San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United — 10/22/17

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 1
Avaya Stadium — San Jose, CA
Saturday, March 3 — 10:30 pm ET

It was a dramatic end to the 2017 regular season, when the San Jose Earthquakes rode a stoppage-time winner to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United, securing their first trip to the playoffs in five years. The Earthquakes got bounced from the postseason quickly but will like to ride their momentum into a new year — which, as fate would have it, opens with another game vs. Minnesota.

The Loons could do nothing more than try to play spoiler for much of the end of their 2017 expansion season. But even without making too many changes in the offseason, they're hoping more stability and experience will help them start making some moves up the Western Conference table in their second year in the league.

San Jose Earthquakes

New head coach Mikael Stahre will have an old standby to rely on in ageless striker Chris Wondolowski, who has history in his sights. He enters the season 11 goals back of Landon Donovan's all-time MLS goals record (145).

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
GK: Andrew Tarbell — Nick Lima, Harold Cummings, Yeferson Quintana, Shea Salinas — Magnus Eriksson, Florian Jungwirth, Anibal Godoy, Vako — Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen

Notes: San Jose lost just two league home games in 2017 (10 wins, five draws) — their fewest since dropping only one home game in 2013. ... With his next goal, Wondolowski will move into second place in league history in goals scored (currently tied with Jeff Cunningham at 134). He has one goal in two career appearances against Minnesota.

Minnesota United FC

The Loons struggled defensively in 2017, allowing a league-worst 70 goals, but did show some offensive promise behind the play of Christian Ramirez and Abu Danladi, who combined to score 22 goals. Will we see those two partner together up top at all this season?

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Marc Burch (ankle), Harrison Heath (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Bobby Shuttleworth — Tyrone Mears, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Jerome Thiesson — Luiz Fernando, Ibson — Ethan Finlay, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino — Christian Ramirez

Notes: Minnesota gave up 44 road goals in MLS play in 2017, the second-highest total since 2010. They failed to keep a single away clean sheet (the fifth MLS team to do so since 2010), and allowed multiple goals in all but two away MLS matches. ... The Loons have conceded in 12 consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest streak in MLS. Additionally, they’ve conceded in 17 straight road games dating back to last season, also the longest in the league.

All-Time Series

This will be the third meeting in league play between the two clubs, with San Jose winning both of the previous matchups.

  • Overall: San Jose 2 wins, 4 goals  … Minnesota 0 wins, 2 goals … 0 Ties
  • At San Jose: San Jose 1 win, 3 goals … Minnesota 0 wins, 2 goals … 0 Ties
  • Last meeting at San Jose: San Jose 3, Minnesota 2 (October 2, 2017)


Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Apolinar Mariscal
4th official: Daniel Radford
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Ricardo Salazar