Alan Gordon vs. Vancouver

Playoff Preview: Who would you pick?

The San Jose Earthquakes will face the winner of tonight’s knockout match between the fourth-seeded LA Galaxy and the fifth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps FC in either Los Angeles or Vancouver on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Tonight’s match, which will kick off at 7:30 p.m. PST and will be televised by both NBCSports and Univision, raises the question: who would you prefer to play?

The LA Galaxy enter the playoffs with a 16-12-6 record and are 2-1-2 in their last five games. The Whitecaps are 11-13-10 in the season and have posted a 1-1-3 record in their last five matches. The LA Galaxy are led by Robbie Keane’s 16 goals and Landon Donovan’s 14 assists. Darren Mattocks heads Vancouver’s attack with seven goals and Camilo has added seven assists.

The Earthquakes have saved their best performances of the 2012 season against their California Clasico rival, the LA Galaxy. In their three league games against the LA Galaxy, San Jose is 2-0-1 and their last-minute, gasp-inducing results have given rise to the “Goonies-Never-Say-Die” attitude. A heroic effort on May 23 marked the resolve characteristic of the Quakes, triumphantly scoring three goals in the final 14 minutes of the match to erase a two-goal deficit and escape with three points in front of a stunned Home Depot Center. Alan Gordon headed the home the game-winning goal in stoppage time.

San Jose’s deep playoff history against the LA Galaxy has not been as one-sided as the 2012 season. The Earthquakes were ousted by their Southern California rivals in the 1996 and 2005 seasons, but prevailed in both 2001 and 2003 en route to hoisting the MLS Cup. The 2003 matchup saw the Quakes down 2-0 after the first leg in Los Angeles and 4-0 on aggregate in the second leg, but a resounding 5-2 victory at Spartan Stadium, including a stoppage-time winner by Rodrigo Faria, propelled the Earthquakes into the next round.

Sunday’s possible matchup with Vancouver would be the first ever playoff meeting between the two sides. The sophomore MLS members will be making their first MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. The Quakes are 2-3-0 in 2012 against Canadian opponents including a 1-3-0 mark in Canada. A 3-1 home win on April 7 has been the Quakes’ lone victory against the Whitecaps FC this season as the Quakes hold a 1-2 mark against Vancouver.

Who would you pick?







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