Match previews

Match preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey 

Who: San Jose Earthquakes (5th in Western Conference, 6-5-5, 23 pts) vs. Philadelphia Union (3rd in Eastern Conference, 9-4-3, 30 pts)

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: PayPal Park, San Jose, California

When: Saturday, June 10th, 10:30pm ET

Watch: Apple TV – MLS Season Pass

Whistle: REF: Nima Saghafi, AR1: Peter Balciunas, AR2: Walt Heatherly, 4TH: Ricardo Fierro, VAR: Greg Dopka, AVAR: Jonathan Johnson

The Philadelphia Union travel cross country to take on the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS Matchday 18.

Union head coach Jim Curtin has never lost to the Quakes during his time with the Union (W4, D3), and the Quakes are the only MLS opponent that Philadelphia is undefeated against since Curtin became head coach in June 2014.

Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union

The train keeps rolling for the Union, as last week’s 3-0 home win over CF Montreal extended the team’s unbeaten streak in league play to nine consecutive games (W7, D2). That streak ties the Union’s longest single-season unbeaten run in the club’s history, which was achieved last season.

Earning the headlines was Union forward Julian Carranza, who earned MLS Player of the Matchday Honors for the second time in three games, after notching his third brace in MLS play this season (forth in all competitions). Carranza has now tallied nine goals in league play and sits one off the Golden Boot pace (10 goals – Bouanga, Ferreira and Mukhtar).

Providing the assist on Carranza’s second tally was midfielder Danial Gazdag, who now has 8 assists on the year, the most in MLS.

Defensively, the Union have been rock solid since making use of a 3-5-2 formation.  They’ve conceded just 1 goal in their last 5 MLS matches. Granted, 4 of those 5 matches were at home and Saturday’s match across the country will be an excellent test for their back line on the road.

Head coach Jim Curtin and Union fans alike will be pleased to welcome Quinn Sullivan, Jack McGlynn and Brandan Craig back into the fold, after being unavailable for the last five matches while away representing the US at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Conversely, Curtin and Union fans will be displeased to be without defensive midfielder Jose Martinez, as he’ll be unavailable due to yellow card accumulation after picking up a frustrating yellow card after coming off the bench during Saturday’s win.

Captain Alejandro Bedoya remains questionable to play while still nursing his quad injury that he picked up back in May.

Availability Report: Bedoya (QUESTIONABLE, Quad), Martinez (OUT, Yellow Card Accumulation)

Scouting Report: San Jose Earthquakes

The Quakes have been enjoying a strong season thus far under new head coach Luchi Gonzalez.

After finishing dead last in the Western Conference in 2022, the Quakes currently find themselves in 5th place in the Western Conference and unbeaten in their last 3 matches. Their primary advantage for Saturday’s match will be that it’s being played at PayPal park, where the Quakes remain unbeaten this year in seven matches. They’ve taken 17 out of a possible 21 points from those seven matches and have allowed the fewest goals at home in MLS so far, having only conceeded four times.

“In their building they are going to be brave and difficult to play against,” Coach Curtin said to the press earlier this week. “We’re going to again have to be almost perfect to take points back to Philly.”

San Jose’s last two matches have been a 0-0 draw with Colorado and an impressive 1-0 win on the road against Seattle. This is first time the Quakes have had consecutive shutouts since October 2020, and they have not held shutouts in three straight games since a four-game streak in August 2015.

Providing the fire power on offense has been the pair of forward Cristian Espinoza and winger Jeremy Ebobisse, having combined for 14 goals and 7 assists in MLS this year.

In the midfield for the Quakes will be a familiar face for Union fans, Jamiro Monteiro. Monteiro has notched 2 assists on the year but is still searching for his first goal.

In net is the Brazilian Daniel, who came up big in the 70th minute against Colorado last week, saving Connor Ronan’s penalty kick to help preserve the 0-0 draw.

Similar to the Union, Head coach Luci Gonzalez and Quakes fans will be please to welcome back the duo of Cade Cowell and Niko Tsakiris, who were with the US U-20’s at the World Cup.

Availability Report: Akapo (QUESTIONABLE, Hamstring), Nathan (OUT, knee)

Match-up to Watch: San Jose Front-Line vs Union Back-Line

Whichever formation Jim Curtin deploys, the Union defenders will have their work cut out for them with Espinoza and Ebobisse bringing the heat offensively for the Quakes

Player to Watch: Jamiro Monteiro

Most Union fans will be happy to see Monteiro enjoying some success out West with San Jose. Espinoza and Ebobisse are the stars, but Union fans all know what Monteiro is capable of with the ball at his feet.

Prediction: Philadelphia Union 2 – 2 San Jose

The Union extend their unbeaten run with a tough earned draw on the road.


  1. I wonder what formation Jim trots out here. No Bedoya still, but McGlynn is back, but also no Martinez, but also Bueno has looked good lately…

    If I had to guess, I’d say the 3-5-2, with Flach & Bueno as D-mids. But I could also see the 4-4-2 diamond with Flach and McGlynn on the outside.

  2. Murphthesurf says:

    Please start the same lineup as last week !!!

  3. Tim Jones says:

    Were it to be the case that Olivier Mbaizo and Richard Odada are not dressed against San Jose, …
    Mbaizo might be with Cameroon in San Diego for its friendly against Mexico, .
    and Odada is called to Kenya’s participation in Mauritius’s four nations tournament in Mauritius.
    Kenya’s Federation did something that caused FIFA to discipline it so that its match against Cameroon in the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers has been cancelled. (What they did I have no idea.)

  4. Positive energy being sent out to the Boys in ‘SoCal Surfer’ kit this weekend… just W-I-N!


  5. The fact Martinez is out of this match for yellow card accumulation is just frustrating.

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      It is. But. Bright side. He’ll serve that match in a cross conference game and be coming back with a padding for the eastern conference matchups.

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