Los Angeles FC coach Steve Cherundolo expects the struggling San Jose Earthquakes to play with "nothing to lose" when the sides face off at Levi's Stadium on Saturday.

The Earthquakes have the worst record in MLS this year, taking just four points from their first 10 games to sit bottom of the Western Conference. 

The New England Revolution also have four points at the foot of the East, but they have played one match fewer.

Los Angeles, by contrast, sit fifth in the West after sealing a last-gasp 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers last time out, and Cherundolo believes his team enter Saturday's game in a good spot.

"They're a very dangerous team, especially in the situation they're in," Cherundolo said of San Jose.

"I expect to see a team who play with nothing to lose, they'll be aggressive, invest a lot into it and definitely want to win their home game.

"That'll make it difficult for us, but we're also in a decent moment and have the tools to be dangerous as well."

Saturday's game will be played at Levi's Stadium – home to the NFL's San Francisco 49ers – as part of the 'Quakes' 50th-anniversary celebrations, and coach Luchi Gonzalez is looking forward seeing his team in action at the 68,500-capacity venue.

"It's going to be beautiful to us no matter what," Gonzalez said. 

"The players love this field, they love the stadium, they love this locker room and they love the environment that we know we're going to have on Saturday. 

"We want to show respect to it, we want to honour it with our heart, with our intensity and energy to perform and bring our best on Saturday."


San Jose Earthquakes – Jeremy Ebobisse 

Ebobisse has scored six goals against LAFC in regular-season play. The only opponent he has scored more against is the LA Galaxy (10 goals).

Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga 

Bouanga has scored a result-changing goal in stoppage time in consecutive matches, netting a 95th-minute equaliser against the New York Red Bulls on April 20 then scoring the winning goal one minute into added time against Portland last week.

Could last season's Golden Boot winner be set for another decisive contribution? 


Los Angeles' 3-2 win over Portland last week took them to 14 points from six matches on their own turf this year (four wins, two draws), a league-high tally.

However, they have only taken one point on the road, recording one draw and three defeats. Only the New England Revolution, with zero, have earned fewer points away from home.

Given LAFC's Jekyll and Hyde performances, it's difficult to back them for an away win. However, San Jose are just the seventh team in MLS history to accumulate four points or fewer through 10 games of a season, so it may not be a surprise to see the points shared in a cagey draw. 


San Jose Earthquakes – 34.1% 

Los Angeles FC – 37.8%

Draw 28.1% 

Phil Neville is looking forward to a quick reunion with Los Angeles FC when the Portland Timbers head down to southern California.

The Timbers face LAFC on Saturday, just two weeks after they drew 2-2 with Steve Cherundolo’s team at home.

Felipe Mora and Evander scored for Portland that day, but Mateusz Bogusz’s double ensured a share of the spoils, with the Timbers having goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau sent off.

LAFC had a goal disallowed late on, and Neville believes both teams will feel they deserved more from that match.

He said: “Both managers came out of the game two weeks ago feeling hard done by – they had a goal disallowed in the last few minutes, we were really disappointed too in the performance of the referee.

“Saturday’s another game where we have to go for it. When you play teams really close together, there’s not much scouting, there’s only been one game between, so it’s about remembering the good things we did and how we can cause problems.”

Portland drew 2-2 with the Columbus Crew last time out, and Neville is satisfied with the level on show from his side, who sit down in 11th in the Western Conference.

“We took a lot of confidence out of the game against Columbus,” he said.

“We came up with chances to win the game, but we were beaten by an incredible goal. The boys are in really good shape, they’re looking forward to the game on Saturday – my first trip to LAFC so I’m looking forward to that. It’s another brilliant game against a really good team. We played them a couple of weeks ago. We know each other, both teams know each other.”


LAFC – Denis Bouanga

Bouanga scored both of LAFC’s goals against the New York Red Bulls last time out, including the equaliser in stoppage time. It was the eighth time Bouanga has scored multiple goals in an MLS match since the start of last season (incl. playoffs). No other player has more than four multi-goal games in that time.

Portland Timbers – Felipe Mora

Mora has scored in each of his last four appearances for the Timbers, though Portland have not won any of those matches (D3 L1). Mora is the fifth player in the post-shootout era (since 2000) to score in four straight matches but not be on the winning side in any of them.


LAFC are unbeaten in eight straight home matches (W6 D2) in all competitions. They have scored multiple goals in seven of those eight matches.

However, LAFC have won only two of their last 10 regular-season matches against the Timbers (D4 L4).

The Timbers have scored in all 14 meetings with LAFC in league play since 2019 while LAFC have scored in 13 of those 14.

Portland are winless in six straight matches (D3 L3), including drawing the last three in a row. The Timbers have only three longer winless runs within a single regular season, most recently an eight-match run in March-April 2014.


