On Saturday, the Quakes will be back at Avaya Stadium following a three-game road stretch and they’ll be facing none other than the Western Conference-leading Portland Timbers.
This will be the 17th time San Jose and Portland face each other in MLS play, but their rivalry goes much deeper than that. The two clubs have been duking it out since the 1970s during their days in the North American Soccer League. Ahead of Saturday’s homecoming, we take a look at what to watch for in the first of three encounters against the Timbers this season:
There’s No Place Like Home
Not only are the Quakes undefeated at home in 2017, they’ve only lost once at home to the Timbers in the history of their MLS rivalry. At Avaya Stadium, the Oregon club has left winless in its only two visits: a 0-0 draw in 2015 and a 2-1 Quakes win in 2016 that included this beauty of a goal:
Wondo On The Mark
Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski has scored eight goals in his 12 appearances against the Timbers. If he scores against Portland on Saturday, he will equal Robbie Keane’s record for most goals scored against the Timbers all-time (9).
On top of that, Wondo currently leads the Quakes in assists this season with 4, which is tied for third-most among all players in the league and ranks first among all forwards. For the sake of comparison, it’s also the same number of assists that Portland’s current assist-leader, Diego Valeri, has produced thus far this season.
Go With The Flo
Last weekend, Quakes defender Florian Jungwirth helped the Quakes end a nine-game winless streak on the road by scoring his second goal of the season against Minnesota United FC.
His game-defining performance in the Midwest earned Jungwirth a place on the MLS Week 9 Team of the Week roster, marking the second time he’s made the list following the Week 1 Best XI honors he received for helping the Quakes shut out Ignacio Piatti and the Montreal Impact.
Adding to his stellar debut season thus far, Jungwirth is currently the club’s only outfield player to have played all 810 minutes of the Earthquakes’ season and he’s done it in a position outside of his preferred defensive midfielder role.
You can catch the Quakes renew their rivalry with the Timbers on Saturday, May 6, by tuning into NBC Sports California Plus, KNBR 1050 or KZSF 1370. Or better yet, cheer on the Quakes at Avaya Stadium and score a free, limited edition match-day poster if you’re among the first 7,500 to join us. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.