Preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs Nashville SC

After a 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City, Nashville SC head out to the West Coast for their second-to-last match of this road trip. Today, they face off against a winless San Jose Earthquakes team. Can Nashville make it three straight wins? Will San Jose secure that elusive first win?

San Jose Earthquakes

Current standing: 14th (West) | 0-2-4 | -6 GD
Essential Reading: Zoomed N on San Jose Earthquakes with Jamon Moore

Injuries

OUT:Gilbert Fuentes (personal), Judson (left knee), Benji Kikanovic (core muscle strain), Emi Ochoa (GA cup), Niko Tsakiris (GA Cup)
QUESTIONABLE: Chofis (left thigh), Marcos Lopez (left hamstring)

The start of the 2022 season has been nothing short of a disaster for this Earthquakes team. While they brought in both Jamiro Monteiro and Ján Greguš in the off-season, Mattias Almeyda has not seen the level of investment he was promised.

This has led to a massive falling out between the coach and ownership, and Almeyda is currently refusing to even speak with the media, with reports circulating that he attempted to resign this week. It will be a huge surprise if he makes it past the weekend in charge.

Against the Houston Dynamo, the Earthquakes may have lost but have several promising things to build off after scoring three goals.

Jeremy Ebobisse showed why the Earthquakes acquired him from Portland as he scored a brace and registered six shots through the match. He is a forward that thrives on service, and if San Jose wants to have a chance against Nashville, they will have to get service to Ebobisse from the wing.

That service will come from a few different areas. Fullback Tommy Thompson and winger Cade Cowell will play balls in from the left-wing while Christian Espinoza will provide the service from the right side.

Even if San Jose can generate attacking chances, the biggest battle will in the midfield. Jackson Yueill and Ján Greguš will be the two holding midfielders and will be charged with trying to cancel out the Nashville midfielders as they look to win the ball back and transition wuickly.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 7th (West) | 3-1-2 | 0 GD

Injuries

OUT: Teal Bunbury (right knee), Robert Castellanos (right ankle surgery), Koze Donasiyano (left thigh)

Since the International break, Nashville SC has come out strong, registering two straight wins against Columbus Crew and, most recently, Sporting Kansas City.

Their most recent win saw the Coyotes put on one of their most impressive performance of the season as they registered one of their highest xG ratings. If it was not for a missed penalty, they should have made it out of Sporting Park with their first multi-goal win of the season.

Gary Smith made adjustments to the three centerback formation as he deployed the trio of Hany Mukhtar, C.J.Sapong, and Randall Leal as a front three. This allowed more fluidity in the attack and resulted in an increase in attacking opportunities. Against San Jose, I would expect to see a similar setup against one of the worst defenses in the league.

We saw Alex Muyl get his second start at right wingback against Sporting Kansas City as Jack Maher returned as the right-sided center back. Maher will slot with Walker Zimmerman and Davey Romney. Taylor Washington has performed well at left wingback for the past two matches but expect to see Daniel Lovitz come back in.

The center of the pitch picks provides an interesting delima for Coach Gary Smith. Since his addition to the team, Sean Davis has been a rock-solid contributor to this team and has been at the center of Nashville’s success, and Brian Anunga put in two straight top-notch performances. However, after serving his two-match suspension, Dax McCarty will be available, and Aníbal Godoy should be fresh after two straight games outside the starting lineup. The lineup change means that there are two spots for the four midfielders.

Regardless of who Gary Smith chooses, expect the team to control the midfield from the very start of the match.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: San Jose 0 – 3 Nashville
Scores: Hany Mukhtar x3
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar scores a hattrick

Jonathan Slape

Score: San Jose 1 – 3 Nashville
Scorers: Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar x2
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville gets out to a 3 goal lead but San Jose gets a late consolation goal

Ben Wright

Score: San Jose 1 – 3 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal, Aké Loba
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: San Jose scores in the first 10 minutes

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: San Jose Earthquakes vs Nashville SC
Odds: San Jose (+180), Draw (+220), Nashville (+140) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 2:30 PM Central, PayPal Park, San Jose, California
TV: TUDN, Univision, Twitter (Stream)
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 64°/43°. Showers. 80% chance of rain. 61% humidity

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