The third phase of this unique 2020 MLS regular season gets underway for the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday, as they’ll host the Portland Timbers in the first game at Earthquakes Stadium since March. This one, however, will be played behind closed doors.
The Quakes last played on Aug. 1, so they’ve had time to rest and recuperate from the rigors of the MLS is Back Tournament. But, will there be rust, especially coming against the Timbers, who ultimately won the MLS is Back Tournament? That remains to be seen.
For their part, the Timbers did win the bubble competition but also lost their re-return to action, a lopsided 3-0 rivalry loss at home against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. The Timbers may be in a rhythm compared to the Quakes, or with barely any time off they could be hitting a wall. We won’t know until the ball is rolled out, of course.
Expect pretty much the same lineup for the Quakes against Portland, aside from the departed Magnus Eriksson, who has already left for his native Sweden. I think there’s a good chance Danny Hoesen could get the start, but it could also be Chris Wondolowski, or maybe Carlos Fierro, or Shea Salinas, or Cade Cowell, or...we’ll see.
At any rate, this game will be a good first look at the Quakes post-Orlando, and we can get a sense of the great tournament they are coming off of was a jumping off point in their season or a blip and now San Jose will come back down to Earth. Regardless, this game will be a good test for them.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, as of Monday evening, San Jose are (+115) while Portland are (+230). The odds of a draw are (+235), so the bookmakers making this one a pretty even call, with a slight edge to the Earthquakes.
How to Watch:
Wednesday’s match between the Quakes and Timbers will be televised locally on NBC Sports California Plus and streamed on ESPN+ in the rest of the United States. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm PT with kickoff to follow.