Quakes return to site of playoff loss, face Sporting KC

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 16, 2024

For the first time since losing their Western Conference wild-card clash last year, the San Jose Earthquakes will pay a visit to Sporting Kansas City Saturday night in Kansas City, Kan.

Retribution won't be an easy task for the Earthquakes (0-3-0, 0 points), however. Sporting KC (0-0-3, 3 points) is enjoying a five-match unbeaten streak at home, counting playoffs, having posted a 4-0-1 mark there since late last September. Also, the last time that San Jose earned a win in Kansas was in August 2015.

Triumphant due to penalty kicks in last October's single-elimination postseason opener, Sporting KC pushed its home record against the Earthquakes to 23-8-2 all-time.

Kansas City has notched a trio of deadlocks to kick off the new campaign, the most recent of which being a scoreless draw at LAFC. Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia made six saves in that matchup and the team has conceded just two goals thus far.

"I think we could have taken two more points," Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said after that match. "But I don't think that I would say we deserved it."

With three straight defeats to open its schedule, San Jose is looking for something more. The Earthquakes bowed to visiting Vancouver 2-0 last Saturday.

"We're not satisfied with the results, even if we have had some good moments," San Jose coach Luchi Gonzalez said Wednesday. "We know that we can perform at a higher level consistently, but this isn't about a complete switch overnight. We're learning some hard lessons early that are going to teach us and make us better."

Benjamin Kikanovic and Preston Judd have provided the Earthquakes' goals this season. For Kansas City, midfielders Erik Thommy and Remi Walter have deposited markers.

Sporting KC possesses a 30-26-10 record against San Jose, dating back to 1996.

--Field Level Media