The San Jose Earthquakes host NYCFC tonight at Avaya, 8pm. Fun facts about NYCFC:
- They are first place in the East with a 10-7-6 record
- They have a 0 +/- goal differential
- They lead the league in both goals scored (40) and goals allowed (40)
- They are the only MLS team with a winning road record (6-4-3)
- Their road record is BETTER than their home record: 1.46 PPG home, 1.72 PPG away
- David Villa is the current MLS leading goal scorer at 13
- Man City transplant Frank Lampard scored a hat-trick last week versus Colorado, giving him 8 goals this season
- Former Quake defender Jason Hernandez is still on the team, and starting(!)–probably one of the reasons why they lead the league in goals allowed.
- Andrea Pirlo is tied for fifth in MLS with 8 assists. Dude looks like he could be my grandfather, and I’m actually older than him (don’t ask…)
- When USMNT member Mix Diskerud was removed from the starting XI, NYCFC’s record improved to an astonishing 6-2-0. When Mix started? 2-3-4. Yeah, he was never that good, even on the national team. Sorry #Mix2SJ fans. 🙁
Line Up: Why fight it? The “ineffective” flat 4-4-2, with Bingham in goal, Cato at RB, Marvell and Muma at CB, Stewart at LB. Simon and Quintero on the wings, Fatai and Godoy in the middle, Wondo and Quincy up top. I really want to see Barrett get the start; the dude was locked in at practice yesterday, hitting side-netting like it was Ali vs. Liston. I would also expect Darwin Ceren to get some game time in place of Fatai around 80′, although he has yet to practice with the team. Barrett on for Quincy around 75′. Bench: Tarbell, Francis, Imperiale, Ceren, Salinas, Barrett, Thompson
Player Performance: If he starts, Quincy gets one shot on goal (he averages 0.6 per game, and didn’t produce any last game, so odds are he will put one on frame tonight). Bingham will have five saves. Muma and Wynne will combine for eight blocked shots, and 12 clearances. Godoy will get a card. Quintero and Simon will each be dispossessed two times, and Simon will have two unsuccessful first touches (he leads all Quakes midfielders in dispossessions and unsuccessful first touches per game). Shea will be subbed on for Quintero when the Quakes are down 2-1, and connect with Wondo for Wondo’s third in as many games.
Final Score Prediction: NYCFC is no joke on the road, and the Quakes are pretty formidable at home. NYCFC leads the league in goals scored and goals allowed, so I would expect them to score and be scored upon. That said, I’m going with a 2-2 final. Wondo and Godoy with the goals for San Jose, Villa and McNamara scoring for NYCFC.
Game time: 8pm. See you there!