In the midst of their best form during the 2011 Major League Soccer Season, the Chicago Fire look to continue their hot streak on Saturday night when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes for a match that kicks off at 10:30 pm (est).
Can I watch this match on TV?
In Chicago: Comcast Sportsnet
In San Jose: Comcast Sportsnet California
In the rest of the United States: MatchDay Live
With back-to-back league victories at their home Toyota Park, the Fire are looking to build on these positive results and make a late-season playoff push. Currently with 27 points through 26 league matches, the club is only eight points removed from the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Forward Dominic Oduro leads the way for Chicago, having netted nine goals through the club’s 26 league matches. Patrick Nyarko has put his stamp on many a score as well, as the F-M has accounted for six assists on the season, the highest total on the club by three. The club will be without defender Gonzalo Segares, who has been suspended because of yellow card accumulation.
On that note, four Fire players are one booking away from suspension. Diego Chaves, Dan Gargan, Cory Gibbs and Dominic Oduro will all want to be careful on Saturday, as the club will need them during this late-season stretch run.
San Jose Earthquakes
The date is June 11. San Jose just turned in an impressive 4-2 victory thousands of miles from home at D.C. United. This win was the second in a row for the club and capped a six-match unbeaten stretch that had them pegged as one of the hottest clubs in the league.
What happened next? Well, July and August happened. Playing a very busy July schedule that included a 2-1 exhibition win over West Bromwich Albion of the Barclay’s Premier League ended up proving nearly lethal for the ‘Quakes, as the club posted a dismal W-L-D mark of 0-5-6 through 11 league matches during those two summer months.
San Jose supporters can take solace in the fact that they do have one of the league’s top goalscorers—Chris Wondolowski—on their squad. The forward has netted nine goals so far in 2011, four more than any other player on the team.
The club will be without midfielder Bobby Convey for Saturday’s match, as he’s been suspended for yellow card accumulation. Should Brad Ring or Alan Gordon receive a booking on Saturday, they’ll also be forced to sit one out.
I thought this was the match to break San Jose’s winless streak; I really did. Then I took a look at the injury and suspension report. With Convey suspended and forward Steven Lenhart away because of family matters (we wish him well, as he’s a class individual), the Earthquakes will not win this match. Chicago is in a form that they haven’t yet seen this season and I don’t see them letting it go without a fight. Fire win 1-0.