The San Jose Earthquakes return to PayPal Park to host Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 14, presented by Donor Network West. Wednesday’s match will be the second of three matchups between San Jose and RSL in 2021. The Quakes defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 on May 7, rallying behind a brace from Chris Wondolowski to complete the comeback victory.
The Quakes are back to earning points after a 1-1 road draw against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday. With the final stretch of the regular season in sight, San Jose looks to find stability in their performances both on the road and at home.
Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda alluded to this issue before San Jose’s visit to Dallas. Almeyda said he was pleased with the team’s ability to earn positive results on the road. His only concern is that the team’s performance hasn’t been the same at PayPal Park. Six of San Jose’s 11 remaining matches will be played at home.
Following Saturday’s draw at Toyota Stadium, goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski touched on the same subject and shares the same goal of earning points at home as Almeyda.
"I think just knowing we can impose ourselves in any game,” Marcinkowski said. “We want to play better at home and that's one area we really need to improve on and we're going to show it Wednesday. That same confidence we have when we play on the road, we need to have it at home and make PayPal Park our fortress as a really tough place to play and make sure teams don't want to go there.
“It's a really close group inside that locker room and we're all really good friends and it's a really cool environment so when we come on the road and we know that there's a lot of fans against us, the whole crowd's against us, it's kind of us against them and we love that mentality. We kind of thrive off it."
Real Salt Lake in particular has struggled in San Jose. The Quakes hold a six-match unbeaten streak (5-0-1) when hosting RSL, dating back to April 2015.
Although defender Nathan will have to serve a single-match suspension, defender Marcos Lopez has returned from international duty with Peru and is available to reinforce the backline.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on NBC Sports California Plus, KNBR and 1370 KZSF.