The San Jose Earthquakes will host the Chicago Fire July 28th at Buck Shaw Stadium. These two teams have a memorable rivalry, most notably a Quakes win against the Fire in the 2003 MLS Cup. This is the only time the two teams will face each other in regular season this year.
The Chicago Fire (9-7-4) return to action after a mid-day 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls on July 18th and a 1-0 loss to English Premier League side Aston Villa July 21st. The Fire currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Earthquakes (13-5-4) continue to dominate MLS, still first in the league despite a 2-1 controversial loss at BC Place against Vancouver Whitecaps on July 22nd. The Whitecaps second goal came after Sam Cronin fouled Camilo. The penalty was not initially awarded by referee Jair Marrufo, but he consulted with his assistant and gave the foul.
The Fire went 0-1-1 against the Earthquakes last season. The last time these two teams met was on September 10th, 2011, in which the Fire fell 2-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium with goals from Wondolowski and Corrales.
Chris Wondolowski goes into this game a goal-scoring machine. He currently leads the league with 17 goals in 20 games. He also scored the first goal in the MLS All Star match against Chelsea FC Wednesday night, a game the All Stars went on to win 3-2. Wondolowski has three goals against the Fire in seven career appearances.
The Fire will be without Guatemalan Marco Pappas who will be serving a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Pappa currently leads the Fire in goals this season with five. In career appearances against the Earthquakes, Pappa has two goals and one assist.
With a win, the Earthquakes will continue to inhabit first place in the league; while a win for the Fire would see them possibly move to fourth in the Eastern Conference. With the season now into its second half, the Fire will be hungry to accumulate more points to secure a spot in playoffs.
Following this game, the Earthquakes will host Welsh side Swansea City of the English Premier League on July 31st.
The match will be televised at 7:30 p.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet California.