San Jose Hopes to Take Advantage of Clash with Lowly Austin
With their playoff hopes fading fast, the San Jose Earthquakes hope that a match on Wednesday against Austin FC is exactly what they need to spark a late run.
The season is all but over for expansion side Austin, which is dead last in the Western Conference standings. But the Earthquakes are still within striking distance if they can string some wins together late in the season.
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Betting Odds & Betting Lines
According to BetUS, the Earthquakes are heavy favorites at home on Wednesday, priced at -115. Meanwhile, Austin’s betting odds are set at +270 with a +320 for a draw. BetOnline and Bovada have pretty similar betting odds for this MLS match.
For those interested in totals betting, this game also has an over/under of three total goals being scored on all three bookmakers.
For the Earthquakes, there is some hope of a playoff appearance despite currently sitting 10th in the Western Conference standings. San Jose currently has 33 points, putting them eight points behind seventh-place Minnesota for the final playoff spot. But with only 15 available points left for the Earthquakes, every game is a must-win game for them.
As for Austin, the newest MLS team is officially out of the playoff race. The only thing that Austin can play for is not finishing last in the Western Conference, which is still within the team’s grasp. Austin currently has 25 points, putting them just three points behind in-state rival FC Dallas, giving the Verde a chance to avoid a last-place finish in their inaugural season.
Just a Little Hope
The playoffs may not be on the table for Austin FC, but there has been a little hope for Josh Wolff’s club late in the season. ATXFC has won two of its last four matches, meaning they don’t have the fewest wins in the Western Conference and might be able to crawl out of the basement.
However, June 12 was the last time that Austin played a road game that didn’t end with them losing, so away form has been an issue this year.
Likewise, scoring goals has been Austin’s biggest shortcoming this season, as they have scored 29 goals in 29 matches. Despite being shut out in two of their last three matches, Verde has scored seven goals over their last five matches, which is a step in the right direction. Cecilio Dominguez provided both goals in a win earlier this month of Real Salt Lake, giving the Austin attack a glimmer of hope.
It’s possible that Austin is in better form right now than the Earthquakes, who have lost three straight games. The problem isn’t just that San Jose is losing games but that the Earthquakes have allowed three goals in three consecutive games.
Even with the Earthquakes earning 60% or more of the possession in their last two games, they’ve struggled to find the back of the net and allowed their opponents to create more scoring chances while seeing less of the ball.
The silver lining is that San Jose is not without scoring options. Javier Lopez has had a strong season for the Earthquakes, leading the team with 11 goals. He also has three goals and two assists to account for the eight goals in San Jose’s last five games, but he’s just not getting enough help around him.
Could Get Wild
When these two teams met a little over a month ago, the Earthquakes won 4-3 in a game that also included a rather serious scuffle between the teams. The memory of that game should inspire Austin to put in a great effort and strive to hurt San Jose’s playoff chances. While Austin doesn’t have the pieces to win on the road, look for them to force a draw!