In search of their third MLS Cup championship in club history, the Quakes must first finish the season above the red line as one of the top six teams in the Western Conference. The Quakes are currently sitting in seventh place (40 pts.) in the West, just one point behind Portland, with four games to go.
Earthquakes fans would be wise to know what’s going on around the rest of Major League Soccer and to be privy to the club’s rooting interests.
What to watch for this week/weekend:
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC (4:30 p.m. PT)
Portland is just one point clear of the Quakes and seem like the team most likely to be caught at this stage in the race. No doubt, root for Columbus.
Colorado Rapids at Houston Dynamo (5:30 p.m. PT)
A battle between two of the bottom three teams in the Western Conference, Quakes fans should root for Colorado, who sit a bit deeper behind San Jose and are less likely to catch up. This point gets even more exacerbated should Houston defeat Sporting on Wednesday.
New York City FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:00 p.m. PT)
A simple East vs. West matchup. Root for NYCFC.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Seattle Sounders FC at Sporting KC (2 p.m. PT on ESPN)
A crucial battle between two teams just above San Jose in the standings, rooting interest in this game sways heavily on Sporting’s matchup on Wednesday. Should SKC defeat the Dynamo, Quakes fans should hope they also pull out three points against Seattle. If they lose or draw, a Seattle win would then be more beneficial, as Sporting becomes likelier to fall in the standings. A draw would not be the worst result either.
FC Dallas at LA Galaxy (6:30 p.m. PT on FS1)
Both teams have 47 points, although FC Dallas has played two fewer matches. While San Jose would have to finish the season red-hot to have a chance at catching either, LA would be the easier of the two. Plus, when an LA victory does not directly help SJ, root #BeatLA, just because.