The San Jose Earthquakes are back home at Avaya Stadium this Saturday as they try to keep their hot streak going against the Colorado Rapids. A win would keep the Quakes in the middle of an ever-tightening Western Conference playoff race and give them a shot at getting one of the top four playoff seeds. One of those spots would provide them with a home playoff match. It may sound unbelievable but this Quakes team with its mostly intact roster from last years miserable season has fans thinking not if they will make the playoffs but how far they can go.
Those are questions to be answered another day. First, they take on a Western Conference rival that would probably enjoy bringing on of MLS’s most high flying teams back to reality. To try to do that, Colorado is going to have to find a way to slow down a Quakes offense that has unleashed 76 shots on their last three opponents. That effort has now pushed the Quakes goal differential to +4 after a disastrous start to the season.
The Rapids may have to do it without their most potent offensive weapon as Kei Kamara who has a team-leading eight goals on the season is listed as questionable with a back injury. Luckily for interim manager Conor Casey, the teams’ second-leading scorer Diego Rubio will be back on the squad after serving a suspension last week against NYCFC.
Another key player for Colorado, midfielder Kellyn Acosta, will be back after serving a two-match suspension. Acosta can provide some defensive help but has struggled at times in that role for Casey. Usually, I would think that having those players back and playing against a conference rival would give Colorado a boost but the way the Quakes are playing right now it is hard to predict anything but a suffocating performance from the defense. If that works it will give a chance for Cristian Espinoza, Chris Wondolowski and Vako to keep adding to their already impressive offensive numbers.
The San Jose Earthquakes where “everybody runs, and everybody plays” that a lot of people expect to slow down at some point have gotten stronger since the start of the transfer window. The Quakes added former Cruz Azul winger Carlos Fierro, and reports say that they may sign Argentine striker Andres Rios before the end of the summer window.
Whether Fierro makes his debut on Saturday or not the Quakes are not looking passed this match or taking this opponent lightly. When speaking about Saturday’s upcoming game, Almeyda made sure to let everyone know that in this sport anything can happen saying, “We need to have the same respect for every opponent. Just as I treat every person the same, every opponent, for me, is an equal. Whoever is paid the most, whoever created the deepest roster; for me it’s all the same, it’s soccer.”