Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes
2017 MLS Regular Season
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colo.
Saturday, May 13 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: UniMás, Facebook.com (USA) | MLS LIVE (Canada)
Two Western Conference teams on wildly different trajectories from last year will meet in the Centennial State on Saturday afternoon. The San Jose Earthquakes, on a two-game winning run, sit closer to the top of the Western Conference than the playoff line, and are looking to put together their first three-game winning streak since 2015.
The Colorado Rapids, on the other hand, are languishing at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, just over six months removed from a run that nearly won them the 2016 Supporters’ Shield. A five-game losing streak has caused much consternation for players, fans and staff alike, but defender Jared Watts says they’ll use that frustration to fuel their competitive fire:
Tim Howard made it back for Colorado in Week 10, but his return from a three-game suspension was not enough to lift the reeling Rapids as they fell 1-0 at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Injuries to 2016 Defender of the Year finalist Axel Sjoberg and key offseason acquisition Bismark Adjei-Boateng have not helped matters, but even so, the Rapids acknowledged they must find answers on both sides of the ball very soon.
- Suspended: D Mekeil Williams (red card)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – D Axel Sjoberg (right ankle surgery), M Bismark Adjei-Boateng (back injury); QUESTIONABLE – F Caleb Calvert (concussion)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard – Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Jared Watts, Dillon Serna – Micheal Azira, Dillon Powers – Shkelzen Gashi, Kevin Doyle, Mohammed Saeid – Alan Gordon
Notes: The Rapids have failed to score in three straight MLS games. The last time they went three or more regular season games without scoring was a six game streak that spanned the end of the 2014 and beginning of 2015 MLS seasons (October 18th, 2014- April 4th, 2015). … Shkelzen Gashi has taken 102 shots since joining MLS, the 12th most of any player in the league. This year, he has just two shots on target.
San Jose Earthquakes
A formational shift has proved to be a huge boon for the Earthquakes, who have won both their games since head coach Dom Kinnear re-shaped his starting XI. Though we’ll list it as a 4-3-3, it’s not quite the traditional version of that alignment, with one of the three forwards dropping deeper – usually Chris Wondolowski, who has featured in all four of the Quakes' goals since the switch.
It’s given the Quakes a fresh look, and one not even GM Jesse Fioranelli – who brought in many of the players responsible for the turnaround – foresaw.
“I didn’t expect it, to be frank,” Fioranelli told MLSsoccer.com by phone earlier this week. “But I’m excited to see it.”
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – F Quincy Amarikwa (knee surgery), D Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), M Marc Pelosi (left knee injury), D Harold Cummings (leg surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M Shea Salinas (knee injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): David Bingham – Cordell Cato, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez, Kofi Sarkodie – Darwin Ceren, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka – Chris Wondolowski, Marco Ureña, Danny Hoesen
Notes: San Jose have won two consecutive games. The last time they won three straight MLS games was a four game streak from August 14th-28th, 2015 … San Jose have yet to score or concede a headed goal this season. No other team has failed to concede a headed goal and D.C. United are the only other team that has yet to score a headed goal.
San Jose have the clear advantage in the all-time series between these two teams, in large part thanks to a 14-game unbeaten streak against the Rapids that only ended on October 13, 2016. Prior to that game, a 2-1 Colorado win, the Quakes had last fallen to their old Western Conference opponents on Aug. 14, 2011. San Jose are the only MLS team with a winning record in Colorado.
- Overall: Colorado 19 wins (73 goals) … San Jose 28 wins (88 goals) … Ties 15
- At Colorado: Colorado 11 wins (38 goals) … San Jose 13 wins (38 goals) … Ties 8
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo