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.

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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.