MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Tuesday, May 5th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Houston 6/5 – Draw 11/5 – 23/10

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo take on San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night in the first of this week’s MLS fixtures as Dominic Kinnear returns to Houston for the first time since leaving at the end of last season.

The Quakes head coach spent nine years with the Dynamo and will return to BBVA Compass Stadium looking for victory with his San Jose team.

Both these sides played on Friday night and will hope the four days rest won’t affect their performances in this key Western Conference battle.

Houston and San Jose are two of four teams tied on ten points in the Western and need to start winning more games to climb the table.

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The Dynamo have only won twice this season, both of which were at home, but they come into the game needing to desperately improve from that 4-1 home defeat at the hand of FC Dallas on Friday night.

Owen Coyle has watched his team concede eight times over the past two weeks and will be urging his players to defend better when San Jose arrive on Tuesday.

The Earthquakes drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake away from home on Friday and Tuesday’s trip to Houston will be the club’s third straight road game.

Kinnear has only seen his side win three times this season and with one victory in five now, things need to start improving quickly.

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San Jose last won in Houston in 2010 but Dominic Kinnear will hope that his knowledge of the Dynamo team can prove decisive as the Quakes look for all three points.

These two sides met early on in preseason as the Dynamo beat San Jose 3-2 in Arizona and we are all hoping for an equally entertaining game this time around.

Team News

Houston Dynamo have only one concern as Oscar Boniek Garcia is struggling with a knee sprain and is doubtful for the game. Giles Barnes will continue in attack after netting his fifth of the season in the defeat to Dallas on Friday.

San Jose Earthquakes will be without four players for the trip to Houston as Mark Sherrod (knee), Steven Lenhart (knee), Shaun Francis (face) and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (ankle) are all ruled out. Jordan Stewart is in contention to start after making the bench on Friday. Chris Wondolowski could have to play deeper again if Kinnear opts to start Innocent Emeghara as the lone striker once more.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/W/D/D/L

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

Key Stat: San Jose have failed to win in 16 of their last 17 away games in MLS.

Key Player: Giles Barnes – The English forward has five goals this season and seems to be carrying the Dynamo through some poor form. He will expect to add to his tally against a Quakes side that hasn’t kept an away clean sheet so far this campaign.

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Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes – Goals are expected in this one after Houston’s recent form will leave fans dreading another four-goal defensive failure. Despite both sides’ patchy form, they should be out to win this game, though that could result in a close contest. Score draw.

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

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

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Friday, May 1st – 20:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose Earthquakes 100/3

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake entertain San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night as both sides look to lift themselves up the table in a very competitive Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake come into the game off the back of two defeats. Last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing away to New England Revolution has further highlighted their sticky patch of form after a 1-0 home defeat to Vancouver the week before ended their unbeaten start to the campaign.

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Jeff Cassar’s side have won just twice this season and need to avoid getting caught up in a lengthy spell before their next win, but this game will be yet another hard outing against a San Jose side that have already won at the Seattle Sounders this season.

The Earthquakes are above Real Salt Lake on goal-difference but they too are struggling to put together a winning streak after a promising start to the season.

Winning three and losing four of their seven games so far isn’t too much of a concern for Dominic Kinnear but he needs to get his defence to tighten up having conceded nine times.

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The Quakes lost 2-0 last week to the New York Red Bulls. They will feel they have a chance to take points from this one, but the standings are incredibly tight with just two points separating 5th and 10th in the Western, showing why it is so hard to split these two.

Team News

Real Salt Lake have seven injury concerns as Joao Plata, Chris Schuler, Sebastian Jaime, Javier Morales, Boyd Okwuonu and Nick Rimando could all miss out. Plata is nearing a return but is still at least three weeks away. While John Stertzer will miss out through suspension, so Cassar has his options limited, but he will be hoping that he can take something from this game ahead of their next tie against LA Galaxy.

San Jose Earthquakes have four out as Mark Sherrod, Steven Lenhart, Shaun Francis and Jordan Stewart will miss the trip. Kinnear needs Chris Wondolowski to lead the line as he did at the start of the season as the forward hasn’t scored in his last three outings and needs to put that run to an end as soon as he can.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: W/W/D/L/L

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

Key Stat: Leaky – both sides have conceded more than they have scored this season (9) and so it could go either way in this game.

