Real Salt Lake will travel to the Avaya Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS on Saturday.
These two sides are very close to each other in the playoff race in the Western Conference. RSL are seventh, which is the last spot to get into the playoffs. San Jose is just a point behind them. Both of them have played the same number of games. The team below San Jose is five points adrift, so it’s between these two for the seventh spot for now. Minnesota and Houston are above RSL, but they are within distance as well. A win against San Jose could move RSL two place above in the table.
After four games without a win in all competitions, RSL are back to winning ways. They have won both of their previous league games. A brace for Sam Johnson propelled RSL to a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City. Then they faced Columbus Crew in their next game. Johnson scored again to give RSL a 1-0 win. He is their top scorer this season. Johnson has scored eight goals in the league for RSL. Albert Rusnak is behind him with six goals.Embed from Getty Images
Aside from the consecutive wins, the two clean sheets will also come as a boost for RSL. Their defense has been below average this season. RSL have conceded 28 goals in the league, and their goal difference is negative as of now. Only one side has lost more games than RSL in the west this season which is Colorado.
San Jose is in a similar spot to RSL. They are also looking to cement a playoff spot in the west. They have lost just twice in their last nine games in all competitions. One of those losses came in the last match for them. They traveled to face Minnesota United who beat them 3-1. San Jose dominated the game for the majority of the duration, but Minnesota were more clinical and got the win.
Tommy Thompson scored the consolation goal, which was his second in as many games. Chris Wondolowski is their top scorer this season and he has scored eight goals so far. But he is on a scoring drought which has now stretched to five games. Valeri Qazaishvili has took up the baton in that time, scoring six times in his last five games.Embed from Getty Images
San Jose had kept two clean sheets in a row, but their bad defense came to the fore against Minnesota. They have conceded 30 goals this season so far. Considering their great attack, a clean sheet would go a long way in handing them the three points.
San Jose Earthquakes vs Real Salt Lake Prediction
This is a close game to call, and a crucial one for both teams. The result could have a significant impact on the playoff race. The total goals should be more than 2.5 as neither side has a solid defensive record. Both teams should score, and it will be an entertaining match for the neutral.