In Pictures: Seattle Sounders leave it late to lock in Knockout Round bye for 2018 MLS Playoffs

The Seattle Sounders kept momentum going as they left it late to beat San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at CenturyLink Field on MLS Decision Day. A Raul Ruidiaz brace was enough to earn three more points, securing a Knockout Round bye in the Western Conference.

Seattle’s incredible end-of-season run has seen them lock in yet another playoff campaign. And they’ll head into their Western Conference semifinal in full confidence, given the way they stuck together to beat the Quakes on Sunday.

Chad Marshall’s own goal had dampened the mood around CenturyLink Field but Seattle stuck together and kept the pressure on San Jose’s goal. It paid off. Ruidiaz equalised in the 79th minute and then secured the win in dramatic style in the third minute of stoppage time.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes

Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, April 21 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

Orlando City host San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, looking to make it four wins in a row against a Quakes side desperately looking to snap their winless run of four.

The Lions started the season in worryingly bad form. They picked up just one point from two-straight home games to open the 2018 season, before losing away at NYCFC. However, since then they’ve picked up and have managed to put together three consecutive wins heading into Week 8.

Jason Kreis described last week’s 2-0 win at Philadelphia Union as Orlando’s “most complete game of the year” and he wasn’t wrong. They picked up their first clean sheet of the campaign and looked comfortable after racing to a two-goal lead before halftime. Sacha Kljestan was particularly impressive and will be looking to pull the strings again here.

San Jose have perhaps been unfortunate to have won just one of their opening five matches. The Quakes have scored in all five games but have been conceding far too many. They’ve shipped ten so far – an average of two per game – and must shore up at the back to have any chance of building some form.

San Jose come into Saturday’s game off the back of a 2-2 home draw with Houston Dynamo. The Quakes led early before throwing away the advantage and required an 85th-minute Jahmir Hyka strike to earn a point. They have enough fight in the team but defensive quality has been evidently lacking so far.

Neither of these sides have yet to register a win over each other in MLS. The three previous clashes have all ended level, with last season’s lone meeting ending 1-1 at Avaya Stadium after late goals from Carlos Rivas and then Chris Wondolowski.

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Scott Sutter (lower body), Jonathan Spector (concussion).

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), RJ Allen (hamstring)

San Jose Earthquakes

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Tommy Thompson (illness).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Stats

Orlando City’s MLS form: L/L/W/W/W

San Jose Earthquakes’s MLS form: W/L/L/D/D

Key stat: San Jose Earthquakes have not won away at an Eastern Conference side since August 2015 (2-0 at DC United).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Orlando City 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes: Orlando will win this game if they can build on last week’s performance at Philadelphia. They have shown defensive frailties of their own this term but they were solid last week and should make the most of home advantage to pick up a first victory over the Quakes. San Jose will expect to find the net once again, but their problems at the back will make it difficult for them to leave with any points come the end of Saturday’s contest.

Will there be a new all-time MLS leading goal scorer in the 2018 campaign?

The excitement is ramping up as the 2018 Major League Soccer season is just five days away. Clubs have been busy and it looks set to be one of the most competitive seasons ever given the influx of quality players into the league. However, one of the veterans could become the new all-time MLS leading goal scorer if stats are anything to go by.

That man is Chris Wondolowski. The San Jose Earthquakes forward is on an impressive 134 goals in 293 MLS games. The current record holder, Landon Donovan, sits top of the pile on 145, meaning Wondo needs just 12 goals to break the record.

Wondo’s form over the last five seasons suggests he is on course to net the 11 goals needed to equal the record. Age hasn’t yet been an issue for him either, despite celebrating his 35 birthday in the offseason, his form has been extremely consistent since turning 30 in 2013.

MLS leading goal scorer: Can Wondo break the record?

He has averaged 13.2 goals across his last five seasons. Wondo has not scored less than 11 goals in a season since 2009. He didn’t become a regular scorer until the 2010 season so the stats make for positive reading.

While Wondolowski won’t be playing for just personal accolades, he will surely have an eye on the record and will hope he can hit the ground running when MLS kicks off in less than a week.

Will Wondo break the all-time MLS leading goal scorer record this season?

