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Whitecaps FC-Earthquakes Preview
Perhaps the familiarity of their home pitch will help the reeling San Jose Earthquakes get back on track following a massively disappointing road stretch.
Looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat, the 'Quakes aim to extend their home unbeaten streak to 11 games on Saturday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
From May 18-Aug. 3, San Jose (11-10-5) went 8-1-3. Then it took to the road for matches at Colorado, Sporting Kansas City and Los Angeles FC, a road stretch that ended Wednesday with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of MLS-leading LAFC and concluded an 0-3-0 mark over that span.
"(We were) creating chances, and played an alright game, but we had about seven or eight mental and physical lapses, and they scored four," star Chris Wondolowski told the Earthquakes' official website following Wednesday's loss.
It's now a quick turnaround for San Jose, but one that comes at home. After losing their first three home games this season, the 'Quakes are 8-0-2. However, they drew Columbus 1-1 in their most recent home game on Aug. 3.
While San Jose still remains over the playoff line in the Western Conference, it's more in need of three points at the moment and not just one. The Earthquakes managed the full three with a 3-1 win at Vancouver on July 20. Wondolowski (10 goals) had a goal with an assist, and Vako (eight goals) and Magnus Eriksson also scored as San Jose snapped an 0-3-2 rut against the Whitecaps.
Though Vancouver (6-12-9) is mired at the bottom of the West table, it has a chance to win back-to-back matches for just the second time this season following last Saturday's 1-0 home victory over D.C. United. Yordy Reyna's goal in the 18th minute was all the Whitecaps needed to post their second win in three matches after going nine a row without one.
They've recorded at least one point in three of the last four overall.
"The last four games, I think we found ourselves again," coach Marc Dos Santos, whose club will play two straight on the road, told Vancouver's official website. "We're ready. I think the team right now, mentally, felt good about the last four games. And, hopefully we can continue (that feeling)."
Reyna has scored three of his five league goals this season on the road.
Updated August 22, 2019