2016 MLS Season Preview: San Jose Earthquakes

As the 2016 MLS season edges ever closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what the San Jose Earthquakes could achieve this season.

The 2015 season saw San Jose Earthquakes move into their new Avaya Stadium but unfortunately, they were unable to make the postseason once again. It was a season of some fantastic highs but the ultimate low was missing out on the playoffs for a second-straight season – something head coach Dominic Kinnear will be desperate to fix. The Quakes finished four points behind sixth-placed Sporting Kansas City in the end, but ended relatively well and should push on this term. The loss of DP forward Innocent Emeghara was a bitter pill to swallow early in the season, but he should be back and will look to score the goals to fire San Jose into a playoff berth. Victories away at the likes of Seattle, SKC and DC United showed they could cope with the league’s best but they need to make that form last longer. Dominic Kinnear knows the formula to win MLS Cup, having won it twice with Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007 and he would love to lift the title with San Jose come the end of the 2016 season.

Last Season’s Finish:

Western Conference – Position: 7th – P34 – W13 – D8 – L13

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What Needs To Change This Year?

San Jose must improve their away form, following ten defeats on the road in 2015. That’s just not good enough if you are looking to make the top six. Despite boasting the third-best defensive record in MLS last term, their offensive play let them down. They ranked third from bottom in terms of goal output, having netted just 41 times. More goals will lead to more success. Chris Wondolowski knows how to score goals and he keeps on getting them, having now reached over 100 in MLS – being the fastest to achieve this feat. But the rest of the squad need to chip in with their fair share to ease the burden on the American. Chad Barrett has come in from Seattle Sounders and will look to help, while Simon Dawkins will be tasked with getting assists. It has potential to be an enormous season for the Quakes if they can learn from last year’s deficiencies.

Key Changes:

Ins: Chad Barrett – Forward, Simon Dawkins – Midfielder, Andres Imperiale – Defender, Andrew Tarbell – Goalkeeper & Alberto Quintero – Midfielder

Outs: Mike Fucito  Forward, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi  Midfielder, Khari Stephenson – Midfielder, Paulo Renato – Defender, Tomas Gomez – Goalkeeper, Leandro Barrera – Midfielder

Key Player:

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Innocent Emeghara – Forward – The Swiss striker will feel like a new signing for San Jose, having only made seven appearances last season before his season-ending knee injury. With 76 goals scored in his professional career, he will look to put the Earthquakes back on the map and into the playoff picture as he looks to win his first major honour. If he can stay healthy, he could prove to be one of the league’s deadliest strikers in 2016.

One to Watch:

Simon Dawkins – Midfielder – The ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has returned back to San Jose, having won the Supporters’ Shield with the club back in 2012. He could be the lucky omen that gets the Quakes into the playoffs once again and will hope to shine on his return to MLS. He has more than 50 MLS games under his belt and that experience should help Dawkins to settle straight back into the league. It’s now time for the 28-year-old to flourish again.

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Predicted Finish:

Western Conference – 6th  This time round we expect the Quakes to make the playoffs. They are a team that is battling in a very tight and competitive Western Conference but they had the third-best defence in MLS last term and have strengthened this offseason. Chris Wondolowski will get goals, as will the likes of Quincy Amarikwa and Innocent. They have a fine manager in Dominic Kinnear, who knows the league inside out and things look good for the Quakes. The teams around them have done some very good business and San Jose will struggle to challenge high up the standings, but they should be able to secure a top six finish. Here’s to what could be a great season in San Jose, California.

What are you expecting from San Jose Earthquakes in 2016?

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Manchester United to face two-time MLS Cup winners in July

Manchester United have confirmed that they will play a preseason friendly tour match against two-time MLS Cup winners San Jose Earthquakes at California Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, July 21st of this year.

The Premier League club released a statement on their official website yesterday confirming the dates, venues and opponents of their 2015 tour of the USA in which they will also face Club America of Mexico’s Liga MX, Spanish giants FC Barcelona and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United’s full 2015 USA tour:

  • Club America – Friday, July 17th – CenturyLink Field, Seattle
  • San Jose Earthquakes – Tuesday, July 21st – California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley
  • FC Barcelona – Saturday, July 25th – Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara
  • Paris Saint-Germain – Wednesday, July 29th – Soldier Field, Chicago
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Richard Arnold, United’s group managing director, is happy to see the club returning to the USA once again and has described how high the interest is among fans who are desperate to see the team play.

“Manchester United teams have been visiting San Francisco since the 1960s, so we are delighted to be coming back for the fourth time this summer,” Arnold told Man United’s official website.

“Tickets for our match against Barcelona – four days after this fixture in nearby Santa Clara – have already sold out. This level of demand and interest in Manchester United and soccer makes it an exciting time to be returning to the Bay area.”

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Arnold also eluded to how the game against the Quakes has a strong meaning given the fact that one of United’s club legends used to play for them.

“San Jose Earthquakes and Manchester United share a special connection with the great George Best playing for both sides during his illustrious career. I’m sure the Earthquakes will provide fitting opposition for the players when the teams meet for the first time this summer.”

Is Manchester United’s 2015 USA tour an exciting prospect?

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.