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Need to Know Basis: Columbus Crew SC at San Jose Earthquakes

All the information you need to know as you prepare to watch the Black and Gold out west.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Two of Major League Soccer's original teams - albeit in different forms - meet on Saturday night when Columbus Crew SC travels to Avaya Stadium for a match with the San Jose Earthquakes. Both teams sit on 14 points and are fourth in their respective conferences. While they are currently at the same place in the standings, the clubs couldn't be more different in how they reached that point.

This game will mark the 39th all-time meeting between Crew SC and the Earthquakes. The Black and Gold lead the series with 18 wins, though San Jose has a 10-6-4 record against Columbus on their home field. The sides met just once a year ago, a 1-1 draw in San Jose that featured a goal by either side on opposite sides of halftime.

The Black and Gold had another offensive explosion last week in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders, the fifth time this season Columbus has scored two or more goals in a game. Two goals from forward Kei Kamara put him atop the MLS scoring charts along with Clint Dempsey, who controversially scored two goals in the game as well.

Crew SC, who are second in the league in goals scored, continued to get contributions all over the field. Federico Higuain bagged his second goal of year and Ethan Finlay registered his league-leading fifth assist in the match.

The Earthquakes have only scored 10 goals on the season, five of which have come from Chris Wondolowski. The forward has made the move to an attacking midfield position this season in order to get on the ball more, but he is still lethal in front of the net.

No one else has more than one goal for San Jose and no player has registered two assists yet. The Earthquakes are grinding out results and so far it is working for them.

This will be Crew SC's first game since Hernan Grana parted ways with the team. The right back was suspiciously left out of the 18-man roster last week against Seattle and it was announced on Monday that his contract was terminated by mutual consent due to the Argentinian being homesick. Hector Jimenez filled in for Grana a week ago and is likely the starter this week, which will mark his 50th time starting in MLS play.

It may be raining in buckets in Columbus, but it should be a nice night for soccer in California. The Black and Gold are enjoying their time out west, especially Kamara.

It's a 10:30 PM kick local time, so it looks like fans will be staying up late to take in the action. Check in with Massive Report for all your coverage of the match and comment below if you have any thoughts during the game.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Crew SC vs San Jose Earthquakes - Football tactics and formations