The San Jose Earthquakes are off to a great start this season, currently earning 1.5 points per game and riding a five-game unbeaten streak. Star striker Chris Wondolowski is on a scoring tear, netting four times during that streak, and last Sunday recorded the 100th goal of his MLS career. With 18 points and five wins already this season, the Quakes are one victory away from matching their total from the entire 2014 season.
And despite all that, San Jose sits in sixth place in the Western Conference, the last team above the red line in the table that separates the playoff-bound from the early offseason vacationers. Nothing is going to be easy in the West in 2015.
So it is that the Earthquakes travel to Toronto FC on Saturday to face their third straight Eastern Conference opponent. A win at home against Columbus Crew SC and a draw at Levi's Stadium against Kaka and Orlando City mark the first two games of their eastern trifecta. San Jose will be looking to gain another three points when the line up against Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, and the rest of the men in red.
The game at newly expanded BMO Field kicks off at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet California throughout the Bay Area and broadcast on the radio at 1590 KLIV in English and 1370 KZSF in Spanish. For those that want to watch the game with other Earthquakes supporters, the club will be holding a viewing party at Avaya Stadium and showing the game on the big screen scoreboard. The LOBINA beneath will be open for the the event, and fans are encouraged to bring their blankets to spread out on the grassy epicenter fanzone lawn.
Online streaming will be available through MLS Live, and the Quakes FanKave will be buzzing with conversation throughout the match.
Toronto FC have had an uneven start to the season as a result of playing their first seven games on the road as renovations to BMO Field were completed. The Reds are in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 10 games. Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have scored five goals each for Toronto, co-leaders in that category, but Alitdore is out with a hamstring injury and will not face the Quakes.
The Earthquakes have a 2-1-2 record against Toronto since 2010, but their last result was a loss: 1-0 at BMO Field in 2014. Overall, Wondolowski has scored seven goals against TFC in his career, including a hat-trick in a 3-2 victory at BMO Field on September 25, 2010. Wondolowski scored the last Quakes goal against Toronto when his 81st minute goal in 2013's encounter secured a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against the Reds.
A win at Toronto would lift San Jose's point total to 21, even with its next opponent, FC Dallas, whom the Quakes host at Avaya Stadium next Saturday. The Earthquakes have an overall record at BMO Field of 4-3-4.