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Preview: San Jose Earthquakes Continue Late Playoff Push Against Vancouver Whitecaps

San Jose Earthquakes

photo via mlssoccer.com

After playing to a 3-3 tie with the Portland Timbers, the San Jose Earthquakes play a midweek turn around game north of the border against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

This match will prove to be interesting as both teams are trying to pick up points which could prove pivotal as they get closer to needing to qualify for the postseason.  Both teams need these points, even though the Whitecaps are currently 7-6-13 with 34 points and in 6th place, and the Earthquakes are currently 6-10-9 and in 9th place.  In all time play between these two teams, the Earthquakes find themselves 1-4-4 and having to overcome the hurdle of never having won at BC place.

This match could see a couple of players coming back from injury for the Earthquakes including Yannick Djalo and Steven Lenhart who have both missed a number of games.  Djalo has not seen action since August 4th, and Lenhart has not seen action since before his successful arthroscopic surgery on August 1st.  While I believe it is highly possible that Head Coach Mark Watson could potentially attempt to reinfuse the struggling lineup with their presence, with youngster Tommy Thompson on a roll, it is not likely that we will see either of them in the starting 11.  It will, however, help the Earthquakes in their push for the playoffs to have these two back.

The Whitecaps, however, will be dealing with a few injuries of their own.  Gershon Koffie, Caleb Clarke, and Andre Lewis will be unavailable for Head Coach Carl Robinson.  It is also possible that former Earthquake Steven Beitashour may be unavailable due to injury for this match.  Beitashour was kept out of Saturday’s match against DC United due to an injured hip.  Robinson will have Beitashour’s last match replacement Ethen Sampson, as well as homegrown player Sam Adekugbe who was forced to replace Sampson in the second half due to cramps, at his disposal in case Beitashour can’t play.

With the Earthquakes necessity to pick up points at this point in the season, they would need to come out swinging and score while keeping their defense on their A-game to keep the Whitecaps out of the goal to allow them to pick up a win in Vancouver.  This would be a change from the game against the Timbers where Goalkeeper Jon Busch was tested and made 10 saves out of 32 shots that were taken by the Timbers.  If it had not been for the save ability of Busch, the Earthquakes would not have come away with a point.  With the potential return of Djalo and Lenhart over the next few matches, can the Earthquakes do what they need to do to gain points and make the postseason, or is it too little too late?

Jasmine Stefanik is a writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. Follow her on Twitter @TrueUnionFan1, and like her page on Facebook

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