MLS

Los Angeles FC v San Jose Earthquakes: Cherundolo aiming to live up to high expectations

By Sports Desk June 22, 2024

Steve Cherundolo is expecting to get back to winning ways back at home against the struggling San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

LAFC's six-match winning streak in MLS ended in midweek, though Kei Kamara ensured they did not leave Austin FC empty-handed, salvaging a 1-1 draw.

Sitting second in the Western Conference, LAFC are flying high, though their last defeat, on May 5, did come against San Jose.

After two road matches on the bounce, Cherundolo is happy to be heading back to BMO Stadium.

"With a little more composure and connecting on a few more passes, you can get the three points," said Cherundolo.

"I still think we're in a good way, and we didn't get three points [against Austin] but we'll take it and carry this home to try and win on Saturday.

"San Jose have the ability to score goals, which they've shown, but also concede. It's going to be a tough task, but we're at home and our expectations are always great at home."

The Earthquakes sit bottom of the table, having won just three of their matches all season.

They have failed to win any of their last six, including a 2-1 defeat to Portland Timbers in midweek, and Luchi Gonzalez urged his team to keep up their fight.

"It's going to hurt because we had the game [against Portland] in our hands until we didn't," Gonzalez said. "It's about control.

"We control the next moment, and we're never going to give up. I'm not going to ever give up. These guys won't give up. We're going to learn and keep trying to figure this out. That's what we can control."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Los Angeles FC – Kei Kamara

Kamara scored his first goal of the season in the 90th minute of LAFC's 1-1 draw with Austin FC on Wednesday. It was the 150th goal of his MLS career (regular season and playoffs), the third player to reach that mark after Chris Wondolowski (173) and Landon Donovan (150).

San Jose Earthquakes – Paul Marie

Marie scored his second goal of the season with an outside-the-box finish against Portland Timbers.

Marie has scored in five straight seasons for San Jose, but 2024 is the first in which he has scored more than once.

MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC WIN

After San Jose lost each of their first six matches against Los Angeles in all competitions, they lost only three of the last 11 (W7 D1), including a 3-1 win on May 4. Still, LAFC have won seven of their nine all-time home matches against the 'Quakes (D1 L1).

Dating back to last season, Los Angeles are unbeaten in their last 13 home games in all competitions with 11 wins and two draws. LAFC have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four competitive matches at home – it is the longest such streak in the team's history.

Meanwhile, the Earthquakes have lost 13 of their 18 regular-season games in 2024 (W3 D2), including each of their last three. Dating back to last season, San Jose have conceded in 24 straight regular-season matches, one shy of their team record of 25 (in both 1999 & spanning 2017-18).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Los Angeles FC – 67.9%

Draw – 17.8%

San Jose Earthquakes – 14.4%

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