MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
07/18/2014 3:07 PM
07/18/2014 3:12 PM
San Jose (4-8-4) at New York (5-6-8), 7 p.m.
Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Earthquakes will be looking to break a four-match losing streak when they head to Red Bull Arena to face Red Bull New York on Saturday, and the odds appear to be in favor of the visitors.
San Jose has not lost a match to the Red Bulls since April 16, 2011 when it suffered a 3-0 defeat.
And in the following three matches between the two clubs, the 'Quakes earned points from two successive 2-2 draws before claiming a 2-1 home victory on March 10, 2013.
Not only is history in San Jose's favor, but the Red Bulls appear poised to make some changes to the squad after they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Wednesday.
New York's clash with San Jose will be its third match in eight days, and the dense fixture list seems to have taken its toll on the reigning Supporters' Shield winners.
"An unmentioned person, I remember last game we were 25 minutes in, and he was like, 'Hey, Luis. I feel like I've played 90 minutes,'" goalkeeper Luis Robles said after the match. "Today, 15 minutes in and he was like, 'Hey, Luis. I feel like I've played 90 minutes.'"
The exhaustion did not go unnoticed as head coach Mike Petke recognized the fatigue setting in as early as pre-match warm-ups.
"We could tell in the warm-up we were a bit tired," Petke said. "As you saw in the first half, we had three to four guys coming to our center-backs real close to collect the ball. It's a sign of a little fatigue."
Should New York's lineup receive a minor reshuffle for Saturday's clash against San Jose, Ibrahim Sekagya would likely replace youngster Matt Miazga, who endured a disappointing outing against the Union despite making major leaps in recent weeks.
Also, Peguy Luyindula could deputize for Tim Cahill, who has not had a proper respite following his exploits at the World Cup, while Bobby Convey may slot in wide on the flank to give either Eric Alexander or Lloyd Sam a night off.
The 'Quakes will be hoping to take advantage of New York's changes after dropping their fourth successive match last Friday, falling to D.C. United, 2-1, for their third straight home loss.
San Jose is in desperate need of a win as its current funk has dropped the club to the bottom of the Western Conference, but the objective going forward is to finish strong and build toward a spot in the playoffs.
"We find ourselves in a hole again just like last year," defender Clarence Goodson said. "You look at our matches this year and there have been stretches when we've played well. Then we hit those poor spells and that's how we give up bad goals. To be fair, we haven't given up too many goals this year.
"In regards to a second-half resurgence, I think it's all there for us. We need to find ways to be better for longer stretches. When we are struggling, get back to a better shape and that will minimize goals. If we do that, you will see games like this fall our way."
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