Will the San Jose Earthquakes be playoff bound once again?


Christian Martinez,

Only two games remain in the regular season, and the San Jose Earthquakes are fighting for every point possible to secure a spot in the top six of the Western Conference.

If they’re able to successfully secure a playoff position they once again have a fighting chance at MLS glory.

The Quakes have had some difficult seasons recently with their most current trophy they earned being the Supporters’ Shield in 2012. In response the team appointing Chris Leitch, who previously played for San Jose and coached their academy team, as the new head coach on June 25.

San Jose was able to use the past winter and summer transfer windows to bring in 11 new players from other teams as free signings, homegrown academy players, on loan players from different clubs, or by drafting them during the SuperDraft which occurs during the offseason.

These changes seem to be working in favor of the Earthquakes, who have performed well at home totaling nine wins, five ties, and only two losses. The team has struggled on the road, earning just three wins, 12 losses, and a single tie.

They desperately needed a win and found that win in a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday. The Earthquakes found an early lead when Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili scored in the 16th minute of the first half and then Danny Hoesen doubled that lead early on in the second half, scoring his fourth goal of the season for the Earthquakes in the 49th minute.

The Quakes were unable to keep a shutout and conceded a goal in the 87th minute to the Timbers, but it wasn’t enough and San Jose was able to walk away with a much-needed win.

“They just really wanted this game tonight for sure,” Leitch told reporters following the game on Saturday. “They wanted to be on it. They wanted to be on the ball for sure.”

The Quakes currently stand in seventh place in the western conference after beating Portland and suffering a 4-1 blowout at home to the Chicago Fire on Sept. 27, with forward Chris Wondolowski scoring the only Earthquakes goal. San Jose also suffered a blowout 4-0 loss on the road in Washington D.C., by D.C United on Sept. 23.

After the international break, which is when some players play for their respective national team and no club soccer games are scheduled, the Earthquakes will face the Vancouver Whitecaps in Vancouver on Oct. 15 away and will look to beat the Whitecaps again like they did when both teams faced back in March when the Earthquakes pulled out a 3-2 win at home.

The Quakes will then face off against Minnesota United FC on Oct. 22 at home at Avaya Stadium for the last match of the regular season. San Jose beat them previously by a margin of 1-0 in April while away at Minnesota.

Should the Earthquakes win both of their upcoming games, and both Houston and Real Salt Lake drop points in their upcoming games, their chance at a playoff spot will not be too far fetched.

If the Earthquakes can play strong and consistent then the idea that they could also go on and possibly play for a chance at the MLS Cup seems plausible as well and it would definitely be nice to bring home another trophy to the Bay Area.