LAFC – 56.2%

Portland Timbers – 19.5%

Draw – 24.3%

Luis Suarez's performances for Gremio show he would have few problems in adapting to Major League Soccer if he joins Inter Miami, says former Los Angeles FC defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez is reportedly in talks with Miami over a move which would see him reunited with former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

The Uruguayan is seemingly closing in on a one-year deal with the MLS outfit after spending 2023 with Gremio, who finished second to Palmeiras in their first season back in Brazil's top flight, having spent the previous campaign in the second tier. 

Suarez scored 17 league goals for Gremio throughout the year, also adding 11 assists to give him the most total goal involvements (28) in the Brasileirao.

The striker, who will turn 37 in January, hit 27 goals across all competitions before departing as a free agent, and recently retired defender Chiellini says he would thrive in MLS.

"You see what Suarez did this year in Brazil… Brazil is not considered a weak league," Chiellini, who was famously bitten by Suarez at the 2014 World Cup, told Stats Perform. 

"Suarez scored almost 30 goals, we still see something there and it's still really good. Now football is changing all over the world. 

"There are less differences between some leagues in Europe and other countries. The only league that's very different from every other one, I think, is the Premier League. 

"But to be honest, the other ones we can compare, and you can also find good players in some weird leagues that some years ago you never considered. Now it is very different."

Giorgio Chiellini is keen to stay in football when he calls time on his glittering career, though he imagines himself becoming a director rather than a coach.

Chiellini won nine Serie A titles during a distinguished spell with Juventus and captained Italy to Euro 2020 glory before moving to the United States last year, helping Los Angeles FC win the MLS Cup.

LAFC failed to go back-to-back as they were beaten 2-1 by the Columbus Crew in Saturday's MLS Cup final, and Chiellini has yet to make a decision on whether he will play on in 2024, with his contract due to expire this month.

As for his long-term future, the 39-year-old has his eyes set on a place in the boardroom, rather than the dugout.

Speaking exclusively to Stats Perform, Chiellini said: "I did a degree in economics and the NBA, and I had always that type of management in my mind. 

"Not as a coach, not in scouting, but yeah, to try to remain linked in the world of football on that side. 

"It's not easy. It's not a journey that you start and then you can decide, you have to study and learn many things because at the end, you come into this world at 40 and not at 25. 

"Then you have some other skills that probably other football players don't have, but you miss other parts. 

"What I hope for my future is to have the time to learn and the patience to stay close to some key figures and key people that are open to teaching me what I'm missing, and to develop this type of situation. I cannot just focus on watching games."

Expanding further on what his ideal role would entail, the defender added: "More of a director, not just scouting, but something more management based. 

"Related to football, but not as one of the people who watch the players in order to pick them.

"Something where I maybe help the club to figure out about what we could spend for players, how we could afford them, how we could improve the situation, all this stuff."

With over 20 major trophies to his name and nearing the end of an illustrious playing career, 39-year-old Giorgio Chiellini could be forgiven for enjoying the latter part of his career in the heat of Los Angeles.

But the fire for another trophy to add to his cabinet still burns true ahead of Los Angeles FC's MLS Cup showdown with Columbus Crew on Saturday.

It does perhaps not have the pressure of a European Championship final against England at Wembley, or the annual tussles Chiellini's Juventus had with Milan and Inter in Italy in Serie A, but the veteran defender did not come to LA for everything Hollywood brings with it.

Opta's predictive model suggests the final is too close to call, with LAFC and the Crew both given a 34.5 per cent likelihood of coming out on top.

Chiellini helped LAFC, who were inspired by Gareth Bale, win MLS Cup last year, and despite his countless honours, he is full of desire to make it two titles in the space of two years in the United States.

"We are so happy because last year was a different journey," he told Stats Perform. "We were top of the league for all the season, the play-off for just three games before the World Cup. That was easier. We skipped the first round.

"We played all the games at home and was very different. This year we pushed it hard until June because of the [CONCACAF] Champions League, [but] then we lost the final. We spent a lot of energy on that, and we had some injuries, some periods where we were not so focused, but we came into the playoffs in good condition.

"We fought until the end. We won in Vancouver, we won in Seattle.

"And now in order to win, to take the cup, we have to win in Columbus. And we know how hard it will be, but we are very happy to be here.

"We respect Columbus a lot and the way they play, that style of play, but for sure we want to go there and try to go all the way to win."

Chiellini has a plethora of trophies to his name, including the European Championship with Italy and nine Serie A winners' medals with Juve, but there is room for another one in his cabinet.

"I'm enjoying every day I spend here, training and everything. It's my life. I love what I do," he said when asked if he was considering retirement or leaving LAFC.

"I watch more MLS games than most of my team-mates in their career in this year and a half and I love that. But it's not something I do for me. It's something normal. It's my way of life, this job, I live this life.

"I will see, but I'm enjoying it a lot and there's no heavy situation for me about this stuff, I just enjoy it and it's very fun."

Even though the Italian has been coached by the likes of Roberto Mancini and Massimiliano Allegri, Chiellini does not see his future in the dug-out, though he hopes to remain in the game in some capacity.

"I did a degree in economics and the NBA, and I always had that type of management in my mind," he said.

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