The venue will be different, but the task at hand remains the same for the San Jose Earthquakes this Sunday: win against visiting Orlando City SC and keep pace in what is shaping out to be a very tough Western Conference.
But standing in the way of a Quakes victory is likely to be midfield maestro Kaka, the Brazilian superstar and former FIFA Player of the Year that is the heart of the Lions. A week ago, he turned in his most impressive performance of his MLS tenure as Orlando City and the Brazilian waxed the LA Galaxy 4-0 in the Citrus Bowl. The Earthquakes defense will need to be at their best to neutralize Kaka when they take on OCSC at 4:00 p.m. at Levi's Stadium (online streaming available through the Fox Sports app and MLS Live).
Perhaps the bigger attraction on Sunday, especially among Quakes fans, will be Chris Wondolowski, as the team's talisman striker is one goal away from scoring 100 in his MLS career. An impressive achievement, and one that former MLS great Taylor Twellman knows is truly remarkable, reaching the 100-goal plateau will underscore just how important Wondolowski has been to the Earthquakes since his arrival in 2009.
"That run is insane," Twellman told Center Line Soccer. "It's an insane run. To do it in six straight years is a hell of a run."
Sunday's match is the second of two MLS Soccer Sunday broadcasts, with the crew from Fox Sports One in the Bay Area to televise the game from Levi's Stadium, kickoff at 4:00 p.m. local time. The Earthquakes have been a major fixture on national television this season, as the club opened up brand new Avaya Stadium earlier this year and has garnered plenty of attention. The match at Levi's Stadium is an annual visit the Quakes will make to the home of the San Francisco 49ers as part of a five year deal with the organization.
The crowd is expected be much greater than the 18,000 that fill Avaya Stadium, but it won't approach the size enjoyed by the 49ers. Still, the matchup between the resurgent Earthquakes and upstart Lions provides plenty of intrigue, and the chance to possibly see Wondolowski make history ensures a lively atmosphere for Sunday afternoon's affair.