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?

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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: Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Stadium: Rio Tinto Stadium – Friday, July 22 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – SJ Earthquakes 3/1

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake take on San Jose Earthquakes in this week’s Friday night MLS game, kickstarting Week 20’s action with an intriguing Western Conference clash at Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL come into the contest in fourth place in the West, but are only a point above the playoff line, so there is no time for complacency as Jeff Cassar’s men look to make a swift return to the postseason.

The worry for Real Salt Lake coming into this one is that they’ve not won in their last five outings. They have drawn their last three home games and have only scored twice in their last five matches.

Fatigue could also be a worry as RSL faced off against Italian club Inter Milan in a friendly on Tuesday night, leaving them with just 72 hours to recover for Friday’s contest.

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They will see Friday’s game as the perfect chance to recover and get back on track, but another poor performance would turn a small blip into a real concern, with back-to-back road games to Eastern Conference sides coming up after this one.

San Jose will arrive at Rio Tinto Stadium in high spirits. They pulled off a remarkable victory last weekend by ending a seven-game winless run against Toronto FC, despite playing 40 minutes with nine men.

Dominic Kinnear knows his side must now build on that inspiring display by picking up more points and will see Friday’s game as a winnable contest, with RSL struggling for form.

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The worry for the Quakes is that they have a number of key players missing through injury. Squad depth will be tested here in what should be an intriguing battle between two sides desperately looking to enter the final stretch of the regular season in good form.

This will be the first meeting between the sides this season. They will face off again in San Jose on the the third-to-last weekend of the season, at which point their playoff chances will be a lot clearer.

Team News

RSL will remain without Emery Welshman and Sunday Stephen, who are both still ruled out through injury. On top of those two, Jamison Olave and Danilo Acosta are both doubts and may not be fit enough to play here.

San Jose picked up two red cards last weekend but both Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero have seen their suspensions rescinded so both are eligible. However, Dominic Kinnear has a long injury list to worry about, with seven players on the sidelines. Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi, Mark Sherrod, Bryan Meredith, Kofi Sarkodie, Marvell Wynne and Kip Colvey are all set to miss this one.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s form: L/D/D/L/D

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: D/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Travel sick – San Jose have failed to win any of their last 11 MLS games away from home.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes star has not scored an MLS goal in three months but he will be desperate to end that run as soon as possible. This should be the sort of game that ‘Wondo’ thrives in. It is expected to be tight, but he only needs to find a yard of space inside the penalty area to hurt the RSL defence.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes – There is very little to choose between these sides heading into Friday’s game. RSL may suffer from their midweek friendly with Inter, but then San Jose have a number of key men out, so neither side looks in a strong position to kick on and win this match. A low-scoring draw looks most likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: Camping World Stadium – Saturday, June 18 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – San Jose Earthquakes 21/10

Match Preview

Orlando City and San Jose Earthquakes go head-to-head at Camping World Stadium on Saturday as Major League Soccer returns following a two-week international break.

Orlando City have only won once in their last nine MLS matches, which is quite dreadful considering they are expected to challenge for a playoff place this year.

With Kaka expected back, as well as Cyle Larin, Orlando will want to kick start a run of form that can send them into the postseason for the first time.

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They will need to harness their strong home support for the rest of the campaign and Saturday’s clash with San Jose offers a good chance to pick up three important points.

The Quakes have had a few rough seasons but now they have a good chance at making the playoffs, as Dominic Kinnear has built a very good squad.

Key man Chris Wondolowski is still away with the USMNT, while pacey forward Innocent Emeghara is still on his way back from injury, so San Jose are a little light in the final third ahead of this one.

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The next five games could be crucial for the Quakes as they host LA Galaxy, Toronto FC and FC Dallas in the coming weeks. They must continue to pick up points on a consistent basis if they are to secure a top six finish come October.

This will just the second meeting between the two sides. Last year’s clash in San Jose saw the pair share the spoils after a 1-1 draw in a game that saw Chris Wondolowski net his 100th MLS goal.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Pedro Ribeiro, Darwin Ceren and Rafael Ramos through injury. Kaka should return from the injury that ruled him out of Brazil’s Copa America squad, while Cyle Larin os also back having only been involved in friendlies while away on international duty.