2018 Key Transfers: San Jose Earthquakes

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at San Jose Earthquakes and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

San Jose Earthquakes had a solid 2017 campaign, finishing 6th in the Western Conference. They fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs and have changed some personnel to give the squad a needed freshen up. Mike Stahre is looking to stamp his footprint onto his side having come in as head coach in November and he will be hoping to get off to a good start in under a week’s time.

Key Signings

Joel Qwiberg: Signed from the Swedish first division, Joel Qwiberg comes in to bolster San Jose’s defence. The left back is noted for his technical ability who can also be deployed to assist as an attacking wingback.

Magnus Eriksson: Another signing with history in Swedish football. He has a consistent goal-scoring record which will be welcomed news to Chris Wondolowski. Eriksson will be expected to relive the pressure on his fellow forward while looking to impress during his MLS debut season.

Eric Calvillo: A 20 year old who looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Eric Calvillo has represented the U.S. at U15-U19 levels and has made a name for himself as a midfielder who can be deployed in a number of roles. While he probably won’t be a regular from the get-go, he will be looking to break into the team and continue to progress.

Notable Departures

Darwin Ceren: After spending two seasons at San Jose, Darwin Ceren is on the move. He made 33 appearances and had a good sense of when the time was right to push on into the attack. His ability to cover a lot of ground will need to be replaced.

David Bingham: After spending four seasons waiting patiently for his chance to become a regular between 2011-2014, David Bingham has left for LA Galaxy. He made 91 appearances over the last three seasons but lost his starting place during the 2017 campaign. Perhaps the right time for both parties to part ways …

Victor Bernardez: Given San Jose’s defensive frailties at times last season it’s not a surprise to see changes to personnel. However, Victor Bernardez’s departure may come as a bit of a strange decision considering his regular starting place over the last six seasons. His 162 appearances prove that San Jose are losing an experienced head but now at 35 they’re looking for the long term.

Marco Ureña: After 25 appearances in his only season with San Jose, Marco Ureña has moved onto new boys Los Angeles FC as the third selection in the Expansion Draft. He scored five goals in 2017 and is known for linking up the attacking play. The Costa Rican international will be missed.

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes

2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Knockout Round: Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes

BC Place – Wednesday, October 25 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose 100/30

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

The 2017 MLS Playoffs are here. In one of four midweek knockout games, Vancouver Whitecaps welcome San Jose Earthquakes to BC Place in a winner-takes-all clash.

The Whitecaps had a strong regular season and finishing third gives them the home advantage. This gives their fans reason to have faith ahead of the tie, as they are undefeated in their last seven home games.

While Vancouver’s run in to the end of the season saw them win just twice in five games they don’t have too much to worry about. As we all know, recent form means little in knockout competition and be assured, Carl Robinson will have his side fired up and ready to go.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: The Whitecaps faithful will be hoping to see celebrations like this on Wednesday night.

San Jose Earthquakes have reached the postseason for the first time since 2012 in what was a dramatic Decision Day. They conceded the most goals of any side to reach the Playoffs, which is a slight concern for them. However, it’s now all about focusing on how they can advance on Wednesday evening.

While The Quakes have failed to win nine of their last ten on the road, they have every right to feel they can advance. Their recent form against Vancouver has been very strong, which has seen them go unbeaten in the last five meetings.

The most recent meeting between the sides was arguably San Jose’s most important result of the season. Their draw in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago kept their playoff hopes alive. And they showed just how relentless they can be, securing their place in postseason action with an injury time winner over Minnesota. This has the makings of a classic.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

The Whitecaps are expecting to be without two, David Edgar and Matias Laba remain out.

The visitors have four injury concerns heading into this one. Harold Cummings, Marvell Wynne, Fatai Alashe are all expected to remain out, while there are doubts over Nick Lima.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Points

Vancouver’s last five: L/W/L/D/L

San Jose’s last five: L/L/W/D/W

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes’ goal differential of -21 is the worst of any playoff team in MLS history. They’re underdogs, but as the final round of the regular season showed, they’re more than capable of getting the result they need.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – Much will be expected of Wondo, who was named MLS player of the week, from the Quakes faithful here. His contribution in their final four regular season games was enormous – scoring twice and assisting three. Many will expect Vancouver to progress, but San Jose are more than capable of making it through to the next stage, especially if Wondolowski is on song.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes – This is going to be anything but an easy ride for Vancouver Whitecaps. San Jose have proven their capabilities of causing their opposition headaches and their performances to reach the playoffs for the first time in five years will give them that added lift. However, like the vast majority, we are expecting the home side to be in the next round. It would be a major shock if they weren’t.

