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.

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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: FC Dallas vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Sunday, October 25 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 2 – Red Button)

Match Odds: Dallas 4/5 – Draw 14/5 – San Jose 3/1

Match Preview

FC Dallas host the San Jose Earthquakes in one of the biggest games on MLS Decision Day this Sunday with both left with enormous amounts to play for in the Western Conference.

The final regular season game for both will ultimately decide the success or failure of their seasons to a degree. Dallas are chasing a first-ever Supporters’ Shield, while San Jose are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in three years.

Dallas have already sealed top spot in the West, with last weekend’s 1-0 win at Real Salt Lake ensuring they can enjoy a bye week through the knockout rounds of the upcoming playoffs.

FC Dallas’ MLS record: P33 – W17 – D6 – L10

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They have never won the Supporters’ Shield but are tied with the New York Red Bulls at the top of the league standings going into MLS Decision Day, though New York have a superior goal difference of six. If the Red Bulls fail to win in their earlier game with Chicago Fire, then the door will be wide open for Dallas to claim the shield.

San Jose come into the final weekend of the regular season one point below the playoff line in the West. They have found form late on and are unbeaten in three now. A point in Dallas could be enough for a top six finish but a win will obviously boost their chances.

San Jose Earthquakes’ 2015 record: P33 – W13 – D8 – L12

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

The Quakes will be hoping Sporting Kansas City and/or Seattle Sounders slip up on the final day to give themselves a good chance of making the postseason, though a loss in Texas would end their dreams for another year.

This is a repeat fixture of both clubs’ opening games of the 2015 MLS season. Dallas won that game 1-0 thanks to a very late Blas Perez goal. The most recent meeting at Avaya Stadium ended 0-0 in June. San Jose have not won in their last three meetings with Dallas.

Team News

FC Dallas will be without Rolando Escobar for this one, while Bakary Soumare and Kellyn Acosta are both doubts.

San Jose Earthquakes travel to Dallas without Innocent Emeghara, Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart, Paulo Renato and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi. Anibal Godoy will also miss out as he serves a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/W/D/W/W

San Jose Earthquake’s last five: D/L/W/D/W

Key Stat: San Jose haven’t scored against FC Dallas in their last three meetings. It’s now been 316 minutes since the Quakes last netted against FCD.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Dallas winger leads the team in goals with nine. He’s a constant threat and one of the most productive players in MLS on his day. He will look to shine on a big day for Dallas.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – This is an enormous game for both clubs and a really tough one to call. Both have key playmakers that can turn matches in one play but home advantage and the chance of winning a first Supporters’ Shield mean we’re just edging with FC Dallas. San Jose will put up a real fight but they haven’t beaten Dallas in their last three and may come up short at the final hurdle.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes welcome Vancouver Whitecaps to Avaya Stadium on Saturday night for a vital Western Conference clash as the 2015 MLS regular season draws to a close.

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 – L12

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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.

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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).

Team News

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.

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Vancouver Whitecaps will be without injured midfielders Ben McKendry (knee) and Nicolas Mezquida (hamstring).

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

San Jose Earthquakes show real intent as playoff hopes remain alive

The San Jose Earthquakes sealed a much-needed win over Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake on Sunday night, winning 1-0 at Avaya Stadium to keep their playoff hopes alive with three games left to play.

The Quakes had to wait until the 87th minute to get the go-ahead goal as Matias Perez Garcia’s deflected shot rolled into the net, sending the home crowd into raptures after what had been a tight and physical contest.

San Jose fired 20 shots at Nick Rimando’s goal over the 90 minutes as they looked to seal the win from the outset. Rimando looked unbeatable for most of the game, making four important saves to keep RSL’s own playoff ambitions intact.

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But Garcia’s effort from distance took a wicked deflection, leaving the RSL stopper helpless as his side look to be missing out on postseason football for the first time in eight years.

The Claret and Cobalt still have four games to play (one more than San Jose and Houston, who are both also battling for a top six finish) but Jeff Cassar’s side are six points behind Portland in the final playoff berth and need to basically win each of their last four games.

The same probably applies for San Jose, who despite being five points better off than RSL, have just three games left to try and make the postseason for the first time since 2012.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

They have two home games in a row against Vancouver and Sporting KC to play next before a final day trip to FC Dallas. All three of those Western Conference opponents are currently in playoff places and San Jose will look to overtake at least one before the final ball of the regular season is struck.

Vancouver and Dallas look safe in the top six but Sporting Kansas City are just two points in front of San Jose so the game on October 16 should be a massive one.

