The Earthquakes are coming off a draw against Nashville SC, but the upcoming games are getting more of a spotlight. We have gotten to crunch time for the San Jose Earthquakes as the 2023 MLS season gets closer to its end, and the MLS playoff contention starts. Since the end of their run in the leagues cup, earthquakes have dropped a lot of points in matchup that could become crucial ones for them in the long run. They have only won one game since the leagues cup break, but they have been able to leave with points in some of their games. They still maintain impressive home standings, but they have only been able to win two games at home since July 12th in a game against Seattle and a September 16th matchup vs. Real Salt Lake. The rest of the results have been draws, but the team has been playing with more of an aggressive approach with head coach, Luchi Gonzalez , trying a lot of different set ups for his team, and attempting to bring a spark to the team. We have seen players such as Mensah adding his presence to the back line of defense, and Matthew Hoppe emerge as a newer addition, via loan, who has scored two goals. Although there has been some trail, and error they still have had contributions, allowing the Earthquakes to try new things at home and away.
The Earthquakes are a pretty good team this year, and they’re only a few results away from being within the top three teams in the west, and maybe even in the MLS as a whole. Cristian Espinoza has been in the MVP conversation since pretty much the first month of the MLS regular season, and either way he has made a major impact for the San Jose Earthquakes this season. Besides being someone who’s getting the ball in the net, he’s also been getting the ball in the correct position for his teammates to capitalize on. Of course the stats don’t tell the full story, Espinoza has consistently been contributing to for opportunities, and his presence is respected by opposing teams.
With only three games left for the MLS regular season the Earthquakes controlled their own destiny. As of this posting, they hold a spot within the playoffs currently in a wildcard position, but with a few teams locked for the same amount of points that they have they could move up a few spots or be completely out of the playoffs. Within the upcoming games, the earthquakes played two teams that they need results against, and that even a draw will keep them on pace to get into the playoffs.
The final three matches are vs. Minnesota (11th place with 37 Points), vs. FC Dallas (9th place with 39), and finally finishing the season, at home, vs. Austin (12th place with 35 points).
Currently, San Jose, sits in 8th place in the West with not many point separating them from 3rd or 4th place. San Jose holds 41 points respectively, and with a win or even a draw can climb the standings and potentially clinch a home playoff game. They control their destiny, and will need some help from outside of their control to get into the position they want.
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia
(Nashville SC vs. San Jose Earthquakes) - Sept. 23, 2023