The away team has never won a match between Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-8L-3D) and San Jose Earthquakes (7W-8L-4D) in Major League Soccer.
And the ‘Caps are hoping to keep it that way – at least for the time being.
Whitecaps FC have their sights set on three points this Sunday when they host the Quakes in a West Coast battle at BC Place.
Match Day: Saturday, July 26
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Venue: BC Place
Radio: TSN 1410
As you may have heard, the Western Conference standings are as tight as ever.
Coming into Sunday’s match, just two points separate second and sixth. Suffice to say: every point matters.
The third-place ‘Caps are currently eight points up on San Jose, but the Quakes have two games in hand.
“We want to try to keep that gap between us and them,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said this week. “It will be a very intense game. They beat us down in their place earlier this season and deservedly so – even though we didn’t play very well. We’ve got to focus on us this week and build on the positive performance we had in Portland.”
After fielding a young group in last weekend’s draw with Portland, Robinson will have some interesting decisions to make again this weekend.
Centre back Kendall Waston has returned from Gold Cup duty with Costa Rica and Robinson said this week that centre back Pa-Modou Kah (calf) will be available as well. The ‘Caps coach also told reporters that Sam Adekugbe (ankle) is “close” and Pedro Morales (calf) will likely be in the 18.
The month of July hasn’t been too kind to San Jose.
After ending June with back-to-back wins over Seattle Sounders FC and LA Galaxy, the Quakes have now lost three straight matches.
It’s probably no coincidence that striker Chris Wondolowski, who has scored nine of San Jose’s 21 goals this season, didn’t feature in any of them. Wondolowski is currently away with the U.S. men’s national team, who play in Saturday’s afternoon’s Gold Cup third place game in Philadelphia, meaning his status is in doubt for Sunday’s match.
“He’s a top player,” Robinson said. “He scores a lot of goals for them and he’s done that throughout his career. Whether it’s him or whoever else they put in, they’re going to be dangerous. So it’s important we keep the back door shut.”
San Jose’s most recent result was a 5-2 loss to LA Galaxy. Newcomer Quincy Amarikwa scored a first-half brace before the Quakes surrendered five straight goals.
This will be the second of three meetings between the ‘Caps and Quakes this season. San Jose came away with a 1-0 win back on April 11 at Avaya Stadium, snapping an eight-match winless streak vs. Whitecaps FC over the last three seasons.
“We lost the game in San Jose so we have something to prove to ourselves,” Kah said this week.
The ‘Caps have won five straight against San Jose at BC Place.
Buckle up: it’s going to be a busy month of August.
Whitecaps FC will play a total of eight matches in three different competitions in the month of August, starting with back-to-back matches vs. longtime rival Seattle Sounders FC.