MLS: Improved Earthquakes put new look up against Sporting KC
The San Jose Earthquakes’ transition period under interim coach Alex Covelo will continue Sunday when they play host to Sporting Kansas City.
The Earthquakes (3-5-4, 13 points) are 3-1-1 in MLS games since Covelo replaced Matias Almeyda after an 0-4-3 start. Most recently, the Earthquakes won a 3-2 home victory against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday.
Jamiro Monteiro scored two goals against the Timbers after notching his first of the season last weekend. He ranks third on the team in goals, trailing Jeremy Ebobisse (seven) and Cristian Espinoza (four).
“From my first game, my first training, I was really connecting (with Ebobisse and Espinoza). I was talking with the guys,” Monteiro said. “But now I feel like it’s getting better and better.
“(Wednesday), I think we could have done more, we could have scored more goals. It didn’t happen, but we have another game Sunday and I hope we do that on Sunday.”
On defense, San Jose has conceded an MLS-high 28 goals, including at least three tallies in three of its past five games.
Sporting KC (3-7-3, 12 points) hits the road looking to build off their 2-1 midweek home victory against the Colorado Rapids, which snapped a seven-game winless slide.
The club finds itself 13th out of 14 teams in the Western Conference heading into the weekend.
“It felt so good, and absolutely we worked really hard to get those (points), so even felt better,” midfielder Uri Rosell said. “I think that right now, we are just three points from the playoff line, so I think it’s really close. And the confidence from us, it’s way higher for sure.”
Sporting KC is 0-6-1 on the road this season, their lone point coming on May 7 at New York City FC.
SKC forward Johnny Russell, whose three goals rank second on the team behind star striker Daniel Salloi, is one goal shy of surpassing Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud to move into sole possession of third-most regular season goals in club history. The trio is tied with 43 SKC goals.
SKC will welcome back midfielder Roger Espinoza and defender Robert Voloder after each served suspensions. They will be without Salloi, whose two goals propelled the win Wednesday, and centerback Andreu Fontas as each were shown red cards against Colorado.
–Field Level Media