San Jose Earthquakes are missing Marc Pelosi, Clarence Goodson and Mark Sherrod through injury. Innocent Emeghara and Matheus Silva are both doubtful. The worry is that Chris Wondolowski is still away with the USA and he is unlikely to be back in time for Saturday’s game. Alberto Quintero, Anibal Godoy, Kip Colvey and Simon Dawkins have all returned from international duty, though.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/L/W/D/D

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

Key Stat: Orlando City are now unbeaten in their last 13 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Canadian forward has been in fine form this season and has become a key part of this Orlando side. His presence will be key on Saturday yet again.

MLS: NYCFC vs. Orlando Cyle Larin

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes – San Jose likely to suffer without star striker Chris Wondolowski, who will be sorely missed. That absence will make a tricky away fixture even more of a challenge and we expect Orlando to win this one as a result, with Adrian Heath’s side looking in good shape ahead of this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, April 24 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)

Match Odds: San Jose 21/20 – Draw 9/4 – Kansas City 14/5 

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes welcome Western Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City to Avaya Stadium this weekend.

The Quakes are sitting 6th in the West and come into this tie off the back of their 3-1 away loss against Portland Timbers last time out.

Dominic Kinnear’s side are unbeaten in their last nine home Major League Soccer outings, so they will be looking to bounce back here and continue their great run of home form.

San Jose have won the last two meetings between the sides, scoring six goals along the way, so the Quakes faithful have the bragging rights over SKC heading into this tie.

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Sporting Kansas City are sitting 4th in the West coming into the weekend but there is room for improvement, as they have lost their last two.

Their last outing saw them fall 2-1 away to FC Dallas, a disappointing result for SKC after they had taken the lead.

Peter Vermes will be more than aware of how tough this tie will be and will have his side best prepared to not throw points away this time out.

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Team News

San Jose Earthquakes have six injury concerns heading into this tie. Marc Pelosi, Cordell Cato, Jordan Stewart, Chad Barrett, Clarence Goodson and Mark Sherrod are all expected to miss out. The Quakes currently have no players nearing suspension.

Sporting Kansas City have one less injury concern than their opponents for this tie. Justin Mapp, Soni Mustivar, Kevin Ellis and Chance Myers are all expected to miss out, while Paulo Nagamura is a doubt. Kansas City also have no players nearing suspension.

Key Points

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: L/D/D/W/L

Sporting Kansas City’s form: W/L/W/L/L

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes are unbeaten in their last 17 home matches against Sporting Kansas City in all competitions.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – ‘Wondo’ has been in magnificent form so far this season, bagging himself six goals in his seven appearances. He will be looking to continue his fine run of goalscoring form against SKC this weekend.
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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – San Jose to continue their impressive home record against Kansas City as they look to force their way up the Western Conference.

MLS Fantasy Focus: Time to load up on Quakes stars for latest DGW?

By Jamie Dawe and Sam Martin

If you are squeamish, don’t click on the following link. Nigel De Jong’s horror tackle on Darlington Nagbe overshadowed all other gameplay this weekend and if you want to indulge yourself in this footballing monstrosity, you can watch the challenge here. However, there were some more positive goings on this week in MLS. A total of 14 players picked up a score in the double digits and there were some standout performances from unexpected stars, as well as contributions from the usual suspects.

Week 5 Review

The Good:

It was a more enjoyable experience for the spectators who could enjoy ten 11vs11 matches, the way football should be played, as no red cards were issued this weekend. It was a good week for DC United who picked up only their second win of the season and their first in front of their own supporters. Regular starter Fabian Espindola ($10.1) and late substitute Alvaro Saborio ($7.7) both netted braces in an emphatic 4-0 win over the Whitecaps, bringing them 14 and 11 points respectively and making Espindola the highest point scorer of the week. Also standing out this weekend, Real Salt Lake extended their unbeaten run to five games with star of the season so far, Joao Plata ($9.5) netting his fourth goal of the season.

At the other end of the Western Conference, Seattle Sounders’ defender Chad Marshall ($8.5) equalised in the 94th minute to save a point for the Sounders against Houston as he picked up 10 points for the gameweek himself. Having heavily criticised the Chicago defence on the opening game of the season (conceding four goals at home to New York City), it’s clear their players must have been paying attention to the criticism, as they have gone on to concede just one goal from their next four matches and are yet to lose since the opening day. This meant that ‘keeper Matt Lampson ($4.7), along with defenders Johan Kappelhof ($7.7), Jonathan Campbell ($5.1), Rodrigo Ramos ($6.1) and Michael Harrington ($5.3) all picked up between 6 and 10 points this weekend. Houston Dynamo striker Giles Barnes scored a fine goal, which also deserves a mention here as he casually looped the ball over Stefan Frei’s head to put the Dynamo in the lead. It’s certainly worth a watch and you can do just that right here.

