LAFC at San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, August 20, 2022
PayPal Park - San Jose, California
TV: KCOP 13, Estrella 62
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
LAFC extended its winning streak to a Club record seven games after defeating DC United 1-0 on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Black & Gold will now go on the road to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, where they will have an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.
There are multiple scenarios that can qualify the Black & Gold for the Playoffs, but the most simple one is this: If LAFC wins or ties against the Quakes – they are IN.
But, they can also qualify if the following happens:
1. Seattle Sounders FC LOSS at LA Galaxy OR
2. Minnesota United FC LOSS vs. Austin FC OR
3. Colorado Rapids LOSS or DRAW vs. Houston Dynamo FC OR
4. Real Salt Lake LOSS or DRAW vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC OR
5. FC Dallas LOSS at Nashville SC OR
6. LA Galaxy LOSS vs. Seattle Sounders FC AND FC Dallas DRAW at Nashville SC AND Minnesota United FC DRAW vs. Austin FC
LAFC has won nine out of its last 10 games and remain atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with 57 points and a six-point lead on Austin FC with nine games to play in the season.
The Earthquakes currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings with 24 points through 25 games played.
SAN JOSE IN-DEPTH
Led by interim head coach Alex Covelo, who took over for Matias Almeyda in April, San Jose has struggled the majority the season to get wins, as they own the league’s lowest amount of games won with just five wins (5-11-9).
The Quakes announced the hiring of current U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach and former FC Dallas head coach Luichi Gonzalez as their new head coach for 2023, so San Jose may have plenty of extra motivation to try and impress the new head man.
Forward Jeremy Ebobisse has been a bright spot for the club, scoring 14 goals with 25 games played. Forward and Designated Player Cristian Espinoza has also contributed six goals and nine assists for the Quakes.
San Jose recently signed defenders Carlos Akapo, who last featured for Spanish La Liga team Cádiz CF, and Rodrigues, who is on a 12-month loan from Brazilian team Gremio.
LAFC WILL WIN IF
They can keep a high tempo, especially in the second half to close out games, and take advantage of their depth on the bench. Mahala Opoku’s goal vs DC United was the 15th goal scored by an LAFC substitute this season and that tally is not too far off a league record (Colorado - 19 in 1998). The back line will also have its hands full with Ebobisse and Espinoza, who have accounted for 20 of San Jose’s goals this season.
SAN JOSE CAN WIN IF
They can have their way with possession and finish their opportunities. The Earthquakes have won the possession battle in their last six games played and will aim to continue that streak against LAFC. San Jose will utilize switching the ball to both ends of the field as they aim to hold possession while getting numbers in the box. Covelo will most likely come out with a 4-2-3-1 formation and hope to get the ball to Jamiro Monteiro, Espinoza, or Ebobisse, who has scored in two consecutive games. San Jose will be playing in front of a packed house, a sold-out Pay Pal Park that will be urging the home team on for the upset and they will aim to capitalize on that energy.
Inspired by Assassin's Creed, an open-world action-adventure stealth video game published by Ubisoft.