The rest of the Western Conference hasn’t been kind to San Jose this week. Minnesota United FC, Real Salt Lake, the LA Galaxy and the Portland Timbers all picked up Wednesday night victories and the Quakes have tumbled down to sixth place.
When the Earthquakes visit Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, they’ll be looking to snap a two-match winless streak. San Jose has won each of its last four matches following a defeat.
Kansas City hasn’t been an easy place to play for the Earthquakes, who have picked up just one road victory (or draw for that matter) since 2004. San Jose is 1-11-0 in their last 12 road games against SKC.
It’s fair to say, however, that neither of these two teams are in a usual place in their recent history. The Quakes suddenly have the look of a team that can win on any field on any day, while Sporting continues to struggle to pick up points. In fact, KC has won just one of their last five matches (1-4-0) and have scored three total goals in their last five at home (1-4-0).
Despite unfortunate results the last two weeks, San Jose continues to be the team on the front foot. The Quakes have outshot 10 of their last 11 opponents and haven’t been shut out since way back on April 27. San Jose’s ‘attack, attack, attack’ mentality and SKC’s run of stagnant offense could lead to a positive result on Saturday.
Sporting are led by several familiar faces: Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Tim Melia, Felipe Gutierrez, Benny Feilhaber, and Roger Espinoza. The bulk of their offense has come through Gutierrez (10 goals), Johnny Russell (8) and Krisztian Nemeth (7), although Nemeth has been battling an abdominal injury.
Sporting KC just played on Wednesday night in Florida, falling to Orlando City SC 1-0.
The match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.