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MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes

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Pitch Pit at PayPal Park for Sporting Kansas City’s Remi Walter

It’s the Frenchman v a Dutchman in a midfield tilt.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

When Sporting Kansas City takes on San Jose Earthquakes at their PayPal Park tonight (Kickoff is 6:38pm CT), a determining battle will unfold in the midfield. Overall, it will be an interesting battle, and perhaps a high-scoring one. Sporting sits second in the dubious stat of goals allowed with 24. Who tops Sporting? San Jose, with 28. Conversely, San Jose is third in MLS’s Western Conference in goals scored with 22 in 12 matches. Feeding San Jose’s attack much of the way, and certainly recently, has been midfielder Jamiro Monteiro. Thus, if Kansas City’s Remi Walter can silence Monteiro, Sporting (tied for last in goal production in the West) will have a stronger chance to claim the three full points. A win would push Sporting above the ‘Quakes in the standings as well.

Vitals

Vitals Ht Wt Age MLS Seas 2022 Base Salary
Vitals Ht Wt Age MLS Seas 2022 Base Salary
Remi Walter 5'9" 161 27 2nd 800,000
Jamiro Monteiro 5'8" 139 28 4th 1,200,000

Wheres and What they Gots

True, Walter often lines up as the right side #8 for Sporting in their 4-3-3 formation. However, the Frenchman sometimes picks up at the #6, and, arguably, is best at combining mobility and conscientious defending in the midfield. His encounters with Monteiro should be frequent.

Monteiro, born in the Netherlands, takes up as a central midfielder in San Jose’s peculiar 4-1-4-1 formation that plays something like a 4-3-3 at times. The quick and skilled designated player has made 22 appearances, with one goal, for the Cape Verde National Team.

Telling Stats

Stats Int Duel % KP Pass % xG G g+
Stats Int Duel % KP Pass % xG G g+
Remi Walter 13 46.2 15 89 0.57 2 -1.23
Jamiro Monteiro 5 46.5 18 87.2 1.67 3 0.04

(All stats from mlssoccer.com and americansocceranalysis.com)

Walter is high on Sporting KC’s stat list in four key categories: 1st in pass % and interceptions and 2nd in key passes and tackles. To say Walter has been a key performer for Kansas City is an understatement. Just call him The Rock.

Monteiro has been similar for San Jose: 1st in key passes and tackles and 2nd in pass % of those with >500 minutes.

Latelies

Strong and steady for Walter. In Sporting’s 7-2 loss at Portland Timbers last weekend, Walter was not the culpable in any of the goals.

Monteiro rippled the net twice in San Jose’s 3-2 victory over the same Portland Timbers Wednesday. That performance was the encore for a one goal, one assist production the last weekend in a 3-3 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Ink Links

Shades of Blue Soccer Show - The Blue Testament – open a podcast and look under “In this playlist”. There, you will find an interview with Walter and Logan Ndenbe from the 2022 Media Day.

NEWS: Earthquakes Midfielder Jamiro Monteiro Named MLS Player of the Week | San Jose Earthquakes (sjearthquakes.com)

Tactics

Monteiro’s first goal last Wednesday against Portland Timbers was a counterattack goal. The second was a timely arrival in the box to put away a loose ball. If Walter plays at one of the #8s, he won’t likely have a “foot” in the first. For the second, however, Walter will need to track Monteiro. Yet, if Walter can eke out a formidable defensive “front” with his midfield mates, denying Monteiro the ball will be critical for Sporting’s chances to gain the full three points.

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