MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes

2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Knockout Round: Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes

BC Place – Wednesday, October 25 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose 100/30

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

The 2017 MLS Playoffs are here. In one of four midweek knockout games, Vancouver Whitecaps welcome San Jose Earthquakes to BC Place in a winner-takes-all clash.

The Whitecaps had a strong regular season and finishing third gives them the home advantage. This gives their fans reason to have faith ahead of the tie, as they are undefeated in their last seven home games.

While Vancouver’s run in to the end of the season saw them win just twice in five games they don’t have too much to worry about. As we all know, recent form means little in knockout competition and be assured, Carl Robinson will have his side fired up and ready to go.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: The Whitecaps faithful will be hoping to see celebrations like this on Wednesday night.

San Jose Earthquakes have reached the postseason for the first time since 2012 in what was a dramatic Decision Day. They conceded the most goals of any side to reach the Playoffs, which is a slight concern for them. However, it’s now all about focusing on how they can advance on Wednesday evening.

While The Quakes have failed to win nine of their last ten on the road, they have every right to feel they can advance. Their recent form against Vancouver has been very strong, which has seen them go unbeaten in the last five meetings.

The most recent meeting between the sides was arguably San Jose’s most important result of the season. Their draw in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago kept their playoff hopes alive. And they showed just how relentless they can be, securing their place in postseason action with an injury time winner over Minnesota. This has the makings of a classic.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

The Whitecaps are expecting to be without two, David Edgar and Matias Laba remain out.

The visitors have four injury concerns heading into this one. Harold Cummings, Marvell Wynne, Fatai Alashe are all expected to remain out, while there are doubts over Nick Lima.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Points

Vancouver’s last five: L/W/L/D/L

San Jose’s last five: L/L/W/D/W

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes’ goal differential of -21 is the worst of any playoff team in MLS history. They’re underdogs, but as the final round of the regular season showed, they’re more than capable of getting the result they need.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – Much will be expected of Wondo, who was named MLS player of the week, from the Quakes faithful here. His contribution in their final four regular season games was enormous – scoring twice and assisting three. Many will expect Vancouver to progress, but San Jose are more than capable of making it through to the next stage, especially if Wondolowski is on song.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes – This is going to be anything but an easy ride for Vancouver Whitecaps. San Jose have proven their capabilities of causing their opposition headaches and their performances to reach the playoffs for the first time in five years will give them that added lift. However, like the vast majority, we are expecting the home side to be in the next round. It would be a major shock if they weren’t.

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Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – Vancouver looking to win conference as playoff race heats up

Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – The playoff race in the Western Conference is set to go down to the wire. The Vancouver Whitecaps lead Sporting Kansas City by three points heading into what should be an action-packed Week 32. Ten of the eleven Western Conference sides play each other, while Portland host DC United in the only inter-conference matchup of the weekend.

All of this week’s games involving sides from the West will kickoff at the same time on Sunday night at 19:30 ET (00:30 BST). So you can guarantee there will be drama as some teams look to nail down playoff berths, and others are fighting to keep their dreams alive. Read on for all of this weekend’s Western Conference predictions: MLS week 32 should be a good one…

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Real Salt Lake

This late-season Rocky Mountain Cup clash is a big deal. Real Salt Lake are still fighting to get into the playoffs with two games to go. But they must travel to the home of their fiercest rival in MLS. The Rapids’ playoffs hopes have been over for some time but they would love nothing more than to ruin RSL’s season on Sunday night. Real Salt Lake, though, have only lost one of their last six. A loss would likely spell the end to their season, depending on other results, so they must avoid defeat.

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Houston Dynamo

These two meet for the second time in five days on Sunday. The Dynamo prevented SKC going joint-top of the West with Wednesday night’s 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. They gave their own playoffs hopes a huge boost with that win and will be looking to take at least one more point off of SKC here. Sporting KC haven’t yet secured a playoff berth, despite sitting second with two games to go. A victory would solve that issue, but the absence of goalkeeper Tim Melia could be significant.

LA Galaxy 2-3 Minnesota United

Few people would have thought LA Galaxy would be coming into the penultimate weekend of the season seven points behind Minnesota United. But the problems in LA this season have left them with a year to forget. They will want to avoid finishing dead last in the West and need to try and end the season on a high. But Minnesota are in fairly good form, having only lost one of their last five. They beat Atlanta United in their latest road trip and could add to LA’s misery on Sunday.

Seattle Sounders 2-1 FC Dallas

Both these sides come into the weekend in playoff spots, but know a defeat on Sunday could put them in real trouble. Seattle have two home games remaining. They sit fourth and could still finish the season with a Knockout Round bye. FC Dallas are in a much more precarious position. They are only a point above RSL and San Jose in the final playoff spot and can’t really afford to drop any points. Head coach Oscar Pareja has called this game “the season”, and he’s not wrong. But they aren’t in good form and have lost four-straight games at CenturyLink Field.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes

The Whitecaps are the only Western Conference side to have sealed a playoff berth with 180 minutes of football to go. That’s quite incredible but also testament to their consistency this season. They can guarantee a Knockout Round bye with a home win agains San Jose on Sunday. But the visitors are fighting for their lives too. The Quakes beat Portland last time out to keep their top six hopes intact. But they still need to overtake RSL and Dallas to seal a playoff spot. Vancouver are a real force at home and should prove too much for San Jose.

Portland Timbers 3-0 DC United

Portland missed the chance to seal their playoff spot when they fell 2-1 at San Jose last time out. That result also saw them drop out of the top two. They do now have two home games to finish the season though and will expect to beat DC on Sunday. The Eastern Conference playoff race is over and DC United won’t be playing postseason football. They’ll still want to show some fight but the fact is they will finish bottom of the East after a poor season. Don’t expect them to spoil things in Portland.

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.