Welcome back everyone,
After a pretty dreary 0-0 contest with Houston (stop me if you’ve heard that before), the Vancouver Whitecaps will be looking to rebuild some positive momentum in the playoff push as they matchup with the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday night at BC Place.
San Jose currently sits just a point behind Vancouver in the Western Conference standings, but with an extra game played in comparison to the Whitecaps, it’s crucial for the Earthquakes that they take advantage of a possible six-point scenario.
While each of the matches this week have been important for Vancouver in the playoff race, it is undoubtable that this fixture with San Jose could represent the biggest swing in their playoff fortunes. This matchup will also set the table for a reverse fixture on October 24th at PayPal Park.
San Jose’s attacking midfielder Chofis (Javier López) was red-hot over the last span of matches for the Quakes, but their momentum was stalled mid-week by Seattle, as they fell 3-1 to the top team in the West.
Overall, San Jose has been a much improved squad since the addition of Brazilian defender Nathan to the backline, who alongside Oswaldo Alanis and JT Marcinkowski in goal, have brought some much needed stability to the defensive unit. The Earthquakes dropped 7 of their first 11 matches in MLS play this year, but since that poor stretch, they hold an overall record of 5 wins, 8 draws and 3 losses over their last 16 matches.
For Vancouver, injury status and squad rotation remain the main talking points. Currently, the Whitecaps find themsleves shockingly thin at certain positions, and we’ll have to see just how creative Vanni Sartini wants to be against San Jose. The Quakes, by contrast, have a decently deep squad, so this could give the Whitecaps trouble as the match goes on this Saturday night, especially considering Matías Almeyda’s fondness for mass substitutions.
One would have to imagine that most (if not all) of the substitute appearances from the Houston fixture (Ryan Gauld, Brian White, Russell Teibert, Deiber Caicedo & Florian Jungwirth) will find themselves in the starting XI vs. San Jose.
Alright, on we go to the rules and standings:
- Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE (or more accurately, the correct match thread) prior to the lineup being officially announced, usually about an hour before kickoff.
- You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. You receive 4 bonus points for correctly predicting all 11 starters.
- You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw, this doubles to 10 if you also predict the right score-line along with the result.
- That means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 25 points!
- At the end of each quarter, the contestants lowest score of that period will be deducted from the cumulative standings.