SKC travel to Portland next in another massive game. A draw there would best suit the Earthquakes but it certainly looks as though the final couple of playoff spots in the West will go right down to the wire.

Will the San Jose Earthquakes make the playoffs this season?

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philadelphia Union 

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Saturday, September 5 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 10/11 – Draw 23/10 – Philadelphia Union 3/1

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes take on Philadelphia Union in one of just five MLS games this weekend in what is a big game for both clubs as the end of the regular season approaches.

San Jose come into this game in incredible form, having won their last four in MLS. The Earthquakes have shown great consistency of late with victories over Western Conference leaders LA Galaxy and Eastern Conference leaders DC United proving how good they can be.

They come into this game off the back of four consecutive clean sheets too, which just goes to show how hard it will be for Philadelphia to score this Saturday as the Quakes look rightful favourites.

San Jose Earthquakes’ record in MLS: P26 – W11 – D5 – L10 

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Philadelphia come into this game rock bottom of the Eastern Conference with only one win in their last seven matches.

Philadelphia have conceded 12 goals in their last five away games – an average of 2.4 goals per match – so it’s clear there are several problems with the side. However, despite this they have shored thing up in recent weeks with back-to-back clean sheets away from home adding a degree of confidence ahead of this weekend’ clash.

Philadelphia Union’s record in MLS: P27 – W7 – D6 – L14  

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This will be the only regular season meeting between the two clubs this season. The last game between these saw the Union win 4-2 at home but San Jose have never lost at home to Philly in MLS.

Team News

For San Jose Earthquakes, both Steven Lenhart and Innocent Emeghara are ruled out, while Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi are doubts heading into this game. Matias Perez Garcia is struggling with an injury to his left leg and may sit out again. Cordell Cato, Sanna Nyassi, Anibal Godoy and Marc Pelosi are all away on international duty.

Vicente Nogueira and Andrew Wenger are both doubts for this clash, while Brian Sylvestre will be facing a late fitness test after missing out last time. Cristian Maidana is suspended after picking up a red card last time out.

Key Points

San Jose Earthquakes’ last five in MLS: L/W/W/W/W

Philadelphia Union’s last five in MLS: L/D/D/W/L 

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have won each of their last four games in MLS without conceding a goal.

Key Player: Quincy Amarikwa – The 27-year-old American has shown some good form of late and we expect him to add to his four goals this weekend against Philadelphia.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 Philadelphia Union – With the form that the Earthquakes have shown of late we expect them to control the game and dominate throughout. The Earthquakes have been solid at the back, keeping four clean sheets on the bounce against some of the top sides in the league and they shouldn’t face too many problems 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.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, August 22 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: DC United 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – San Jose Earthquakes 7/2

Match Preview

DC United face San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night as the away side look to build on Wednesday night’s shock 5-0 win away at Sporting KC with a victory at the Supporters’ Shield leaders.

DC still top the MLS standings after 24 weeks and look on track to lift a first Supporters’ Shield since 2007. They are one point in front of LA Galaxy with eight games to play and need to keep winning as many games as possible to stay top of the pile.

A disappointing 3-1 loss at NYCFC last weekend ended a three-game win streak and a return to home comforts should see them restore celebration as they have won each of their last three league games at RFK Stadium.

They beat Panamanian side Arabe Unido 1-0 on Wednesday night in the Champions League and are rightly favourites for this one.

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San Jose went into their double gameweek looking like a side in trouble. Few would have predicted them getting anything from away trips to Sporting Kansas City and DC United but Wednesday night’s 5-0 win at Sporting Park stunned the nation.

That victory followed a 1-0 win over Colorado and they will now look to win a third-straight game for the first time this season.

They are now just three points behind Seattle in the hunt for the last remaining playoff spot with ten games to play and have plenty to play for.

The Quakes have all three games in which they have played away at Eastern Conference opposition this season so winning at DC will be a real test, even after their midweek success.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

DC won last season’s meeting 2-1 in San Jose and beat the Earthquakes 1-0 at RFK the year before in a game that ended a three-game losing streak at home to the Quakes.

Team News

DC United are still without Eddie Johnson and Chris Korb, while Fabian Espindola and Nick DeLeon are doubtful but could make the squad. Bill Hamid should return between the sticks along with a host of first-team players who were rested for the midweek CONCACAF Champions League tie with Arabe Unido.

