Tonight’s game is huge, and one man in particular is being called on to really bring the heat and the passion; the twelfth man. San Jose needs their twelfth man tonight to help them extend their home unbeaten streak to 13 games, and keep their playoff dreams alive. The San Jose Earthquakes (10-11-7) host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10-10-7) tonight at Buck Shaw Stadium in a battle of desperation. These two teams, tied for 7th with 37 points in the Western Conference, are fighting for their post-season lives. Both are currently five points out of the fifth and final playoff spot with just six games remaining in the regular season.
In their third and final matchup the 2013 season, San Jose has their eyes set on their first win against their Western Conference foes. The last time these two faced off, back in early August up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps FC ran away with a 2-0 win with second half goals from Camilo Sanvezzo and Kenny Miller. To the Quakes advantage tonight, neither team has ever lost to the other on home soil. This year, San Jose has one of the best home field advantages in the entire MLS. On their 13 game home unbeaten streak, the Quakes are now 6-0 in their last six.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are currently on a winless streak of their last four games, and are also winless in their last five away games. Brazilian forward Camilo Sanvezzo currently leads the team with 14 goals, but has never scored against San Jose.
San Jose will welcome back defenders Victor Bernardez (Honduras) and Clarence Goodson (USA), and midfielder Marvin Chavez (Honduras) from international play. The Quakes have played their last two games without Bernardez and Chavez, and just last game without Goodson. The back line will welcome some rest and look forward to the strength, height, and calm Bernardez and Goodson bring back against the speedy forwards of Vancouver. Steven Lenhart and Rafael Baca will miss tonight’s match due to yellow card accumulation, both will be eligible to return September 14th. Chris Wondolowski will face suspension if he receives another yellow tonight.
San Jose needs the three points tonight before they head out to face Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA at the end of September. This weekend the Quakes host the Montreal Impact in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Extras: The Earthquakes are one win away from their 200th win in club history. San Jose announced that due to continuing complications at the building site, their new stadium will not open until the 2015 season.
(image courtesy of sjearthquakes.com)