October 4)
Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 11/5
San Jose are in desperate need of victory as they’re vying for a top six finish in order to clinch a playoff spot and are currently in seventh position, one point behind the Portland Timbers who are sixth.
The Earthquakes secured a narrow, yet crucial 1-0 victory in midweek over Real Salt Lake which put an end to a four-game winless streak and leaves them with a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS record: P31 – W12 – D7 – L12Embed from Getty Images
Dominic Kinnear’s men have enjoyed a distinctively better campaign in 2015 compared to last year, so they would be delighted if they could force their way into competing for the MLS Cup in the post-season.
Vancouver come into this with hopes of winning the Supporters’ Shield title as they’re currently just two points behind current leaders LA Galaxy with the benefit of a game in hand.
However, the immediate target will be to secure a playoff spot and a win for the Whitecaps would see them achieve that objective for the second year running.Embed from Getty Images
Carl Robinson’s side arrive in San Jose off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to New York City making it their second successive defeat and fourth loss in six games.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ MLS record: P30 – W15 – D3 – L12
This is the third meeting between these two sides this season, with Vancouver coming out on top as 3-1 winners in July and San Jose winning 1-0 back in April, which was only the Earthquakes’ second victory over the Whitecaps in 13 attempts (D5, L6).
San Jose Earthquakes have a long list of absentees with Jordan Stewart (achilles), Paulo Renato (leg), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (foot), Khari Stephenson (leg), Innocent Emeghara (knee) and Steven Lenhart (knee) all out with injuries. Meanwhile, Marc Pelosi and Matias Perez Garcia will both miss the game through suspension.Embed from Getty Images
Vancouver Whitecaps will be without injured midfielders Ben McKendry (knee) and Nicolas Mezquida (hamstring).
San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: L/D/D/L/W
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/L/W/L/L
Key Stat: Vancouver Whitecaps have the best away record in MLS this season (P15, W7, D2, L6).
Key Player: David Ousted – The Vancouver goalkeeper has played a crucial role in a side with the joint best defensive record in MLS this season with 11 clean sheets to his name. The stability of having Ousted in goal could help the Whitecaps edge another win.Embed from Getty Images
San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – Vancouver will be desperate to secure a playoff spot and will also be looking to stake a serious claim to win the Supporters’ Shield, so victory here is vital.