Sporting KC are FINALLY getting back on the field today as they look for redemption against San Jose. I got with Luke James from fellow SB Nation blog Center Line Soccer to ask some questions about the match up
1) The Blue Testament: The Quakes ran a train on SKC at Sporting Park in August winning by a final score of 5-0. Now in the comfort of AVAYA Stadium, are we going to see San Jose keep a high line and press forward most of the match?
Center Line Soccer: The last game 5-0 win was one of those games where some of those near misses we see so often actually went in and the next thing you know San Jose have their biggest scoring win of the season. But in no way does that previous game score line indicate any level of superiority of the Quakes over SKC as a team. That game was part of a 4 game winning streak that the Quakes have been hard pressed to capitalize on since. SKC have also hit a patch of good form lately and with both teams rested they will both be equally anxious to and capable of winning this one. A win would keep SJ’s playoff hopes alive, a tie or win would give SKC a playoff berth. With Earthquakes defensive pillar Bernardez and midfield pivot Pelosi both suspended due to yellow card accumulation a high line from San Jose could be risky. I expect a cagey affair, little end-to-end stuff, and lots of back-and-forth possession in midfield. I invoke Pundits Law in the hope of being totally wrong about that last sentence.
2) TBT: San Jose moved into their new home AVAYA Stadium earlier this year. How is the atmosphere there? What is your favorite thing about the stadium?
CLS: The atmosphere at Avaya is both noisy and electric. There is also often a surreal beauty to the venue with planes landing and taking off over the big screen and with what Scottish soccer writer Alan Black has christened the San Jose Highland hills in the background. My favorite thing about the stadium is the steeply banked seating design that not only means there isn’t a bad seat in the whole place but also gives fans a close-up field experience. The roof is also designed to keep enough noise inside Avaya to drown out those places landing and taking off. I make a point of covering at least some part of each game out of the press box among the crowd.
3) TBT: Sitting in 7th place behind the Timbers, The Earthquakes need to make up three points in two remaining matches. However, they could possibly be eliminated this weekend. What are the odds they are able to get above that red line?
I think the odds of the Quakes finishing above the red line are slightly in their favor. This club has a 41 year history of overcoming difficult situations and making late wins. New stadium, new head coach, and a last burst to get above the play off line – it’s almost a Hollywood movie waiting to happen.
Score Prediction: Quakes win 2-1 with a late goal from Wondo