match preview

The San Jose Earthquakes (0-4-2; 2 pt.) will face Nashville SC (3-2-1; 10 pts.) at PayPal Park on Saturday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast nationally on TUDN, Univision and Twitter (English) and aired on the radio via KNBR 1050 (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).

The match marks the first-ever meeting between San Jose and Nashville SC. Nashville, who joined Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2020, competed in the Eastern Conference for their first two seasons before switching to the West to accommodate newcomers Charlotte FC in 2022.

San Jose will look to extend their two-game unbeaten streak at home. After erasing a late two-goal deficit vs. Columbus on March 5 (D 3-3), the Quakes repeated the feat vs. Austin on April 2 (D 2-2). Jeremy Ebobisse has scored three goals in the last two matches, while midfielder Jan Gregus ranks tied for second in MLS with four assists on the season.

“We are working hard every single day, even though the results at the beginning of the season weren’t what we were expecting,” said Gregus to media on Wednesday. “We are working so hard. I’ve said many times that working in this team has been amazing since day one, and the work ethic and the way the players and staff work around the team I can say is very special. Nothing changed, we are still working hard, working on the mistakes that we did in the [previous] games and try to eliminate those and working on the good things that brought us goals that make us better.”

One player the team has relied on in recent weeks is defender Tanner Beason, the team’s first-round SuperDraft selection out of Stanford in 2020. Beason, left-footed, was the team’s primary left center back last year in what was a breakout campaign for the now 25-year-old. With the signing of Costa Rica National Team center back Francisco Calvo, who is also left-footed, Beason has slotted into the right side of the team’s central defense in Nathan’s absence. He spoke about that transition on Wednesday.

“Yeah, obviously it’s different playing on the right side,” Beason explained. “It is literally the mirror image so everything is exactly the opposite; the way you position your body, the way you orient yourself to defend, to take your first touch, to pass, the picture you see when you receive the ball. That part of course is a learning process and adjustment process. I’m just happy to be playing and I’m ready to play wherever, whether it’s the right or the left. Doesn’t matter. I’m just ready to compete and enjoying being out there and the challenge of being on a different side or a different opponent or whatever it is. Just enjoying being out there and competing with the guys.”

Nashville is currently in the seventh place in the Western Conference despite playing all of their matches to date on the road. The team has enjoyed back-to-back wins over Columbus (1-0) and Sporting KC (2-1) to climb up the standings. Nashville is led by Panama National Team midfielder Anibal Godoy, formerly of the Quakes, and U.S. National Team defender Walker Zimmerman.