2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions: Three-way battle for last playoff spot, plus a crucial Cascadia Cup battle in Portland

2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions – Here we go. The final day of the regular season. It’s the only day of the season in which all 22 MLS sides take to the field simultaneously. The result? A full 90 minutes of action-packed drama, with a whole host of goals expected. All 11 games kickoff at 4pm ET (9pm BST) on Sunday night. You don’t want to miss it.

The 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are fast approaching and although 11 of the 12 postseason spots are already filled, there are teams across both conferences fighting for that all-important Knockout Round bye. Three teams are fighting for one remaining playoff spot in the East and that’s where you can expect most the focus to be on Sunday. San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake all still have a chance of clinching a spot on the final day of the regular season and all three have the added bonus of playing at home.

Read on for all 2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions…

Atlanta United 3-1 Toronto FC

What a game this should be. The 2017 season’s best side and Supporters’ Shield winners travel to the league’s most exciting team of the campaign on the final day. Toronto don’t really have anything to play for here. They have secure their Knockout Round bye and can afford to rest players ready for the playoffs. But Atlanta could still finish second in the East. They must win and hope both NYCFC and Chicago fail to pick up victories. At least expect them to do their part of that job…

Embed from Getty ImagesDC United 1-1 New York Red Bulls

The DC United faithful will take to the RFK Stadium stands for the last time this weekend. Other than that there is nothing for either DC or Red Bulls to play for. The home side are guaranteed to finish bottom of the Eastern Conference, but they will be hoping to sign off at RFK in style. Red Bulls can’t finish anywhere other than sixth, with the playoffs looming they will want to avoid defeat, but more importantly, avoid unnecessary injuries. Expect an emotional one for DC, but not much else.

Embed from Getty ImagesMontreal Impact 3-2 New England Revolution

This is the final fixture of what has been an underwhelming season for both Montreal and The Revs. Both have failed to make the playoffs and there isn’t much to cheer about here. New England have failed to win a game on the road in the 2017 regular season. It seems unlikely that it will come away at Montreal, but given there is little but pride to play for here, it might just happen. Can they finally pick up three points away from home on the Decision Day?

Embed from Getty ImagesNew York City FC 2-1 Columbus Crew

New York City FC will look to hold onto second place in the East with a Decision Day win over the Crew. But they’ll have to try and do it away from their usual surroundings. That’s because Sunday’s game will take place at Citi Field, as a result of the New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium on October 20. Columbus Crew fans have been threatened with a franchise move to Austin. They can lift spirits significantly with a good playoff run and could even get a Knockout Round bye still. A win at NYCFC, coupled with Atlanta and Chicago failing to win would do it. But it’s unlikely to fall into place for them. Second place is NYCFC’s to lose and we don’t see them losing it.

Embed from Getty ImagesPhiladelphia Union 2-2 Orlando City

Another game which will have very little impact on the rest of the East. Both are level on 39 points ahead of the game and having failed to make the playoffs. The result will confirm the finishing position for both sides but considering it’s outside of the top six, there isn’t much to get excited about. Signing off with a win will be the mindset for Philadelphia and Orlando, but with the stats not offering much to split them on, a score draw seems a likely outcome.

Embed from Getty ImagesFC Dallas 3-1 LA Galaxy

What happened to FCD? One of the early season favourites are who are now reliant on results going their way to make the playoffs. If San Jose pick up a win it is all out of their hands. This is easily one of the main fixtures to follow on Decision Day. LA Galaxy face the very real prospect of finishing bottom of the Western Conference. 2017 has been a season to forget for LA and although a win isn’t going to make things any better, they will still be looking to avoid propping up the standings.

