San Jose make one change from last week, bringing Marcos Lopez back in at left back after he’s recovered from injury.
The tweet you’ve been waiting for.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) May 8, 2021
Who you excited to watch tonight? pic.twitter.com/azpY4KnTYU
RSL play with this XI at the start.
The San Jose Earthquakes have been something of a surprise hot team the last two games, and they’ll take on perhaps the team in MLS that’s an even bigger surprise, Real Salt Lake, when the teams square off Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium to kick off the MLS weekend.
The Quakes are coming off a 4-1 romp over D.C. United last weekend in which they led almost wire-to-wire, with a debut goal from Chofís Lopez, a brace by Jackson Yueill, and a MLS Player of the Week performance from Cade Cowell.
But they’re facing an RSL side that was largely projected to be the Western Conference doormat coming into the season, but who are 2-0-0 to start the campaign. Most recently, they beat Sporting Kansas City 3-1 at home last week, Rubio Rubin with a brace for his new team. I think it’s possible this hot start could be a mirage for RSL, but I think there’s at least a chance they were a team that struggled badly in 2020 amid a pandemic and all kinds of stress surrounding the departure of club owner Dell Loy Hansen, and this is their true level.
Earthquakes defender Oswaldo Alanís is listed as questionable with a knee issue, while RSL’s destroyer Everton is out with a knee injury of his own. Neither team has any players suspended for this game.
I think this is a great opportunity for the Earthquakes to pick up another win, and although I don’t think RSL should be taken lightly, these are the kinds of games where you want to win to pick up a stack of points for the playoff chase. Will one of these teams come up with the victory? It should be a very interesting game.
Our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday evening have San Jose at (+260), RSL at (-114) and a draw at (+290). That means the Quakes are pretty significant underdogs, so the bookmakers seem to be going for home-field advantage coming in.
How to Watch:
Friday’s match between the Quakes and RSL will be streamed locally on the NBC Sports App (more info here) and in the rest of the United States on ESPN+. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm PT with kickoff to follow at 6:38.
Come chat about the game with us in the comment section below!
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