The San Jose Earthquakes have accomplished a lot since Major League Soccer’s inaugural season in 1996, including winning two MLS Cups and two Supporters’ Shields, and building a privately financed state-of-the-art stadium which hosted the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in just its second year. But one thing the team has yet to accomplish is to fly back to the Bay Area from Vancouver with three points in hand.
After securing a 1-1 draw in their first-ever meeting in Vancouver back on May 11, 2011, the Earthquakes dropped each of the next six matches by an aggregate score of 14-6. Despite the track record, San Jose will have no fear when heading into BC Place on Friday evening, carrying with them a four-game unbeaten streak.
The Quakes are led by Chris Wondolowski, whose 10 goals (in 14 games) against Whitecaps FC are five more than any other player in MLS history. In fact, his 10 career goals against Vancouver are tied for his most against any MLS club (Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids).
Vancouver has also shown to be vulnerable at home this season, going 1-1-3 in their last five home matches. With a 5-2-5 overall record at BC Place, Whitecaps FC has earned fewer home wins than just one Western Conference club to date (Houston – 4). The team also currently holds the worst goal differential in the conference at -6. Furthermore, Vancouver is coming off a three-game road trip, with stops in Houston, Dallas and Colorado, in which they failed to score a single goal (0-2-1).
With San Jose’s sharp-as-a-tack defense and Vancouver’s struggles on the offensive end in recent weeks, expect a low-scoring match on Friday where the first team to score could prevail.