Embed from Getty ImagesReal Salt Lake 2-2 Sporting Kansas City

Another Decision Day clash that’s worth keeping an eye on. Real Salt Lake could still finish in a playoff spot, however it seems an unlikely outcome. They are reliant on Dallas and San Jose to both fail to win. The pressure is far from intense for Sporting Kansas City considering they have already secured their place in the post-season action. They can however still end the season with a Knockout Round bye, similarly to RSL, it’s an outcome that is out of their hands as they will need Portland and Seattle to fail to win. A fixture with an outside chance for both sides, with SKC the happier ahead of kick off.

Embed from Getty ImagesPortland Timbers 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

A Decision Day rivalry clash. A battle for top spot in the West. And a battle for the 2017 Cascadia Cup. This is going to be one hell of a ride. The Whitecaps beat the Timbers 4-1 on Decision Day a year ago to clinch the Cascadia Cup and also eliminate their rivals – and reigning MLS Cup champs at the time – from playoff contention on the final day. There won’t be anything that dramatic this time around but one of these sides would guarantee a Knockout Round bye with victory. A win would also secure top spot in the West for either. Portland have won five-straight games at home and should get revenge for last year’s final day loss at BC Place.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Minnesota United

The San Jose Earthquakes are 90 minutes away from clinching their first playoff spot since the Supporters’ Shield winning season of 2012. But standing in their way are the ever unpredictable Loons, who will be looking to spoil the party. The Quakes control their own destiny. Win, and they’re in. Anything other than that would open the door to Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, who will be looking to pounce on any San Jose slip-up. Don’t expect this one to be pretty, but the Quakes should get the job done.

Embed from Getty ImagesSeattle Sounders 3-0 Colorado Rapids

The Sounders are unbeaten in 12 games at CenturyLink Field and will be looking to sign off for the regular season in style. They still can earn a Knockout Round bye with a win, regardless of any other results and that will be the main aim for the reigning champions. Colorado’s season ended a while ago but they’ve been busy ruining other teams’ seasons over the past few weeks. They’d love to sign off with a win but it seems highly unlikely.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Chicago Fire

Both these sides have done incredibly well to clinch playoff spots after promising seasons. Both were well out of the picture 12 months ago but have improved dramatically over the past 12 months. They’ll both now be thinking of the postseason but Chicago have a really good chance of securing a Knockout Round bye if they can win at BBVA Compass Stadium. They’ll guarantee home-field advantage with a win anyway and that will be their aim. Although the Dynamo are unbeaten in five and will want that streak to keep going into the playoffs. Score draw.

Embed from Getty Images

Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – Vancouver looking to win conference as playoff race heats up

Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – The playoff race in the Western Conference is set to go down to the wire. The Vancouver Whitecaps lead Sporting Kansas City by three points heading into what should be an action-packed Week 32. Ten of the eleven Western Conference sides play each other, while Portland host DC United in the only inter-conference matchup of the weekend.

All of this week’s games involving sides from the West will kickoff at the same time on Sunday night at 19:30 ET (00:30 BST). So you can guarantee there will be drama as some teams look to nail down playoff berths, and others are fighting to keep their dreams alive. Read on for all of this weekend’s Western Conference predictions: MLS week 32 should be a good one…

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Real Salt Lake

This late-season Rocky Mountain Cup clash is a big deal. Real Salt Lake are still fighting to get into the playoffs with two games to go. But they must travel to the home of their fiercest rival in MLS. The Rapids’ playoffs hopes have been over for some time but they would love nothing more than to ruin RSL’s season on Sunday night. Real Salt Lake, though, have only lost one of their last six. A loss would likely spell the end to their season, depending on other results, so they must avoid defeat.

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Houston Dynamo

These two meet for the second time in five days on Sunday. The Dynamo prevented SKC going joint-top of the West with Wednesday night’s 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. They gave their own playoffs hopes a huge boost with that win and will be looking to take at least one more point off of SKC here. Sporting KC haven’t yet secured a playoff berth, despite sitting second with two games to go. A victory would solve that issue, but the absence of goalkeeper Tim Melia could be significant.

LA Galaxy 2-3 Minnesota United

Few people would have thought LA Galaxy would be coming into the penultimate weekend of the season seven points behind Minnesota United. But the problems in LA this season have left them with a year to forget. They will want to avoid finishing dead last in the West and need to try and end the season on a high. But Minnesota are in fairly good form, having only lost one of their last five. They beat Atlanta United in their latest road trip and could add to LA’s misery on Sunday.