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The Bad:

For the first time all season, there was not a single red card in any match during the weekend! However, one sour point was Nigel De Jong’s ($9.1) tackle on USMNT star Darlington Nagbe ($9.0), which was certainly a tackle worthy of a red. It does seem that De Jong has been retrospectively banned, but we’re yet to find out how long for.

Whilst it may not have been a weekend for red cards, there were a large quantity of own goals and defensive disasters to talk about. Portland Timbers’ Nat Borchers ($7.7) netted a late own goal to rescue LA Galaxy a point as Portland continued their winless run that has lasted since their only victory of the season on opening day. Also guilty of scoring at the wrong end, San Jose defender Victor Bernardez ($7.5) chalked up Dallas’ equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Toyota Stadium. Defensively, it was a horror show for the Vancouver Whitecaps, who let in four goals away to DC United, with none of their back four picking up anymore than 2 points this week. Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference, Bradley Wright-Phillips ($10.7), a man who netted 18 goals last season, is yet to score a goal this term. He fired ten shots on Saturday (more than anyone else in a single game so far this season) and missed a perfect opportunity to end this drought, missing from the penalty spot against Sporting Kansas City. New York have failed to score in four out of five games this season, although ironically it has been their defence that has been hit by injury, so their first-choice attack has no excuse for not racking up the goals so far.

Bradley Wright-Phillips Clint Irwin

Week 6 Preview

Must Buy:

It’s double gameweek time! The second DGW of the MLS season gives you the opportunity to bring in an impressive points haul. With San Jose playing two out of form teams in the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers, my money would be behind them for banking some top scoring players. My main suggestions would be the ever reliable Chris Wondolowski ($10.7), who will also take any penalties, along with key men Quincy Amarikwa ($7.6) and Marvell Wynne ($7.0), both of whom will surely start both games. If you’re looking for value for money out of the double gameweek players, look no further than the Rapids’ Ugandan midfielder Micheal Azira ($5.5) and towering Swedish centre-back Axel Sjoberg ($5.5). Returning SKC captain Matt Besler ($8.7) might also be a good shout if you’re looking for a big name defender to bolster your squad.

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Must Sell:

Chicago Fire only play twice in the next two gameweeks, whereas other teams will tally several games in that period – so it’s worth getting value for money and removing Fire players (aiming at the 14.4% of you that have Brandon Vincent ($5.0). Replace him with a Rapids defender (they play five times in the next four weeks) or stick with a reliable points scorer like Justin Glad ($5.1) or Daniel Steres ($5.2). Anyone who has Darlington Nagbe ($9.0), might want to put their money to better use, as he could be out for an indefinite period of time after leaving the pitch on a wheelchair against the Galaxy on Sunday. Also, SKC defender Kevin Ellis ($6.9) could be about to miss an extended period of time after a nasty groin injury against the Red Bulls – so if you’re the owner of one of the 2,000+ teams that Ellis is in – you might want to look elsewhere for a few weeks.

Who will you be putting in your team for the upcoming DGW?

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, March 13 – 18:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: San Jose 11/8 – Draw 9/4 – Portland 2/1 

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes welcome Portland Timbers to Avaya Stadium on Sunday night in what is set to be a big test for the home side in an all-Western Conference affair.

San Jose got off to the perfect start as they beat Colorado Rapids 1-0 on the opening day, courtesy of Chris Wondolowski’s goal at the very start of the second-half. They will now look to start a season with back-to-back victories for the first time in franchise history.

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Facing off against the reigning MLS Cup champions will provide the Quakes with a real test, but one they should look forward to as they aim to become a playoff team this year.

History is not on San Jose’s side in this fixture though, as the Earthquakes have only beaten Portland in one of their 13 MLS clashes over the past five seasons.

The Timbers travel to Avaya Stadium in high spirits. They came through a tricky season opener to Columbus – the team they beat in December’s MLS Cup Final – and were perhaps unlucky not to score more than two in that 2-1 victory.

Caleb Porter’s side are an extremely dangerous team when attacking and will expect to find the net against San Jose, despite only managing a 0-0 draw in last year’s corresponding fixture.

