The San Jose Earthquakes earned three critical points in a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake last Wednesday. Two goals by Chris Wondolowski and a defensive shutout led by goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski were enough to see San Jose jump into seventh place in the West. With Colorado’s surprise win over Seattle on Sunday, the Quakes fell to eighth but still ultimately control their own destiny.
The Quakes can clinch a spot in the postseason on Wednesday vs. LAFC. Here are the two scenarios in play for San Jose to punch its ticket mid-week:
1.San Jose Earthquakes win vs. Los Angeles Football Club.
2.San Jose Earthquakes tie vs. Los Angeles Football Club AND LA Galaxy tie or lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC.
Should the Earthquakes lose, Vancouver Whitecaps FC would remain alive and therefore it would come down to Decision Day, regardless of the Galaxy’s outcome.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at San Jose’s upcoming opponent:
LAFC are currently in fifth place in the West with a 9-7-4 record and 1.55 points per game average.
LAFC are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and 3-1-1 in their last five. They only won three of their first 10 matches this season but have since found their stride and are playing their best soccer of the season. The good news for San Jose is that LAFC have been abysmal away from home this year, holding a 1-5-1 road record with losses to the LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Real Salt Lake among them.
You don’t talk about LAFC without mentioning Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi. Rossi, 22, is expected to win the league MVP award with a league-high 13 goals to date. Vela, last year’s MVP, has missed most of the season to injury but has returned as a substitute in each of their last two matches and scored one goal and 50 minutes.
The bad: San Jose is 1-5-0 in their six meetings with LAFC all-time in MLS play. The good: San Jose won their most recent matchup, a dramatic 2-1 victory on Sept. 27, which sparked their terrific run of form over the last eight matches.
The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.