Seattle Sounders 2-1 FC Dallas

Both these sides come into the weekend in playoff spots, but know a defeat on Sunday could put them in real trouble. Seattle have two home games remaining. They sit fourth and could still finish the season with a Knockout Round bye. FC Dallas are in a much more precarious position. They are only a point above RSL and San Jose in the final playoff spot and can’t really afford to drop any points. Head coach Oscar Pareja has called this game “the season”, and he’s not wrong. But they aren’t in good form and have lost four-straight games at CenturyLink Field.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes

The Whitecaps are the only Western Conference side to have sealed a playoff berth with 180 minutes of football to go. That’s quite incredible but also testament to their consistency this season. They can guarantee a Knockout Round bye with a home win agains San Jose on Sunday. But the visitors are fighting for their lives too. The Quakes beat Portland last time out to keep their top six hopes intact. But they still need to overtake RSL and Dallas to seal a playoff spot. Vancouver are a real force at home and should prove too much for San Jose.

Portland Timbers 3-0 DC United

Portland missed the chance to seal their playoff spot when they fell 2-1 at San Jose last time out. That result also saw them drop out of the top two. They do now have two home games to finish the season though and will expect to beat DC on Sunday. The Eastern Conference playoff race is over and DC United won’t be playing postseason football. They’ll still want to show some fight but the fact is they will finish bottom of the East after a poor season. Don’t expect them to spoil things in Portland.

Gallery: Exclusive images from Seattle Sounders impressive 3-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes

The Seattle Sounders kept their strong run of form going with a convincing 3-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday. The Sounders were missing all three Designated Players and Jordan Morris too. But that didn’t stop them as they proved too good for the Quakes at CenturyLink Field.

The game was goalless at halftime but the Sounders simply blew San Jose away in the second half. Cristian Roldan opened the scoring in the 54th minute. Then, two minutes later made it 2-0. Seattle made sure of the result in the 65th minute when Kelvin Leerdam tapped in at the back post from a Joevin Jones corner.

Sunday night’s game marked Leerdam’s first MLS start since moving to Seattle at the start of the month. He impressed with a goal and assist. While Joevin Jones again proved how dangerous he is, so the Sounders now have two attacking full-backs to hurt teams with.

The win means Seattle have now picked up three-straight victories and are up to fifth in the West. However, San Jose have suffered three consecutive losses and are not outside the playoff spots. Their hopes of a top-six finish seem to be taking knock after knock at the moment.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Paul Kahl and Denise McCooey.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

Major League Soccer: Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

CenturyLink Field – Sunday, July 23 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – San Jose 16/5

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

Seattle Sounders take on San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field in the final game of an action-packed Week 20 in MLS on Sunday. The two sides are separated by just a point in a congested Western Conference heading into the game.

Seattle pulled off a historic comeback against DC United on Wednesday night. They became the first team in MLS history to come from three goals down to win in normal time. That result should have left the team in high spirits, although the loss of Nicolas Lodeiro after a late red card could hurt them on Sunday.

Brian Schmetzer has seen his Sounders side fire themselves back into the playoff picture after a strong run of form. They haven’t lost in four MLS games, winning their last two. Although they did lost 2-1 at San Jose in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup in the middle of that run.

San Jose suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat at the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. The Earthquakes had a long time to prepare for that game during the Gold Cup break and will be bitterly disappointed with the result.

They do have the chance to get back on track and leapfrog Seattle on Sunday though. The Quakes have won on two of their last three trips to CenturyLink Field, so they know they have what it takes to win at one of the league’s toughest away grounds.

As mentioned above, San Jose did beat Seattle in the US Open Cup last month. That came after the two sides shared the points in a 1-1 draw back in April in their reverse MLS clash this season. The pair have now drawn three of their last four MLS games 1-1.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

Seattle will be without Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris as a result of both attackers’ participation at the Gold Cup with the USA. Oniel Fisher is also absent as he’s with the Jamaican squad. Osvaldo Alonso remains out for the next four weeks with a knee injury. While doubts hang over Henry Wingo, Chad Marshall, Nouhou Tolo and Stefan Frei. Nicolas Lodeiro picked up a red card against DC United on Wednesday and will serve a one-game suspension as a result.

San Jose are set to welcome back Darwin Ceren and Anibal Godoy after both were knocked out of the Gold Cup on Wednesday with El Salvador and Panama, respectively. Marco Urena will be unavailable as a result of his participation with the Costa Rican squad. Marvell Wynne, Marc Pelosi, Harold Cummings and Kip Colvey will all miss out through injury. Fatai Alashe, Quincy Amarikwa and Jackson Yueill are doubts.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/D/D/W/W

San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: D/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have only lost one of their last ten games against Seattle Sounders in all competitions. That came in their most recent trip to CenturyLink Field last May.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The San Jose hero has scored in his past two MLS meetings against Seattle. He knows what it takes to beat the Sounders and will look to make life difficult for a depleted Seattle team.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Seattle have been rocked by absences all over the field. They will be without all three of their Designated Players, as well as Jordan Morris. So they know they will find it difficult to claim all three points on Sunday night. San Jose got battered on Wednesday but have the quality to bounce back at Seattle here. That said, three of the last four league meetings between the pair have ended 1-1, a scoreline we are likely to see again this weekend.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Stanford Stadium – Saturday, July 1 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: SJ Earthquakes 5/6 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 3/1

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes do battle with local rivals LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium for the second Californian Clasico of the season on Saturday night, with the two rivals separated by just a point coming into Week 18.

San Jose are one point ahead of LA, having played one game more, and know they need to get revenge for their 4-2 home defeat to their West-coast rivals just over a month ago.

The Earthquakes are now preparing for their first MLS game since sacking Dominic Kinnear earlier this week in a move that took many people by surprise, particularly off the back of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over RSL.

Embed from Getty Images

The Quakes advanced past Seattle 2-1 on Wednesday night in the US Open Cup in Chris Leitch’s first outing as head coach. But he knows that Saturday’s Clasico will offer a much tougher test. The home fans will expect a win, but they’ve only managed one in their last seven clashes against the Galaxy.

The visitors arrive having eased past Sacramento Republic in Wednesday’s Open Cup clash, but they will still feel disappointed at losing their first MLS outing in nine last weekend, as Sporting KC emerged victorious from StubHub Center last Saturday.

Embed from Getty Images

Curt Onalfo has got his side looking more solid than they did through the first six weeks of the season but they still have a big job at hand if they are to seal a place in the playoffs, let alone challenge for a sixth MLS Cup title.

The boost for LA is that they’ve already beaten San Jose this season in that 4-2 win a few weeks back. That was one of the Galaxy’s four away wins from their last five road games, with the only other result in that stretch a 0-0 draw at DC United, so they should arrive at Stanford Stadium in high spirits.

Team News

San Jose will be without Nick Lima after he was sent off in last weekend’s clash with Real Salt Lake. The Quakes also have six players sidelined through injury, with Quincy Amarikwa, Marvell Wynne, Marc Pelosi, Harold Cummings, Florian Jungwirth and Fatai Alashe all out.

LA Galaxy are definitely without four players as Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Brian Rowe are injured, while doubts are hanging over Daniel Steres, Jermaine Jones, Raul Mendiola and Bradley Diallo. Gyasi Zardes won’t be available as he is part of the USA’s Gold Cup squad that play Ghana on Saturday. Giovani Dos Santos will also miss out as a result of his participation at the Confederations Cup with Mexico.

Key Points

SJ Earthquakes’ form: W/L/L/D/W

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/W/L

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have only lost one of their last 11 home games in MLS, but that was to LA Galaxy back in May.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The San Jose veteran knows what it takes to win a Californian Clasico, given the fact this will be his 17th derby clash against LA. He has scored five in his last seven games against the Galaxy and will look to hurt them again here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

SJ Earthquakes 1-1 LA Galaxy – It’s tough to separate the rivals coming into this weekend’s clash. Both had midweek cup successes and that might take its toll on a few members of each squad but a game of this magnitude requires full concentration from start to finish. Both will expect to score but ultimately, we see this one ending all square.