Key Player: Kyle Beckerman – The midfield powerhouse needs to show his ability to dominate the middle of the park in these sort of games. If he can hit top form, RSL will reap the benefits.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes – Nothing to split these two in what will be a hard fought tie. Goals can be expected though as there have been 17 in the last six meetings between the two sides.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: Red Bull Arena, Friday, April 17th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York 7/10 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose 18/5

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena in this week’s Friday night game and both clubs will come into this one in a confident mood.

The Red Bulls earned a valuable draw at DC United last weekend as a late Lloyd Sam goal sealed a 2-2 draw to keep Jesse Marsch’s side as one of just two unbeaten clubs in MLS after six weeks.

New York have only played four times so far, winning two and drawing two, but have won their own home game and their supporters will be eager to see them in action on home turf once again on Friday night.

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The Earthquakes put an end to their two-game losing streak by beating the top side in MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps, last Saturday.

San Jose have now picked up nine points from their opening six games and travel to New Jersey looking to climb into second place in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

The Quakes have not lost to the Red Bulls in four years and will take confidence from that record going into this one.

Last year’s only meeting ended in a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena, and three of the last four have now ended in draws between these two.

There are usually goals when these two meet and that should be no different on Friday night in what should be an entertaining game.

Team News

New York Red Bulls have three injury worries to defenders heading into the game as Roy Miller (knee), Ronald Zubar (hamstring) and Damien Perrinelle (foot) are all doubts, but should be fit to play. Bradley Wright-Phillips will continue to lead the attack with Lloyd Sam and Mike Grella likely to keep their places on the wings.

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San Jose Earthquakes look set to be without four players as Mark Sherrod (knee), Steven Lenhart (knee), Jordan Stewart (calf) and Shaun Francis (head) are all unlikely to feature. Adam Jahn will serve his one-game suspension for the red card picked up in Saturday’s win against Vancouver and will miss out. Chris Wondolowski travelled with the USA squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico but didn’t feature as he had a calf strain so he is a doubt for Friday’s game.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W/D

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/W/L/L/W

Key Stat: There have been 20 goals in the last six matches between these two sides and so entertainment is expected at Red Bull Arena.

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Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The English forward has two goals so far this season but always plays best at home and a return to Red Bull Arena could see him put in a big performance.

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – The Red Bulls have looked strong so far this season and are always a real threat at home. That should see them beat San Jose on Friday night but expect both teams to score in what should be a good one.

MLSGB Goal of the Week: Innocent Emeghara takes Week 2 award

Our second Goal of the Week vote is now closed and you have voted San Jose Earthquakes attacker Innocent Emeghara for this week’s award.

Emeghara made the most of his first start for the Earthquakes as he scored his side’s third goal in that impressive 3-2 win against the Seattle Sounders last weekend.

His solo effort saw him carry the ball half the pitch, eventually cutting inside Brad Evans and slotting into the far corner, leaving Evans on the floor.

The San Jose DP took the Week 2 award with 60% of the votes. David Villa was the runner-up for his excellent finish in New York City FC’s 2-0 win against New England.

Here’s another look at your Goal of the Week for Week 2:

Innocent Emeghara’s fine goal against Seattle Sounders (via Seattle Sounders on YouTube):

Podcast: David Villa, NYCFC, San Jose Earthquakes & Sunderland

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about the latest weekend of MLS action as we chat David Villa and New York City as well as the San Jose Earthquakes and their hopes for the season. We also discuss Sunderland after Gus Poyet was replaced by Dick Advocaat at the Stadium of light this week and the Black Cats’ chances of Premier League survival.

2014 MLS Season Review: San Jose Earthquakes

Western Conference Final Position: 9th

Review

San Jose lost the highest number of games in a single season for 14 years as they tasted defeat 16 times in the 2014 season. It will go down as a year to forget, but the Earthquakes have a fresh start to look forward to.

The California-based side will move into a new soccer-specific stadium for the start of the 2015 season, and will hope that the change of home will inspire them to better performances on the pitch.

