The San Jose Earthquakes will play a third-straight road match on Wednesday, July 21 when they take on Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. Wednesday’s match marks the second meeting between both teams in 2021, with the Quakes falling 3-1 against SKC at PayPal Park on May 22. Midfielder Chofis opened the scoring in the fourth minute to give San Jose an early lead but Sporting responded with three unanswered goals, seeing them walk away with all three points.
San Jose has earned a point in consecutive road matches, most recently against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening. Midfielder Chofis received a pass from forward Cade Cowell and tallied his third goal of the season, giving the Quakes a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the match. Cole Bassett was able to find an equalizer for Colorado in the second half, forcing San Jose to settle for a point in consecutive road matches against two teams in good form.
Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda sees improvement in his team. Almeyda believes that a victory is in reach for the Earthquakes. The Argentine coach says one key to earning positive results lies in Chofis and the chemistry he is developing with his teammates, specifically Cowell.
"Every coach looks for chemistry and for different players to form partnerships,” Almeyda said in a press conference following Saturday’s match. “Chofis is a player that needs to have partnerships. Important things come from Chofis being on the ball. He is scoring and assisting on goals. He is one of our most dangerous players in the offensive phase.
“Cade keeps growing and yet is still very young. When he improves on the things that I am looking for, he will become a very important player for his club and country. That requires time for him to play, make mistakes, play well or decently. That is the only way for young players to progress and grow."
Chofis recognizes the potential in synergizing with Cowell in the offensive phase.
"I think players in the midfield, especially those in the number 10 role, as I was, need partnerships in order to understand each other, and make goal-scoring passes,” Chofis said on Saturday. “Regarding Cade, who is just starting his career, we're going step by step, and we've connected on a couple of goals. I have no doubt that he will develop into a great player in a couple of years. He still has much to learn. He is doing a great job and we need to continue down this path, in which we learn off each other. We also learn from everyone else, especially the coaching staff who take the week to plan goal-scoring plays."
San Jose will be facing a Sporting Kansas City side that currently occupies second place (8-3-2) in the Western Conference, just three points (26 pts.) behind leaders Seattle Sounders FC. Sporting are unbeaten at home this season, yielding a record of 5-0-2 at Children’s Mercy Park in 2021.
Sporting defeated the LA Galaxy 2-0 in their most recent match, extending their winning streak to three, which also features victories against LAFC (2-1) and the Colorado Rapids (3-1). Despite not having played a match since July 4, Sporting still lead MLS in goals scored with 24.
Almeyda has previously praised SKC head coach Peter Vermes for his methods. The Argentine knows they have a great opponent ahead of them, and that is best to not underestimate them because of their inactivity. Almeyda is more concerned with the recovery of his players.
“Players need 48 hours to recover,” Almeyda said, looking ahead to Wednesday’s match. “There is stress and fatigue, but those are rules in this game. We will try to play those who recover, and hope there aren’t any issues that come up in training.”
Kickoff at Children’s Mercy Park is set for 5:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.