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Preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United | MLS is Back Tournament, Quarterfinals

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Quarterfinals
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Sat., August 1 – 8:00 PM ET

TV: ESPN2, ESPN3 (in Spanish); TSN in Canada

STREAMING: ESPN App; TSN App in Canada

Entertainment is guaranteed when the San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota United FC meet in a quarterfinal that has consistently delivered goals and drama during their history of MLS regular season meetings.

This quarterfinal will represent a major leap for the winner from up-and-coming force to real contender status in MLS. With Minnesota adopting an underdog mentality throughout the tournament, expect San Jose to be the surprise favorites going into this quarterfinal. That status didn't bother them in the least in their most recent matches against Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake.

After winning the first four MLS meetings between the two teams, San Jose has since dropped all three matchups against Minnesota during the Matias Almeyda era which started in 2019. That streak includes the only meeting this year on March 7, when MNUFC throttled the Quakes 5-2 in San Jose. There have been 31 total goals scored across the seven all-time meetings.

San Jose Earthquakes

Matias Almeyda's side unleashed their uptempo, high-pressure, high-risk style in all four of their matches so far and they have yet to let up in the heat and humidity of Orlando. It may have ultimately helped the Earthquakes that they were the first team to arrive in Orlando ahead of the tournament since they were unable to resume full team training with restrictions in place in their home market.

Almeyda has largely maintained a consistent starting XI in the tournament, with veterans like Shea Salinas and MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski helping to close out matches off the bench. With nearly a full week of rest ahead of the quarterfinal, expect the Quakes to be ready to go at full bore.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Luis Felipe (M) - leg injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Minnesota United

Led by another charismatic coach in Adrian Heath, the Loons are a force on the rise in MLS. After struggling in their first two seasons in 2017 (18 losses) and 2018 (20 losses), the team has since turned things around after making some major roster moves ahead of the inauguration of Allianz Field in 2019. They made the postseason for the first time last year and have been touted as potential Western Conference contenders entering the 2020 season.

Although they're missing reigning Defender of the Year Ike Opara who stayed back in Minnesota, the club has one of the deepest and well-balanced squads in MLS and they're getting contributions from every player with a new hero emerging in every tournament match. The biggest lineup questions heading into the quarterfinal revolve around the health of influential right back Romain Metanire and playmaker Kevin Molino. Marlon Hairston and Hassani Dotson are the likely replacements if they can't go.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Ike Opara (D) - undisclosed
    • QUESTIONABLE: Romain Metanire (D) - left hamstring injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • SJ Earthquakes: 4 wins, 13 goals
  • Minnesota United: 3 wins, 16 goals
  • 0 draws

Officials

  • Referee: Jair Marrufo
  • Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Felisha Mariscal
  • 4th Official: Joseph Dickerson
  • VAR: Drew Fischer

Jerseys

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