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Regardless of their latest 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, the Earthquakes have had a commendable start to the 2021 MLS season.
With three wins in their last four games — and nine goals during that run — San Jose has been producing some attack-minded and entertaining soccer so far to start the year.
Up next for them: A Timbers side who still have plenty to prove. After earning their third consecutive defeat in all competitions last weekend, Portland has seen better days.
|San Jose should have the upper hand here, pick them for the win this Saturday against the Timbers.|
|San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers Information|
|Teams||San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers|
|Location||PayPal Park (San Jose, California)|
|Time||Saturday, May 15th at 10:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
It has been a rough few weeks for Portland.
Since their fortuitous 1-1 draw with Club America in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, Portland have stumbled to three consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Along with an ensuing loss to America in the 2nd CCL leg, the Timbers have also gone through a 4-1 thrashing by FC Dallas and a 2-1 defeat by their bitter rivals, the Seattle Sounders.
Questions are beginning to surround the 2020 MLS Is Back champions, and with each passing week, it seems as though it has been difficult for them to provide any answers.
And even though they’ll now be taking on an Earthquakes side that are coming off of a loss of their own, on deeper inspection, they were probably unlucky to walk away with the result.
Let’s dive into the numbers of Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss for the Earthquakes.
After Seattle took an early lead through an incredible shot from Cristian Roldan in the 18th minute, San Jose eventually took control with a long list of dangerous opportunities in the 2nd half.
In fact, when looking at xG (expected goals), the Earthquakes finished with a higher tally of 1.8 in comparison to the 1.0 rating for Seattle.
Granted, Seattle did put in a good defensive effort, but on a different night, it could have been San Jose who not only claimed three points, but also potentially a fourth win in a row.
The past is now the past for San Jose, and with a loss now in the books, they should be more than eager to compensate for the defeat against an opponent that has been problematic in the attack.
The main problem with Portland is an interesting one: They aren’t hitting the target.
So far in 2021 (at time of writing), Portland have the second-worst rating in the league when it comes to shots on target, with a tally of 27.1%.
Which is strange when you also consider that they are also second in the league (once again, at time of writing), when it comes to the total amount of touches in the penalty area.
It might take some time for the Timbers to readjust themselves and perfect their efficiency in the frontline, but for the time being, it doesn’t seem as though they’ll be able to capitalize on many of the chances that will be given to them.
It’s early into 2021, but there’s reason to think that San Jose’s 17-year-old Cade Cowell could be the leading candidate for breakout player of the season.
With his speed and strength, the forward has already collected two goals and three assists in just five matches for the Earthquakes.
Despite the fact that there is much that he needs to polish, there is an immense amount of excitement about the attacking figure who has been a threat to numerous defenders.
Given that Portland are in a poor run of form, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the young Mexican-American has another headline-stealing match for San Jose this weekend.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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