The San Jose Earthquake are back in the South Bay to defend PayPal Park in a pair of home matches this week. The Quakes will face Austin FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 23, respectively.
The Quakes will aim to end a three-match losing skid and keep their playoffs hopes alive. Fifteen points are still up for grabs in San Jose’s regular-season schedule, with three of five matches set to be played at PayPal Park.
Ahead of last Saturday’s match vs. LAFC, defender Nathan took part in a virtual press conference and spoke about the team’s mentality and approach to their last set of matches.
"As players, we always want to be in the playoffs,” Nathan said. “It doesn't matter how we get there; we will try everything unless there are no more possibilities of making it. If there is an opportunity, that will always be the objective in the locker room and that is our focus right now."
San Jose aim to build on their winning record (1-0-1) against Austin FC in the young history between the two clubs. Wednesday’s match marks the third and final meeting between San Jose and Austin in 2021. The Quakes earned a point in a scoreless draw against the Texas side on June 19, before defeating Austin in an exciting 4-3 comeback victory on Sept. 18. The Quakes trailed 3-1 at the start of the second half and rallied behind a goal from Cristian Espinoza and a brace from Chofis to secure the win at Q2 Stadium.
San Jose will count on the reigning MLS Player of the Month, Chofis, to find his form again and continue to produce in what is left of his debut season in MLS. Chofis leads all first-year players with 11 goals.
Eric Remedi has been a regular in head coach Matias Almeyda’s selection for the Starting XI (22 starts in 24 appearances for San Jose) and will be available to reinforce the midfield after serving a single-match suspension on Saturday.
Forward Jeremy Ebobisse has returned after suffering a head injury on Sept. 4, starting and playing all 90 minutes against LAFC. Prior to his absence, Ebobisse was just beginning to synergize with the team, tallying his first goal for San Jose in a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy on Aug. 20.
Austin FC saw their chances for playoffs collapse on Saturday, falling 1-0 against Minnesota United FC. Austin was unbeaten at Q2 Stadium in two consecutive matches prior to Saturday’s loss, having earned victories against the LA Galaxy (Sept. 26, 2-0) and Real Salt Lake (Oct. 2, 2-1).
Austin is led in goals by midfielders Cecilio Domínguez and Diego Fagundez with seven and six, respectively. Domínguez tallied a brace in Austin’s 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Kickoff from PayPal Park is set for 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.