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The Timbers have the chance to put six points on the board here and will look to become the early pace-setters in MLS with their fourth-straight regular season win on the road, carrying over from last term.

As mentioned above, last year’s clash at Avaya Stadium ended 0-0. However, the Timbers earned a 1-0 win at Providence Park in the only other game between the Western Conference sides last term and will be confident of stretching their unbeaten run against the Quakes to six in this one.

Team News

San Jose Earthquakes will receive a major boost as Matias Perez Garcia returns following his one-game suspension last weekend. However, Dominic Kinnear has five injury worries heading into this one. Marc Pelosi, Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato and Jordan Stewart remain sidelined, while Andres Imperiale is a doubt.

Portland will be without Andy Thoma for around six weeks as he suffered a knee injury playing for the Timbers 2 side. Chris Klute is a doubt but should be available for selection by Sunday night. New signing Jack Barmby will hope to be available to make his Timbers debut, although Caleb Porter is expected to name the same side that beat Columbus last weekend.

Key Points

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W

Portland Timbers’ form: W

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have never opened an MLS season with back-to-back victories.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – It’s impossible to ignore ‘Wondo’. The Quakes forward netted the only goal last weekend with a trademark close-range finish. He is a constant threat to opposing defences and will need to outshine Liam Ridgewell and Nat Borchers to give San Jose a fighting chance on Sunday night.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 0-2 Portland Timbers – The Timbers will expect to make it two wins from two when they travel to San Jose on Sunday evening. San Jose only registered three shots-on-target in last week’s win over Colorado and didn’t threaten in the final third as much as they would have liked. The Quakes have failed to score in their last three games with Portland and might see that run stretch to four, as the Timbers look primed for a solid away win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, March 6 – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: San Jose 19/20 – Draw 9/4 – Colorado 16/5

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes host Colorado Rapids in an intriguing 2016 MLS opener on Sunday, as two sides that struggled last term will look to get off to a flying start by immediately moving in front of the other.

San Jose came close to making the playoffs in 2015 but ultimately had to settle for a seventh-place finish in the West. They did finish ten points ahead of Colorado, who disappointingly ended the campaign at the foot of the conference.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Both sides will enter the new year hoping for better and meeting in the season opener gives both teams the chance to lay out an early marker for success in what looks set to be a close game.

San Jose won the last three games of their preseason preparations and will hope to keep that momentum going into the new season. They lost 1-0 at Dallas in last year’s opener but have a much better chance of sealing three points this time around.

Colorado, meanwhile, had to wait five games for their first victory of 2015 and will hope to get off the mark quicker this term.

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Pablo Mastroeni has made some key changes to the squad over the offseason, with some talented playmakers joining the club. He will hope they hit the ground running to give Irish striker Kevin Doyle some much-needed service up top.

These two sides met twice last year in two low-scoring affairs. They drew 1-1 in Colorado, before San Jose sealed a 1-0 home win over the Rapids in August. Another close encounter is expected on Sunday.

Team News

San Jose enter the new season without Marc Pelosi, who will be out for some time with a serious knee injury. While they will also have to start without star playmaker Matias Perez Garcia, who will serve a one-game suspension for the red card picked up on the final day of the 2015 season. Innocent Emeghara is back from injury but may start on the bench, though new signing Simon Dawkins should start the game.

Colorado have no injury concerns heading into the new season and so Pablo Mastroeni has a full squad to choose from. New signings Marco Pappa, Shkelzen Gashi and Mekeil Williams will all expect to start. Kevin Doyle should lead the attack.

Key Points

San Jose Earthquakes’ preseason form: W/W/L/L/W/L/W/W/W

Colorado Rapids’ preseason form: W/W/L/D/L/W

Key Stat: San Jose are unbeaten in 12 MLS games against Colorado (W6 D6).

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The San Jose talisman so often delivers when it matters most and he will be desperate to drive his team onto an opening day win against Western Conference rivals here. Whether he plays upfront or in midfield, he will expect to influence the game in a positive way for the Quakes.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Colorado Rapids – San Jose enjoyed a more promising preseason campaign than the Rapids and should make home advantage count against a team they haven’t lost to since 2011. This should be a close game, and both teams will expect to find the net, but the Quakes look more likely to go on and win it and will look to get 2016 off to a flying start in front of their own fans.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, September 27 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5) 

Match Odds: San Jose 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – Real Salt Lake 14/5

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes face Real Salt Lake in a huge Western Conference clash on Sunday evening. Both clubs sit outside the playoffs with just four weeks of the regular season left to play, but have outside chances of making the postseason.

