San Jose has not lost in their previous five games. Houston has not won in their previous six. The Quakes are awesome at home (6-1-4). Houston is awful on the road (0-9-3; three points out of 12 games). Expect a victory tonight. Anything less, even a tie, is unacceptable.
Line Up: I’m betting Dom mixes up the lineup with Dawrin Ceren replacing Fatai Alashe, as Fatai got an earful in Vancouver. Furthermore, both Fatai and Godoy are a yellow away from suspension, better to keep one on the bench than risk suspension to one or both for next game. Quincy’s goal last week, which apparently should not have counted, will probably keep him in the starting XI over Goitom, but for how long? That said, the Quakes will keep running the flat 4-4-2 with Cato at right-back, Wynne and Muma as the center-backs, and Stewart at left-back. (Stewart is not listed as injured officially, but could be out as he appeared to aggravate an injury in Vancouver) Dawkins on the right, Ceren and Godoy in the middle, and Quintero on the left. Wondo and Quincy up top, but I’d love to see Goitom get the start over Quincy. Dude is a goal scorer, and Houston would be the perfect time to run up the score and increase that goal differential tiebreak.
Player Performances: Definitely a shut out for Bingham. He should have had one in Vancouver, and Houston doesn’t score a lot of goals. I’m betting Simon and Quintero each get an assist, Wondo gets a PK goal, Ceren scores his first for San Jose, and Goitom plays the final 30 minutes for Quincy, in which he puts two shots on goal. Quincy gets zero shots on goal. Godoy is due for his next yellow card, so don’t be surprised if he gets it and is suspended next game.
Final Score: 3-0 Quakes. Wondo, Godoy, Ceren. This should be an emphatic win. With Portland playing on the road (winless on the road this season) we should be above the redline and back in playoff contention by Monday.