The San Jose Earthquakes are on the road in Colorado to start a tough late-season road trip with playoff implications. Three other matches can directly affect the Quakes position in the standings, let’s take a look at them.
As much as people have been talking about the Quakes transformation this season under new manager Matias Almeyda some have overlooked what Bruce Arena is doing over in New England. Since the team got rid of the coaching staff and most of the front office this team has turned into a legitimate playoff contender. They were on an 11-game unbeaten streak until running into the buzzsaw that is LAFC last week. At the moment they are hanging onto the seventh and final playoff spot in the East so they are going into CenturyLink Field with a purpose to get some points.
Seattle has dealt with a lot of injuries and retirements this season yet they somehow find themselves with the same amount of points as the Quakes and Minnesota. They are an even 3-3 in their last six matches but have lost their previous two at home. They are hoping to make it two losses in a row for New England against Western Conference opponents while keeping themselves in the top four to earn that home playoff game.
A quick look at the MLS form guide will show you these are two teams trending in opposite directions. After a decent start to the season, Dallas has failed to find any rhythm the last couple of months. On the other hand, Minnesota has had a pretty successful season so far that has them sitting in second place in the Western Conference. The only thing separating them from the Quakes and Sounders is goal differential with the Loons currently holding a three-goal advantage over San Jose. Dallas is clinging to the final playoff spot in the West, but the Portland Timbers are only two points behind them, and they have a couple of games in hand.
Dallas has a strong defense, and they are playing at home where they have never lost to Minnesota. That sample size is tiny at two games, but in those games, Dallas has never even allowed the Loons to score one goal. This one might be closer than it seems like on paper.
Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes - Saturday, August 10, 6:00 PM
The most crucial match on the schedule for Quakes fans as their team tries to keep pace in an ever-tightening playoff race. As I have mentioned previously, the top four seeds in each conference get a home playoff match and with the new playoff format that can make a big difference in a teams run. Getting points on the road is something the Quakes have struggled with in the past, but with newly arrived reinforcements in Andres Rios and Carlos Fierro, the Quakes are looking to change that part of their identity.
DC United vs. LA Galaxy - Sunday, August 11, 4:30 PM
The Galaxy is currently the only team in the West that both have a playoff spot and a negative goal differential and this may come back to hurt them in a race that so close. They are also trending in a negative direction, having lost four of their last six matches while giving up 16 goals in the process. Based on his comments earlier in the week we all know what Zlatan Ibrahimovic thinks about the MLS playoffs but to hate them so much that you would rather miss out on them than try to some more hardware? ‘That’s just strange.