Two games are in the books for the San Jose Earthquakes and a whole bunch more to go. When we are not in scrambling years full of pandemic, I like to take a look at the schedule a month at a time, so with May on tap let’s take a peek at what’s coming up for the Quakes. Spoiler: Six games!
Saturday, May 1: vs. D.C. United
This is the kind of game that most years only fans of these teams would love, but maybe not this year? You know how San Jose is, and D.C. United have hired an Argentine manager who likes to gum up the works and isn’t afraid to sow chaos on the field. Sound familiar? If this game is a 0-0, it’s going to have been hell for all of us to watch, but fortunately there’s a good chance this one will have lots of goals in it.
D.C. started the season with a comeback win over New York City FC before losing 1-0 to New England Revolution last weekend on the road. Since they are only two games into the Hernan Lozada era it’s hard to get a full grasp on how this game will go, but the home venue and element of stability have to leave San Jose liking their chances for this game.
Friday, May 7: at Real Salt Lake
After that the Quakes go back out on the road, when they’ll take on RSL, who have only played one game so far this season. But they won that game, 2-1, on the road against Minnesota United last weekend so maybe they have turned a corner? It’s only one game, admittedly, hard to say.
I think most people figured RSL would be in a tough spot in 2021 because they had a very limited (like basically nonexistent) transfer budget and are trying to find a new owner for the club. They’re coming out of a 2020 season that was magnitudes worse than for the other clubs because of the old owner. And yet, they may be more formidable than we expected. Stay tuned on that front.
Wednesday, May 12: vs. Seattle Sounders
And then the Sounders come to town, for the first midweek game of the season and the first big, big, big test. Seattle just absolutely worked the Earthquakes most of the time in 2020, which was unfortunate since San Jose had to play them over and over again. This year, the frequency of the meetings is reduced but it will still be a big test for Almeyda’s group since Seattle just really know how to pummel them.
Seattle started the season by beating Minnesota United 4-0 in Week 1 at home, and then they came back to draw LAFC 1-1 on the road last weekend. It’s about where you would expect the Sounders to be, and they’ve done that without Nicolas Lodeiro featuring so far this season. He should be back for this game against the Earthquakes, however, so we’ll see how San Jose stack up this time around.
Saturday, May 15: vs. Portland Timbers
And then not much time to rest, with the Earthquakes next hosting the Portland Timbers. Portland aren’t nearly as dominant as the Sounders but when they’re on, they’re on, and obviously San Jose will need to be wary, since the Timbers have some game-breaking talent.
Portland kicked off the season with a loss against the Vancouver Whitecaps, before beating the Houston Dynamo 2-1 last weekend in Portland. Sebastian Blanco is nearing a return from injury and we’ll see how he looks now, but if the core of key players continue to produce, they could remain unstoppable. And they gave the Quakes a couple pastings last season, too, so surely San Jose know how tough the Timbers can be.
Saturday, May 22: vs. Sporting Kansas City
Grudge match? The Earthquakes took Sporting to the wire last season, before falling in a penalty shootout in the playoffs, and while the stakes won’t be nearly as high, I have to imagine San Jose will want to get the better of Kansas City this time around to get a measure of revenge.
Sporting started the season with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on the road, before drawing Orlando City 1-1 last week. They look pretty good, if also still possible to break through against, and I think this game could go truly any way. The Quakes firmly have an intensity edge these days, which used to be SKC’s calling card, but Sporting have more talent than they used to and those talented players can make game-changing plays. Will San Jose get the better of their playoff nemesis, or will it be more hurt this time around?
Saturday, May 29: at LA Galaxy
And then it’s time for the California Clasico to wrap up the month. It was a bit back and forth last season between the clubs, although the Quakes found traction in the rivalry clashes as the season wore on, but the Galaxy no longer look like total pushovers. Chicharito has five goals in two games, and LA have won both of them, 3-2 against Inter Miami and 3-2 against the Red Bulls.
We know both teams and fanbases get up for these games, and with this one in Southern California it will be tough for the Quakes. Still, we know they aren’t afraid of the Galaxy, and I think this one could be a real cracker. It feels especially good when you beat your rival at their house, right? Perhaps San Jose will get to savor that feeling in this one, we’ll see.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.