Match Preview

MATCH PREVIEW: Earthquakes to host home rematch against Portland Timbers   

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The San Jose Earthquakes will take on the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, June 19. Kickoff from PayPal Park in San Jose California, will take place at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast globally here on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, as well as on local radio via AM 810 The Spread (English) and AM 1370 La Kaliente (Spanish).

The Quakes have a quick turnaround following a late second-half defeat to FC Cincinnati. The second-place Eastern Conference visitors found themselves down 2-1 in the 72nd minute after two unanswered goals by the host’s Argentine stars Hernán López and Cristian Espinoza. However, Cincy would prevail when 64th minute substitute Yuya Kubo scored a hat trick for the 4-2 final margin.

The Black and Blue now face the Portland Timbers after a controversial road loss last month. In the 70th minute, the Quakes led 2-0 and were on track to make club history with their first ever triumph at Providence Park, as well as extend their season-long unbeaten streak at the time to five games in all competitions. However, a red card issued to defender Bruno Wilson in the 72nd minute shifted the momentum in favor of the hosts. With a man down, San Jose allowed four unanswered goals and fell, 4-2. After appeal, Wilson’s red card and one-game suspension was unanimously rescinded after the game.

Since that moment, both clubs have had opposite fortunes. While the Quakes have lost four of five games after the Portland road trip, the Timbers have won two of five matches and unbeaten in four.

In the Timbers’ last match, they secured a point in a scoreless draw against St. Louis City SC. Forward Felipe Mora leads Portland with eight goals on the campaign, while midfielder Evander is also crucial to the Oregon side’s attack, tallying seven goals and eight assists. San Jose will also need to account for Jonathan “Cabecita” Gonzalez, who scored a brace against the Black and Blue as a second-half substitute in their first meeting.

Quakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez spoke to the media this week about the rematch.

“I know certain guys will definitely take this game in a personal way,” he said. “That didn't go our way [in Portland] and with some very dubious calls that just put us in bad positions. A man down and then the momentum changed there, which everybody knows about. It's important also that we take that heavy weight, mental weight and get it off our shoulders so that we can be free and confident and flying with energy and intensity playing in our way. We're going to recognize that Portland is the same opponent that got points against us; a win against us in complete shifts where we were playing excellent up until that point. It's about us. It's about what we control and what we do in our identity and how we can get better.”

One player who will not be present for the rematch is Wilson, who underwent successful hamstring surgery and is expected to miss four to six months. Meanwhile, the Earthquakes will still continue their push to rise back up the table. In attack, Amahl Pellegrino currently paces the team with five goals. Winger Cristian Espinoza has recorded nine assists, securing him a top-five spot among MLS leaders.

However, despite the team’s relative success offensively, it will take a complete game on both sides of the ball to earn three points.

“We are a resilient group,” he said. “There is that mental weight of the disappointment in the care of the result; it hurt. It affects all of us. These guys care. These guys care so much — the staff cares, I care, we care, our owners, everybody cares, our fans. That's going to help our focus on being better and that's going to build our resilience to find solutions. We also [have to] get that weight off, have a short memory and attack the next opportunity, which is having more consistency and complete over 90 minutes of doing these things better.”