While Saturday’s match against the Houston Dynamo wasn’t exactly a ‘must-win’ mathematically for the San Jose Earthquakes, it was a crucial game for the club both in the standings and for the team’s morale heading into the final stretch.
Forward Danny Hoesen delivered the game’s lone goal in the 33rd minute and helped propel the team to a 1-0 victory and up three (!) spots in the standings to fifth. The Quakes moved to 4-0-1 at home under head coach Chris Leitch in the process.
Not only did San Jose (obviously) benefit from their own win, but got a little help from elsewhere in MLS as well. FC Dallas dropped points at home after a scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC, despite Seattle missing United States National Team forward Jordan Morris. Unfortunately Real Salt Lake also secured three points in a 2-1 home victory over Portland, allowing them to remain just one point back of the Quakes in the West, albeit with one more match played.
With Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sporting Kansas City, Seattle and Portland all in seemingly good shape to reach the postseason, the Quakes appear to be in a four-team race for the final two spots in the Western Conference. San Jose has five games remaining compared to six for both Dallas and Houston and just four for RSL.
What do you think it will take for the Quakes to reach the playoffs over their last five games?
1. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (45; 13-9-6)
2. Portland Timbers (44; 12-10-8)
3. Sporting Kansas City (44; 11-6-11)
4. Seattle Sounders FC (44; 11-7-11)
5. Earthquakes (39; 11-12-6) – at DC (9/23), vs. CHI (9/27), vs. POR (9/30), at VAN (10/15), vs. MIN (10/22).
6. Real Salt Lake (38; 11-14-5) – vs. SEA(9/23), at LA (9/30), at COL (10/15), vs. SKC (10/22).
7. Houston Dynamo (38; 10-10- 8) – at NYC (9/23), vs. LA (9/27), vs. MIN (9/30), vs. SKC (10/11), at SKC (10/15), vs. CHI (10/22).
8. FC Dallas (38; 9-8-11) – at MIN (9/23), vs. COL (9/27), at ORL (9/30), at COL (10/7), at SEA (10/15), vs. LA (10/22).
9. Minnesota United FC (29; 8-15-5)
10. LA Galaxy (27; 7-15-6)
11. Colorado Rapids (26; 7-16-5)