Where: Avaya Stadium, San Jose, California
When: Saturday, March 30, 12:30 pm PT
How to Watch: Twitter and Univision.
Los Angeles Football Club will look to build on yet another win in the dying minutes of a match, and continue their unbeaten start to 2019. Next up for Bob Bradley and his men are California rivals San Jose Earthquakes, who will be hoping for their first win of the season.
LAFC won their previous match in dramatic fashion (again), with a Walker Zimmerman screamer in the 90th +2 minutes to beat Real Salt Lake at the Banc of California Stadium. This gave the Black-and-Gold their third win of the season and has them at 10 points atop the Western Conference table. Meanwhile, San Jose has had pretty much the opposite start to the season. The Quakes, hoping to turn things around under new manager Matias Almeyda, have not had the start they wanted, losing all three of their matches and scoring just twice, while conceding nine. Which is not great. Their last match was a 4-1 drubbing in New Jersey to the Red Bulls.
LAFC will need to be wary of their road form coming into this match, as they have seven wins, three draws, and nine losses on the road since the start of last season. San Jose, meanwhile, have two wins, five draws, and 11 losses. Which, again, not great.
One thing LAFC needs to be aware of is the one positive thing San Jose has going for it this season: Wondo Watch. San Jose and MLS legend Chris Wondolowski, with 144 goals, is one goal away from tying Landon Donovan’s record of goals in MLS all-time (145), and two away from breaking it. That could very well happen against LAFC, which would be a sight to see since the Quakes will be at home. Should Wondo tie or get that record, you could see a momentum swing that could help the Quakes in a big way.
Outside of Wondolowski, who is 36, the Quakes just do not have a lot of talent on the team. They have Nick Lima, who is coming off a call-up to the USMNT, and Danny Hoesen, who provides a spark off the bench, but the Quakes are just not that good of a team. Almeyda has stressed the need to revamp the team, but it seems like the front office gave him money and then did not do much of anything else to add to the worst team in MLS. All this together means the Quakes are probably in for another long season.
Last season, LAFC won both matches against the Quakes. The first was a wild 4-3 victory in San Jose, featuring goals by Adama Diomande and Joao Moutinho in the 90th and 97th minutes to pull out a victory. The second was a 2-0 win at the Banc, with a Walker Zimmerman brace.
Prediction: San Jose 1, LAFC 5. LAFC should be able to win this comfortably. Look for Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Walker Zimmerman to all get on the scoresheet at some point. I do think Wondo can get himself a goal at home to tie the record, however, which will be great. Otherwise, LAFC just need to play the way they know how, and they should have no problems.
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