LAFC at San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, Sept. 23, 2021
7:00 p.m. PT
TV: My13 KCOP, Estrella TV
RADIO: 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM
LAFC head coach Bob Bradley has said for several weeks now that every game the Black & Gold plays for the rest of the season is “like a playoff game”. And now with just nine matches remaining in the 2021 season, LAFC continues to fight for a playoff position. It is a fight that took a step back on Sunday in Portland when the Black & Gold suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Timbers in an intense and frustrating match.
The upcoming match-up with San Jose is a crucial test for an LAFC squad that is still short-handed but looking to get back in the win column. Eduard Atuesta remains questionable with a sprained ankle, and Carlos Vela and Tristan Blackmon are expected to miss the game due to injury as well.
San Jose is riding a high off an incredible 4-3 come from behind victory of Austin, and is looking to keep their playoff hopes alive.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES IN-DEPTH
The Quakes are well known for Head Coach Matías Almeyda’s ‘man marking,’ frenetic style of play, but this season San Jose has deviated from this all out strategy, at times opting for a low block, defensive formation.
In the past, the Quakes man marking style has not been effective against LAFC, although San Jose managed a 2-1 win over the Black & Gold on Aug. 8. The Quakes attack has received an injection from striker Jeremy Ebobisse, and Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez have been extremely dangerous.
Cristian Arango is in the midst of a hot streak – and the new striker has been finding the back of the net at just the right time for LAFC. Arango made his LAFC debut on Aug. 8 in San Jose, and since that time has scored six goals in 602 minutes and eight total matches. The Black & Gold will need Arango to continue his scoring touch for LAFC to pull out the road win.
LAFC WILL WIN IF
It has been said all season long, and once again LAFC was talking about finishing again after their most recent loss to Portland. If the Black & Gold can finally…..FINALLY be clinical with finishing and take advantage of the numerous chances they have been creating this season, they will have a shot.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES CAN WIN IF
LAFC does not defend crosses well. Defending crosses has been something LAFC has struggled with this season, and it is a strength for San Jose. LAFC will need to be on high alert as the Quakes whip balls into the box throughout the match.
Inspired by Dirty Harry (1971).