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Massive Predictions: Crew at San Jose Earthquakes

Can the Black & Gold make it three wins in a row on Saturday night in San Jose?

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Out of nowhere, Columbus Crew SC is winning games again. The Black & Gold have two straight victories. Add in the 2-2 draw at the Chicago Fire before those two and it’s three games unbeaten for a team that couldn’t buy a win for two months this summer.

While the Crew is starting to find its form, the San Jose Earthquakes have been riding the momentum wave for some time. After an 0-4 start to the 2019 Major League Soccer season, the Quakes are 11-3-4, including winning six of the last seven games, and currently sits in fourth place in the Western Conference.

If Columbus is to continue to push for the MLS Cup playoffs after digging themselves into a pretty big hole, every game is important. A win in San Jose will certainly be difficult, but so was last week’s 3-2 victory at Red Bull Arena.

Can the Crew get the job done against the Earthquakes? Let’s see what our staff thinks:

Nick Hudak

Another challenging road test faces Columbus as the team hits the road to the West Coast to face one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer. The San Jose Earthquakes are unbeaten in their previous four league games, winning all four.

Traveling to the West Coast to play the fourth-best team in the Western Conference will be a stern challenge for Caleb Porter and company. Coming off of a resounding comeback win against rivals the New York Red Bulls, the Black & Gold look to be beginning their peak at just the right time. They proved that they ultimately have the capabilities to get points on the road. With a week of rest, this may very well be yet another sign that Columbus is back on track for a playoff push.
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Jimmy Lentz

Columbus Crew SC (24 points) is riding a two-game winning streak — a big deal this season — but its positive momentum will be challenged in Northern California this weekend against the surging San Jose Earthquakes (37 points). The Earthquakes have won six of their last seven MLS games and the Crew’s defense will have to pay particular attention to league veteran Chris Wondolowski. If the Crew can earn a road win against the Earthquakes this Saturday night, then Columbus will be red hot going into Hell Is Real game against FC Cincinnati on Aug. 10 at MAPFRE Stadium. However, the Black & Gold’s defense still needs to shore things up as it prepares for San Jose, which is tied for the third-most goals so far this season (39).
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Tyler Fisher

Columbus fought from behind against the Red Bulls, thanks to Pedro Santos and Luis Argudo. The Crew now has the positive mindset the team has lacked for quite some time, which could lead to a good run. However, they now face off against a hot San Jose team, that has been great lately. The All-Star break definitely gave the Crew time to regroup and establish a well-advised game plan to defeat the Quakes. I don’t think it’s enough to pull out three points, but definitely worth a try.
Columbus Crew SC 2 San Jose Earthquakes 2

Jay Homan

Just as the Crew is finally building momentum this season, the team is forced to go on its toughest away match yet. Facing a San Jose club who has not lost at Avaya Stadium since March, the Earthquakes are coming off a month where they averaged 24 shots and 2.2 goals per match. Columbus will need to find a way to temper that attack while adjusting to playing three time zones away for the first time this season.

The bright side is San Jose’s scoring leader this season, Chris Wondolowski, has been away at the All-Star game this week, so there is a chance the Earthquakes might be out of rhythm to start the match, allowing the Crew to come out blazing like they did against the Red Bulls. If that happens, the Black & Gold have a chance to steal another win. But it stills seems more likely that they will give up another easy goal and help San Jose continue the unprecedented run at home.
San Jose Earthquakes 3 Columbus Crew SC 2

Collin Johnson

Continuing its hot streak away from home last week, the Crew showed that the players and coaching staff can design a plan to grab points from a difficult, stylistically unique team. If the Black & Gold want that streak to continue they’ll have to do the same thing again on Saturday at San Jose. Most of the Earthquakes’ faces have stayed the same but first-year head coach Matias Almeyda has the Quakes playing an intense brand of man-marking soccer that’s led to an impressive string of results. This is another match where Columbus will hope for at least a point, but will have the benefit of a full host of transfer window additions. If the Black & Gold can play with the same discipline and ingenuity they displayed against the Red Bulls, there is no reason to think the streak can’t continue.
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Patrick Murphy

This should be a fun game. Over the last few weeks, the Crew has found its scoring form with seven goals in the last three matches. The Earthquakes are a team that like to possess and attack, similar but different from the Black & Gold. Matias Almeyda has the team playing entertaining soccer, so Saturday night will be a good one for the neutral.

Where it may not be so pleasing is for Columbus fans. While the Crew has started to find results in recent weeks, it’s tough for me to see the Black & Gold going across the country and getting much out of a game with the hottest team in MLS.
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Elmer Plasencia

Matias Almeyda has worked some magic on the Quakes. The team is much improved this season and has been in great form pretty much all summer. Even with Columbus turnaround in results lately, I just simply think that the Earthquakes are a better team than the Crew is currently. With some injuries on the defense still lingering and Wil Trapp recovering from a knock, I’m not sure that Columbus will have enough quality to keep San Jose out of the back of the net.
San Jose Earthquakes 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Ralph Schudel

After watching the film on San Jose, it doesn’t appear that Saturday’s game is going to be a pretty one. I expect the hosts to foul professionally in an effort to stop the Crew and I also expect attacking opportunities to be limited. Should Columbus be able to push through, pounce on rebounds and not waver offensively, I think it’s realistic the streak continues.
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Mike Crosky

Columbus is flying across this beautiful country of ours to do battle with one of Major League Soccer’s hottest teams. San Jose had a brutal start to the 2019 season, but came storming back since April and has ascended to top four in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes lost their first four games of the campaign, three of which were at home. Since then, they went 8-0-1 at Avaya Stadium.

We all know the Black & Gold’s struggles, but the secret to success has been found in recent weeks. Can Caleb Porter and compay keep this momentum afloat? In what will be another big road test for Columbus, having toppled the Red Bulls in New Jersey last weekend, can they pull off another tough road victory? With a bit of fortune and a couple bounces going the Crew’s way, it is possible. Though, as a betting man, I wouldn’t gamble on such a result.

San Jose plays a beautiful style of football, certainly one of the most entertaining within MLS. Their attack oriented play isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it’s also productive. They have scored nine goals in the last three matches, while only giving up three in that same span. It pains me to say, but I think the Earthquakes earn a win.
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How do you see Saturday’s game playing out? Let us know in the comment section below.