San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake | 2017 MLS Match Preview
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
2017 MLS Regular Season
Avaya Stadium – San Jose, Calif.
Saturday, June 24 – 10:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
There's no time like the present for the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake, who both find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in as the midway point of the season approaches.
San Jose are just barely outside the playoff places in the Western Conference, while RSL are slowly trying to get back in the race, meaning both sides will be needing to collect the full points from this one. The Earthquakes, depleted by injury, national team duty and suspension, and in a concentrated part of their schedule, were happy to snag a point from their midweek 0-0 draw against Sporting KC, but they won't be happy with the same result against Real, whose 10 losses are the most in the league.
RSL, though, are starting to get better results. They have won three of their last six matches, including their last outing, a 1-0 decision over expansion Minnesota United. San Jose, meanwhile, have just one win in their last six league games, plus two draws.
San Jose Earthquakes
Immediate help should be on the way for the 'Quakes this weekend, as forward Marco Urena and midfielder Darwin Ceren are eligible to return from suspension, and longer term help is on the way in the form of Georgian midfielder Valeri Qazaishvili, whom the club announced it had signed on Thursday. There don't appear to be reinforcements coming back the from injury front, though, as Florian Jungwirth is still listed as out and Fatai Alashe and Shaun Francis remain questionable, according to the latest injury report.
The 'Quakes are in a period where they're playing six games in 20 days, so this is not a good time to have players hurt, away or suspended. It will help that New Zealand was eliminated from the Confederations Cup, which means Kip Colvey will be back sometime next week. That will help San Jose's depth. The team hopes Qazaishvili will help with goalscoring, which is in dire need of improvement. The 'Quakes have scored 16 goals in 16 league games, which isn't good enough, and Urena (one goal) and Ceren (no goals) may not necessarily be the answers to that problem.
The good news? They're playing a team, in RSL, that has allowed the second-most goals against in the league (35).
- Suspended: None
- Int'l duty: Kip Colvey (New Zealand)
- Injury report: OUT: F Quincy Amarikwa (knee surgery), D Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), M Marc Pelosi (left knee injury), D Harold Cummings (leg surgery), D Florian Jungwirth (ankle injury), QUESTIONABLE: D Shaun Francis (hamstring injury), M Fatai Alashe (knee injury)
Projected Starting Lineup (4-3-3), right to left: David Bingham – Cordell Cato, Victor Bernardez, Andres Imperiale, Nick Lima – Darwin Ceren, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka – Tommy Thompson, Marco Urena, Chris Wondolowski
Notes: In 603 minutes with Tommy Thompson on the field, San Jose averages 1.2 goals per 90 minutes. In 911 minutes without him on the field, the 'Quakes average 0.8 goals per 90. While the scoreless draw against Sporting KC stopped a two-game losing streak, the 'Quakes are winless in three straight and have gone 233 minutes since their last goal.
Real Salt Lake
Yura Movsisyan leads Real Salt Lake in goals, and came off the bench to score the only goal of the game in last week's win over Minnesota United. But he and coach Mike Petke just can't seem to get along. Will Petke put Movsisyan in the starting lineup? Can the two co-exist? Do RSL have enough time to turn things around and really make a charge at a playoff spot? All to be determined, but RSL is getting healthy now, and three wins in the last six games is not bad.
Nick Rimando's return from injury certainly will help in giving RSL hope it still may have time to turn things around. All Rimando did in his first game back was post a clean sheet, his second consecutive shutout and fourth on the season. This for a team that has allowed 35 goals in 17 games. Rimando has given up 13 of those in his 11 games (1.22 GAA). Rimando has not allowed a goal in the last 228 minutes.
- Suspended: Kyle Beckerman (yellow card accumulation)
- International duty: Albert Rusnak (Slovakia U-21s)
- Injury Report: OUT: F Chad Barrett (knee surgery, 4-6 months); D David Horst (knee surgery, 6-8 weeks); QUESTIONABLE: M Jordan Allen (right quad strain) QUESTIONABLE: D Demar Phillips (hamstring injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Nick Rimando – Danilo Acosta, Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Tony Beltran — Omar Holness, Luke Mulholland — Joao Plata, Jeferson Savarino, Brooks Lennon – Luis Silva
Notes: Yura Movsisyan broke a nine-game scoreless streak with his goal last Saturday, his first since April 15 and first as a substitute... RSL have lost 12 of their last 14 road games, allowing 2.4 goals per game in that stretch. They do have a road win this season, beating the Tim Howard-less Colorado Rapids on April 15.
All-Time Series and Rivalry History
- All time: San Jose nine wins (35 goals), Real Salt Lake nine wins (38 goals), nine draws
- At San Jose: Earthquakes six wins (24 goals), RSL five wins (19 goals), three draws
- Referee: Fotis Bazakos
- Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Logan Brown
- 4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal