The San Jose Earthquakes are in Boston tonight for their third road game of the season. With just one road win in since 2016, the outlook does not look good against a New England team that has won both home games this season.
If the Quakes want to change their road fortunes, changes will need to be made.
Keys To Victory
One of the changes that cannot be emphasize enough is the change in tactics. Last week, the Quakes relied on playing the ball on the wings, pumping in 27 crosses. Yet when the dust settled, only two of these balls were put on frame. If the Quakes want to score more than one goal–a feat they have not been able to accomplish in their previous four games–the Quakes need to rely on build up from the center of the pitch, not just the wings.
A second change that needs to be implemented is their formation. Jahmir Hyka needs to playing centrally. This means a change from the bucket 4-4-2 to a diamond 4-4-2, or a 4-2-3-1, or something/anything in which Hyka can play as an attacking mid.
The Revs usually play a diamond 4-4-2 with Lee Nguyen playing the 10, with Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo playing as forwards. Expect Kellyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez to play on the wings, with Javier Kuassi, or possibly Scott Caldwell, playing the 6. Defensively, former Burlingame Dragons player Josh Smith may be the start at center-back with Antonio Mlinar Delamea.
Last week the Quakes played without Simon Dawkins, who was nursing an knee injury, and I doubt he’s ready to return, especially with Jackson Yueill making the trip. I’m guessing Dom keeps rolling with the bucket 4-4-2 with Lima and Francis as the fullbacks, Flo and Muma as the center-backs, and Fatai and Godoy as the controlling mids. Expect Cato and Hyka to start, with Tommy, Yueill, and Salinas on the bench as midfield subs. Marco Urena and Chris Wondolowski should start at the forward positions. However, don’t be surprised to see Fatai continue to develop at center-back with Flo, and Muma on the bench.
Statistically, the Quakes have not fared well on the road, while New England has dominated at home. The Quakes defense has been inconsistent at times with player rotations, and Shaun Francis being Shaun Francis. I would guess the Revs put up two goals, with Agudelo and Kellyn Rowe scoring for New England. I’m also guessing the Quakes manage to avoid a shut-out for the third week in a row with a late goal from Tommy Thompson, who finally breaks his scoreless streak.
Final score: 2-1 Revs.