San Jose Earthquakes will be without Innocent Emeghara, Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart, Matias Perez-Garcia and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi. Dominic Kinnear could name an unchanged lineup from the team that thumped SKC on Wednesday night.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: L/W/W/W/L

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

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have won three of the last four meetings between the two when DC United have been at home.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes forward netted twice in the stunning midweek win over Sporting KC, taking his tally with San Jose to 100. He also became the first player in league history to score at least 10 goals in six consecutive seasons and will be a real threat on Saturday evening too.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Expecting San Jose to really challenge DC on Wednesday night after their midweek success. But that game may see them tire towards the end of this clash and DC should edge it by the odd goal.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers

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

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, August 2 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 7/5 – Draw 5/2 – Portland Timbers 7/4

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes host Western Conference rivals Portland Timbers on Sunday night as they will be hoping to end a run of four losses on the bounce in MLS.

Having been without star man Chris Wondolowski for the duration of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, San Jose have struggled to cope and need to pick back up quickly to keep playoff hopes alive.

With them now seven points off the playoffs, its a longshot, but in a league where anything can happen, San Jose are still in with a shot.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

San Jose Earthquakes’ 2015 record in MLS: P20 – W7 – D4 – L9

Portland come into the tie with no win in three and have stepped off the gas in recent weeks after an impressive run of form that propelled them into the playoff spots.

After a 1-0 win the reverse fixture last month, Portland will be looking for a repeat of that result to solidify their playoff position as the regular season end draws ever closer.

Portland Timbers’ 2015 record in MLS: P22 – W9 – D5 – L8

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Team News

San Jose Earthquakes are without Innocent Emeghara, Steven Lenhart and Mike Fucito through injury. Clarence Goodson is a doubt with a leg injury. Chris Wondolowski returns after Gold Cup duty with the USMNT.

Portland Timbers will be missing Ben Zemanski who is still out with a serious knee injury. Fanendo Adi could return to the starting lineup after being benched in the 4-1 loss to Dallas.

Key Points

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

Portland Timbers’ last five: W/W/L/D/L

Key Stat: Portland have won the last three meetings in MLS between the two sides.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – ‘Wondo’ is back and extremely influential to the Earthquakes. Especially considering he has a total of nine goals so far this term.

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Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Portland Timbers – Both sides are without a win in three and we expect a tight game which neither will want to lose. Score draw seems most likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes 

Venue: BC Place – Sunday, July 26 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 8/11 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose Earthquakes 15/4

Match Preview

Sunday night sees Vancouver Whitecaps host San Jose Earthquakes in the middle of a hectic schedule of stateside soccer.

With top European sides touring the nation for preseason friendlies and the All-Star game less than a week away, Major League Soccer is very much in the spotlight. Vancouver won’t be thinking about any of that though as they look to keep their Western Conference title ambitions alive.

It will be important to note that MLS All-Star David Ousted has been a key part of their success so far, and a clean sheet come the end of play on Sunday is strong possibility. The home fans will expect three points and will want to see that three-game winless run end in this one.

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Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2015 record in MLS: P21 – W10 – D3 – L8

San Jose are missing Chris Wondolowski hugely as the striker is still away with the USMNT. Quincy Amarikwa has been brought in from Chicago to replace ‘Wondo’ and he did net twice in last week’s game.

But despite a great start to the LA Galaxy in the California Clasico last Friday, Chicago were left bitterly disappointed with that 5-2 loss to their arch rivals and will hope to pick back up here.

San Jose Earthquakes’ 2015 record in MLS: P17 – W7 – D4 – L8

We have passed the halfway point of the season and San Jose will want to push strong for a playoff berth as the end of the regular season draws nearer with each passing week.

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While Vancouver will be looking to regain top spot in the Western with a win as they are just two points behind FC Dallas in first place going into the weekend.

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps are without Sam Adekugbe as he is still suffering with an ankle injury. Pedro Morales and Pa Modou Kah remain doubtful. Jordan Harvey is suspended, while Kendall Waston and Darren Mattocks are away on international duty.

San Jose Earthquakes are still without Designated Player Innocent Emeghara through injury as well as Steven Lenhart. Mike Fucito is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Cordell Cato and Chris Wondolowski are away on international duty.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/W/L/L/D

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

Key Stat: San Jose have yet to register a win when playing Vancouver away from home.

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – Only one goal in his last ten appearances isn’t the most threatening of records but Rivero has shown promise thus far, and we expect him to be the difference on Sunday night.

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Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes – Vancouver may be in a dip of form, but you can still expect them to win comfortably against an out-of-shape San Jose side in this one.