San Jose sit in seventh place, just one point behind Portland in the last remaining playoff slot with four games to play. Sunday’s clash with RSL is the first of three-straight home matches for the Quakes though and so they will be confident of making a late surge for the top six.

That said, they will need to snap their four-game winless run immediately. A 3-2 away loss at NYCFC last weekend followed back-to-back home draws and wins are vital now.

San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS record: P30 – W11 – D7 – L12

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Real Salt Lake sit two points and two places behind the Earthquakes going into the game. Though they have won back-to-back games ahead of Sunday’s clash and now seem to be on the right track.

It might be too late for Jeff Cassar’s side but they certainly have a chance of making the postseason. That glimmer of hope should be enough to ensure the players remain fully focused on the task at hand.

A 3-0 home win against LA Galaxy last time out impressed many, and now they travel to San Jose looking for a second away win there this season.

Real Salt Lake’s MLS record: P29 – W10 – D8 – L11

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They beat the Quakes 1-0 in April before playing out a 1-1 draw at home in May. This should be another tight affair but both sides need to go for the win as a draw won’t help their causes.

Team News

San Jose Earthquakes will be without Clarence Goodson as he will serve a one-game suspension. Innocent Emeghara, Steven Lenhart and Jordan Stewart remain out injured, while Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Victor Bernardez, Paulo Renato and Khari Stephenson are all doubts.

Real Salt Lake have just two injury worries going into the game. Chris Schuler is out with a foot injury, while Luis Silva is struggling with a calf problem and is doubtful.

Key Points

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

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake have not lost to San Jose in any of their last five MLS meetings, winning two of those.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes forward has six goals in his last seven outings and always enjoys playing at home. With the season now at it’s most intense stage, ‘Wondo’ will look to shine.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Real Salt Lake – San Jose have really struggled against RSL in recent times. The home side’s form is not in the shape in needs to be at this stage of the season and so Real Salt Lake will be confident of picking up three huge points here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Friday, August 28 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)

Match Odds: SJ Earthquakes 7/4 – Draw 5/2 – LA Galaxy 7/5 

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy meet in the third and final California Clasico match of the 2015 regular season on Friday night in a game that should kick off the second Heineken Rivalry Week in fine style.

The Western Conference rivals are two of the hottest teams in MLS coming into this, with seven wins from seven between them. But something will have to give here.

San Jose extended their winning run to three with an impressive 2-0 win over DC United last weekend, following up the incredible 5-0 triumph at Sporting Kansas City on the Wednesday before.

A return to Avaya Stadium will further boost their chances as a first California Clasico series win in three years is in touching distance.

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The Galaxy have won each of the last two series but know their dominance is under threat ahead of what will be a very tricky away game.

LA come into this looking for a fifth-straight win in MLS. Last Sunday’s 5-1 demolition of NYCFC moved them to the top of the Western Conference and they also lead the Supporters’ Shield standings after 25 weeks.

Their away form has improved since Giovani Dos Santos arrived and the Galaxy will look to the Mexican, as well as Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard for inspiration when they play at Avaya Stadium for the first time ever on Friday evening.

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The Galaxy beat the Quakes 5-2 at StubHub Center in the most recent meeting, just weeks after San Jose win 3-1 at Stanford Stadium. More goals are expected here in what should be a thriller.

Team News

For San Jose, Innocent Emeghara remains a long-term absentee, while Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart and  Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi also remain sidelined. Matias Perez Garcia and Fatai Alashe remain doubtful but should feature.

LA Galaxy have four concerns. Brian Perk remains out for the season, while Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic and Todd Dunivant still remain questionable and are unlikely to feature. Giovani Dos Santos and Robbie Keane will look to continue their frightening partnership in attack.

Key Points

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

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: LA have only won one of their last 11 regular season meetings against San Jose away from home.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes forward thrives in games like this. He has three in his last two and scored in the earlier season clash at Stanford Stadium. Expect Wondo to be heavily involved on Friday night.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 LA Galaxy – Difficult to split the sides on paper going into this. Goals are expected between two attacking sides but a draw looks the most likely outcome. That would see the Galaxy win a third-straight California Clasico series on goal difference, so the Earthquakes must set out to win if they are to be celebrating.