Just three days removed from drawing 1-1 with Vancouver, the San Jose Earthquakes return to the pitch to take on the Columbus Crew. Currently third in the Eastern Conference, the high-flying Crew are unbeaten in their last seven games after dropping their season opener to DC United. The Earthquakes riding a six game winless streak, will be hoping to earn their first win at Buck Shaw Stadium this 2011 season. With the MLS statistic that teams traveling 3 time zones to face their opponent are only 0-12-12 so far this season, the least the Quakes should earn is a draw.
Head coach Frank Yallop promised a lot of changes to the line-up this weekend, given that he was planning for two games in the week. While there is often significant carryover from starting XI to starting XI when the Quakes win, that is not always the case when they draw or lose. The expected starting line-up against the Crew should feature a completely new defensive back four, as well as the return to the field of San Jose’s most expensive player, midfielder Bobby Convey. One wrinkle in the proposed starting line-up below would be if Yallop chooses to reward Ryan Johnson for his good play against the Whitecaps with another start against the Crew. If that decision comes to pass, Convey could switch to the right side and Johnson would likely slot into the left midfielder role. (Line-up after the jump.)
Chris Wondolowski Steven Lenhart
Bobby Convey Anthony Ampaipitakwong
Khari Stephenson Brad Ring
Justin Morrow Brandon McDonald Jason Hernandez Chris Leitch
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