When the San Jose Earthquakes meet the Vancouver Whitecaps at the MLS is Back Tournament Wednesday (9 pm ET | TUDN, Twitter in US, TSN, TVAS in Canada), it pits one team with a game under its belt against a squad making its Group B opener.
Is there an edge either way? Magnus Eriksson believes so.
“For me, it’s an advantage for us,” the Quakes forward said in a media call Monday. “First of all we’ve been here longer than anybody else. We have been here for almost a few weeks soon, we have played one game, we know what the conditions are. I’m just positive to it, we have a strong group, so I think it’s an advantage for us, but we still have to go out and do our very best. We’ve played one game and we know how it is out there with the humidity and everything so we’re well-prepared. I’m not worried about that at all.”
“It was a first step and I think it was a good one, and now we go for more,” Eriksson said. “I think that the feeling in the group is that we want more and that we will try to get it on Wednesday.”
Does that bode well for the Whitecaps? It’s going to depend on their start, according to Vancouver coach Marc dos Santos.
“I think the key of the game will be the first 30 minutes,” he said. “Because they played the first game against Seattle, they have an understanding of the environment, of game mode, of getting again getting into a game that means something.”
The argument can be made that Vancouver have fresh legs, while the Quakes are playing on short rest in the heat and humidity. On the flip side, the ‘Caps will miss some of their most experienced players.
Either way, Eriksson said his team’s focus is squarely internal.
“Our focus is on us, and if they are low in the press or if they are high, we will try to make the best of the situation and try to break their lines,” Eriksson said. “Of course, we know that they are missing a couple of guys, but as I said the main focus is on San Jose and for us to make it as good as possible for us to take three points. If we focus on us that’s the best thing and the main thing that we have to do right now.”