SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It can seem like a fresh start when the calendar turns a page, the exact feeling the San Jose Earthquakes need as August begins following a month to forget. Seven times the Quakes took the pitch in July, and seven times they failed to earn a point -- the club's worst month of results ever.
Sunday marks the Earthquakes first attempt of the new month to make amends for July as the Portland Timbers come to Avaya Stadium for a nationally televised match on ESPN2. The Timbers are also coming off a tough month, with their only win in July coming against the Quakes back on July 5 at Providence Park -- a 1-0 result courtesy of a Jack Jewsbury stoppage time winner.
Portland currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference -- the last qualifying spot for the MLS Cup playoffs -- while San Jose languishes in ninth place, only one point ahead of cellar-dwellers Colorado Rapids and seven points adrift of the Timbers. The Quakes have played fewer games than any team in the West, which is some solace as they look to climb back into postseason contention.
The Earthquakes have not been very successful so far this season in creating scoring opportunities, and in seven games in July, they only netted five times. San Jose will benefit from the return of leading scorer Chris Wondolowski, who made a start in the last Quakes game despite playing the day before in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place game, as well as the scoring touch of newcomer Quincy Amarikwa, whose three goals in the last two matches puts him second on the team in scoring.
Avaya Stadium is sold out for the visit of the TImbers, and fans that arrive early can partake in the Earthquakes annual root beer float fundraiser. Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Women's World Cup champion Brandi Chastain are among the celebrity scoopers that will serve a thirsty clientele on an afternoon when the weather in San Jose is expected to hot and humid.
In addition to watching the game on ESPN2, fans of both the Earthquakes and Timbers can follow all the action on their mobile devices using the FanKave app. Download and join the conversation with soccer experts and fans of both teams.
The Earthquakes travel to Houston to play the Dynamo on Saturday, August 8, before returning to Avaya Stadium on Friday, August 14 to face the Colorado Rapids.
Match date/time: Sunday, August 2, 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. local
Venue: Avaya Stadium, San Jose, CA
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), TSN5 (Canada)
Online: WatchESPN (U.S.), MLS Live (U.S.)