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While the Philadelphia Union have already secured a spot in the MLS playoffs, the San Jose Earthquakes have not made doing the same easy on themselves.
Perhaps a return home where they have not lost since March will help the 'Quakes regroup from a disastrous three-match road losing stretch on Wednesday night against the Union.
San Jose (13-13-5) has essentially been two different teams when playing on the road and at home. Since Aug. 10, the Earthquakes are 2-6-0 overall, with all six losses coming on the road. They managed just two goals while going 0-3-0 at Real Salt Lake, New York City FC and Atlanta over an 11-day stretch.
The most recent defeat, 3-1 at Atlanta on Saturday, leaves San Jose in the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but tied on points with eighth-place Portland.
The 'Quakes, who own the tiebreaker over the Timbers, should feel confident knowing their next two games are at home before closing the regular season at Portland. San Jose has won two straight at home, where it owns a 30-7 scoring advantage while going 10-0-2 since losing the first three there this season.
"We need everyone," defender Florian Jungwirth told the Earthquakes' official website. "We need the whole city to stand behind us."
San Jose legend Chris Wondolowski has scored eight of his team-leading 14 goals at home this season. He's recorded three in five home matches versus Philadelphia (15-9-7).
The Union sit third in the Eastern Conference, two points back of second-place Atlanta and six behind leader New York City FC. Though Philadelphia was leading the East for a good portion of the season, it's still headed to the playoffs but would like to build some momentum.
It fell 2-0 at the Red Bulls on Sunday for its fourth defeat in five road matches. The Union have been blanked in all four of those losses and have not scored an away goal in league play since the 90th minute of a 5-1 rout at D.C. on Aug. 4.
"We'll pick ourselves up, regroup quickly," coach Jim Curtin told the Union's official website. "We're pushing for first place (in the East). It's still possible ... We're still going to fight for first place ... We have a lot to play for now."
Philadelphia's Kacper Przybylko (14 goals) had his three-game, goal-scoring streak end against New York. The Union, meanwhile, could be minus defender Mark McKenzie after he suffered an apparent leg injury Sunday.
Updated September 23, 2019