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Match preview: Caps vs. Earthquakes

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Vancouver looks to clinch number one seed

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty simple for the Whitecaps on Sunday when they host the San Jose Eartquakes in 2017’s penultimate regular season match: win and they will top the Western Conference heading into the MLS playoffs.

The Caps can credit the Houston Dynamo for beating Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, putting the side on the precise of doing what would’ve been thought unthinkable at the beginning of the season. They can also set club records in points and wins if they can secure three points.

Coming off a 3-0 demolition in Harrison, NJ last weekend, the Caps will welcome the return of regulars Kendall Waston, Christian Bolanos and Yordy Reyna from international duty. Christian Techera also seems likely to play, after missing the last couple of matches to be with his family following the birth of his newborn son. It seems reasonable to expect a strong, first-choice team at B.C Place.

San Jose has much to play for on Sunday, however. The Quakes sit one point behind FC Dallas in the race for the sixth and final playoff slot, meaning a win would be a major boost to their hopes of making the postseason.

Yet to play a match in the month of October, San Jose is coming off a streaky September. Despite shipping four goals in separate losses to Chicago, DC United and Toronto FC, the Quakes closed out the month with a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Portland.

Strong performances from veterans like Chris Wondolowski and Victor Bernardez, as well as newcomers like Jahmir Hyka, have helped bolster a surprisingly successful season for the Quakes. San Jose has been less productive on the road, however, averaging one fewer goal scored per game away (.6) compared with at home (1.6). This will bolster Vancouver’s confidence heading into Sunday.

Read on for how to watch Sunday’s match:

Matchday 32

San Jose vs. Caps

Kickoff: 7 pm EST/4 PM PST

TV: TSN 1

Radio: TSN Radio

Referees:

REF: ISMAIL ELFATH

AR1: Ian Anderson

AR2: Jeremy Hanson

4TH: Baboucarr Jallow

VAR: Silviu Petrescu