Cali Clasico Pre-Match

June 25, 2016

The San Jose Earthquakes host the L.A. Galaxy at Stanford Stadium today at 7:00pm. The Galaxy have already beaten and drawn San Jose at the StubHub, but if the Quakes win tonight, they will overtake the Galaxy in the season standings.

The Galaxy are winless in their last six matches (their last win coming against the New England Revolution at home on May 8th). They are also missing vital pieces to their offense: Gyassi Zardes and Robbie Keane, both of whom are playing for their native countries. It’s no coincidence that L.A. have failed to score in their previous three matches with their absences.

But the Quakes are in a similar situation. San Jose’s leading scorer Chris Wondolowski will be in Phoenix for the Copa America consolation match with Zardes. It took the the Quakes 355 minutes to be able to find someone that could score without Wondo on the pitch, and that was versus a very shaky Orlando City SC defense which has given up 23 goals (tied for third in the East) and only have one shutout all season. The Quakes and Galaxy are evenly matched.

The difference will be home-field advantage. The Quakes have yet to lose at home, while the Galaxy have a 1-3-3 away record. I would expect the Quakes to get a point, and possibly three as the Quakes defense should be up to task.

Line Up Predictions

It’s time to say it: forward Quincy Amarikwa is flat-lining. One goal in 11 games. His current shot conversion rate? 24.1%, awful for a forward. At this rate, he’ll finish the season with three goals total. (This was something I highlighted in my preseason player report, and now the fruits are showing.) Quincy is a bench forward; it’s time for a change.

I really want to see Innocent back on the pitch. If Simon Dawkins can get two months of excuses (he hasn’t played in a long time, he’s still getting used to the MLS) for his poor start, then Innocent should get the same luxury. The dude is being paid millions; it’s time to get him on the pitch so he can demonstrate his value to the offense before cutting ties altogether. If he’s a bust, let him prove it on the pitch, and give him the same leeway we gave Dawkins.

That said, I want to see Innocent and Barrett up top, with MPG, Dawkins, Quintero and Godoy forming a diamond 4-4-2; just because you have two quality defensive mids doesn’t mean you have to play them every game. Keep Fatai and Quincy on the bench.

The actual formation Dom will probably use? The same old ineffective lineup: Quincy and Dawkins up top, Fatai and Godoy at DM, Quintero and MPG on the wings. It will probably take subs to get the team a goal like in Orlando City.

Defensively, I’m predicting center-back Andres Imperiale pulled a Paulo Renato: he’s technically on the team, but Dom Kinnear has had enough and we won’t see him again. So I expect to see Kofi Sarkodie on the right, Marvell and Victor in the middle, and Stewart on the left. Bingham will be in goal.

On the bench: Meredith, Francis, Silva, Salinas, Cato, Barrett, Innocent.

Final Score Predictions

1-0 Quakes. I doubt there will be a lot of scoring for either team, but I like our bench to pull out a go-ahead goal sometime past the 75th minute. I also like our defense to get a shutout in front of the sold-out 50,000 spectators at Stanford, especially with Zardes and Keane out for the Galaxy.

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