Struggling Earthquakes try to slow down LAFC

Struggling Earthquakes try to slow down LAFC

FILE PHOTO: Mar 9, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski (8) slaps hands with fans after the game against the Minnesota United at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The new Northern California-Southern California MLS rivalry will be on display Saturday as the Los Angeles Football Club travels north to take on the San Jose Earthquakes.

San Jose (0-3-0, 0 points) has been off since March 16 when the Earthquakes suffered a 4-1 thumping on the road at the New York Red Bulls. After finishing last season at the bottom of the table, things haven’t started well this season.

Now they face LAFC (3-0-1, 10 points), a side that made the playoffs last year as an expansion team and have come out this season strong. Still, the players are looking forward to the match.

“It’s going to be a huge test for us any time you get to play a good team like LAFC,” said San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski. “They did an amazing job last year, especially as an expansion team and I think they have gotten better this year and improved their team.”

LAFC coach Bob Bradley is quick to point out that the San Jose record can be misleading as to the talent the Earthquakes send out on the field.

“They’re a hard team to play,” Bradley said. “They have good players and I think that everyone that has played them this year knows it’s a challenging game. (First-year coach Matias Almeyda) has come in with a system he’s trying to build and at the beginning that takes a little more time.”

LAFC midfielder Mark Anthony-Kaye sees a change in a San Jose team that had the worst MLS record last season.

“They are a complete different team. They might have the same players, but they have a different sense of playing style,” Anthony-Kaye said. “The game will be very physical, and we got a little taste of that in the preseason. It will be a good game and we are definitely going there to get a result.”

—Field Level Media

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