San Jose Earthquakes clinch Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot


The San Jose Earthquakes, in their first year under head coach Luchi Gonzalez, have booked an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot following a 1-1 Decision Day draw against Austin FC.

San Jose are the Western Conference's No. 9 seed and will visit No. 8-seed Sporting Kansas City in Wednesday's single-elimination Wild Card game (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). The winner advances to a Round One Best-of-3 series vs. No. 1-seed St. Louis CITY SC.

Key pieces

Gonzalez, a former FC Dallas head coach and US men’s national team assistant coach, formally took over in 2023 after his hiring was announced in August 2022. On-field success was nearly instantaneous compared to the Matías Almeyda era, though results have ebbed and flowed.

Playing a star role in the turnaround – San Jose finished last in the West in 2022 – has been Cristian Espinoza. The Argentine winger often plays opposite US international Cade Cowell and has put together a career season with 13g/13a, earning him both a 2023 MLS All-Star nod and a contract extension. Jeremy Ebobisse is the club's standout No. 9.

Goalkeeper Daniel has also been stellar during his first season in San Jose after arriving from Brazilian Serie A club Internacional. As another key wintertime signing, defensive midfielder Carlos Gruezo joined from German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg on a Designated Player deal, reuniting him with Gonzalez after the pair worked together for half a season in Dallas.

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup presented by Audi is set for Dec. 9, while the playoffs begin Oct. 25 with Wild Card matches. All games can be watched on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

  • Seeds 1-7 in each conference qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series.
  • Seeds 8-9 in each conference qualify for the Wild Card matches.