San Jose lifted the Supporters’ Shield two years ago, but a lot can change in football, and they will need to regroup and strengthen if they are to improve next year.

Best Moment

The 5-1 win against Chicago Fire in July is was the standout moment of what was a disappointing season. San Jose only won six matches, and the demolition of Chicago gave the home fans plenty to cheer about on that day. Things got even better a week later when they beat Seattle 1-0, but unfortunately, that was to be their last win of the season.

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Worst Moment

The 5-0 loss at home to FC Dallas in mid-August was the worst defeat that the Earthquakes suffered all season, and that is certainly a game they will have already wiped from memory. Failing to score a single goal in the last four games of the season is also a major concern, but the team have time to regroup and fix the mounting problems.

Player of the Year

Chris Wondolowski had another solid season despite the almost non-existent attacking support around him as the star striker ended the season with 14 goals and four assists. ‘Wondo’ only made 26 appearances but was a joy to watch once again when given service. The Earthquakes need to build the team around their star man to improve.

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Biggest Win

San Jose Earthquakes 5-1 Chicago Fire (July 24 2014)

Biggest Defeat

San Jose Earthquakes 0-5 FC Dallas (August 17 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

The move to the new stadium will give fans the chance to forget about the past, and they will be looking to see a much-improved side when they start the 2015 season. Dominic Kinnear will return to coach the side and that should see things improve on the field.

Kinnear led the Earthquakes to the 2005 Supporters’ Shield and San Jose will need him to come in and make an immediate impact.

Defensively, they were reasonably good, as only eight sides conceded fewer goals than them – all of whom made the playoffs.

In attack, they were poor. The Earthquakes only scored 35 goals in 34 games, with Chivas USA the only side to find the net on fewer occasions (29) and Kinnear will need to get the side playing attacking football if things are to improve.

Preview and Prediction: Chivas USA vs San Jose Earthquakes

Chivas USA take on San Jose Earthquakes as the two worst sides in the Western Conference clash this Sunday, to end what have been largely miserable seasons for both.

The sides lock horns level on points and both will want to get the win to avoid being at the foot of the table come the end of the final weekend.

The Earthquakes go into the game in good form, having taken four points from their last two, which is promising for them, considering they had failed to win in the previous 13 in all competitions.

Chivas had won two back-to-back for the first time since July, but did lose against Real Salt Lake on Thursday. Their form over the season simply hasn’t been good enough, but there is promise for them in the season finale as Erick Torres will want to add to his tally of 15 to end what has been a good season individually.

Both sides will be looking to end this season with something to take into next term and ensuring that they don not finishing bottom would be a step in the right direction.

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Chivas have won twice more this season than the Earthquakes so they will feel they’ll have the upper hand in the tie despite being bottom of the Western Conference going into it.

With both sides struggling to have found any real form all season a draw looks a likely possibility in what will be the final regular season game of the 2014 MLS season.

Key Player: Erick Torres – The most positive aspect of Chivas’ season, as he has scored 15 in 28.

Key Stat: Chivas have lost more games than any team in Major League Soccer with 19.

Chivas Last 5: L/L/W/W/L

SJ Earthquakes Last 5: L/L/L/W/D

Prediction: Chivas 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Preview: Real Salt Lake look to pile misery on hapless San Jose Earthquakes

Real Salt Lake take on San Jose Earthquakes Saturday evening as they look to pick up their form off the back of two losses.

San Jose are on a dismal run of 12 without a win. Salt Lake, only a point ahead of Dallas, need to fend off the Earthquakes to avoid falling down the table, and they will expect to pick up all three points in Saturdays encounter.

The last two games between the Western Conference sides have ended in a draw this season, although there were 8 goals in those two games, so a similar match up looks to be on the cards.

The Royals are unbeaten in their last nine home games, with the Quakes without victory in their last 10 away in the league. With that in mind you’d have to be a brave man to back San Jose to win this weekend.

Key player: Kyle Beckerman – The 32-year-old will be expected to steady the midfield with his vast experience.

Key stat: San Jose have conceded a staggering 27 goals in their winless spout, spanning 12 games.

Prediction: Real Salt Lake 2 – 0 San Jose Earthquakes