Sporting KC @ San Jose Earthquakes
When: Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 at 6:30 PM CT (Kickoff 6:38)
Where: PayPal Park
How to Watch/Stream: 38 the Spot | ESPN+ (out of market) | SportingKC.com & SKC App (in market) | Sporting One App on Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV
How to Listen: La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
It’s good to be on the right side of a result for once. Sporting Kansas City are coming off a 2-1 win that wasn’t always pretty, but the three points count the same regardless. But at what cost? Sporting KC are heading into their 5th game in 15 days in a stretch of seven in 21 days. They’ve been piling on the injuries and suspensions too. They’ll get two players back, Roger Espinoza and Robert Voloder, but lose two more, Andreu Fontas and Daniel Salloi.
That same Daniel Salloi who scored a brace against the Colorado Rapids before all hell broke loose.
FIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTT pic.twitter.com/usWy4vVXMg— J. Sam Jones (@J_SamJones) May 19, 2022
The club will hit the road to take on the San Jose Earthquakes, who are a single point ahead of them in the standings in the West. That’s right, despite the win, SKC remain in 13th place, with San Jose a single point ahead in 12th. However, the gaps are closing. Kansas City are stunningly just three points out of the 7th and final playoff spot. The MLS season is very long.
The Earthquakes are also in a busy stretch of games, including winning 3-2 over the Portland Timbers who were coming off the ultimate high of crushing KC. Since parting ways with their former coach Matias Almeyda, the Earthquakes have found new life.
San Jose’s Recent Form
- April 23rd vs. Seattle Sounders — 4-3 Win
- May 1st @ New York City FC — 0-3 Loss
- May 7th vs. Colorado Rapids — 1-0 Win
- May 14th @ Vancouver Whitecaps — 3-3 Draw
- May 17th vs. Portland Timbers — 3-2 Win
Squeezed in there is a US Open Cup win in Seattle that went to penalty kicks and resulted in the San Jose keeper making his while saving Stefan Cleveland’s shot. Their home road splits are pretty obvious (0-4-1 on the road in league play), but this is a home game, so that fares well for the Quakes (3-1-3 at home).
What’s New for San Jose in 2022?
Once again, my colleague David Greenwald did the heavy lifting for me in his preseason preview of the Earthquakes. Since that article in February, San Jose has literally made zero transactions outside of firing their head coach who was clearly phoning it in. What a lost opportunity. Such a talented coach that never got players for his system and apparently he was incapable of adapting to the players he had.
All their many signings/trades from the offseason and late last year (Ebobisse, Monteiro, Gregus, Calvo) seem to be working out really well offensively, but their defense is horrific.
OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Daniel Salloi (red card), Andreu Fontas (red card)
QUESTIONABLE - Graham Zusi (leg strain), Johnny Russell (knee), Khiry Shelton (hamstring), Nikola Vujnovic (calf), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (concussion, facial fracture)
*This has been updated based on the official injury report.
OUT - George Asomani (left ankle), Gilbert Fuentes (personal), Nathan (Health and Safety Protocol)
QUESTIONABLE - Siad Haji (right adductor), Marcos Lopez (left pelvis)
Goals: Daniel Salloi (4), Johnny Russell (3), Remi Walter (2), Marinos Tzionis, Roger Espinoza (1)
Assists: Felipe Hernandez (3), Cam Duke (2), Daniel Salloi, Ben Sweat, Uri Rosell (1)
Unfortunately Ford didn’t pick up an assist on his nice pass to Salloi for the second goal because of the deflection, but it was a good play regardless.
Goals: Jeremy Ebobisse (7), Cristian Espinoza (4), Jamiro Monteiro (3), Francisco Calvo, Jackson Yueill (2), four with one
Assists: Espinoza, Jan Gregus (6), Cade Cowell (4), Monteiro (3), Ebobisse (1)
Starting XI Predictions
This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day.
What goes up, must come down. Right? Sporting KC are likely riding a little higher knowing they managed to rebound from the loss to Portland and pull off a gritty home win. However, they head back on the road where they are winless (0-6-1) on the season. They also face a very capable side in the Earthquakes in front of the net as they have 22 goals (compared to SKC’s 12. The one positive is the Quakes have allowed a league’s worst 28 goals.
I’ve said in this space in recent weeks I need Kansas City to show me something to give a more optimistic prediction. They did gut one out on Wednesday night but both of their goals came from Daniel Salloi who is now suspended. They’ve played Johnny Russell until it looks like his leg wants to fall off. Khiry Shelton was questionable midweek but surely will be needed on the weekend. And it’s hard to imagine Nikola Vujnovic playing after going down in a heap, even if the injury isn’t an Achilles as it originally appeared live.
I desperately want to be wrong, but the road form of this team is awful and I’m afraid they’ll need another bunker and counter type approach until they can get some healthy bodies back. It could work, but they really need to score first.
2-1 San Jose Win
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