A week after handing out a 3-0 drubbing over the Portland Timbers, the Earthquakes saw the tables turn, and found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Colorado Rapids. The first 20 minutes of the game were dominated by the Quakes, particularly in terms of possession. But two goals in the 29th and 35th minutes from Colorado changed the entire frame of the clash, and playing from two goals down on the road at high altitude led to an eventual 3-0 loss to the Rapids.
The good news is that the Earthquakes did not really lose any ground in the Western Conference. They remain in 5th place heading into tonight’s match against Orlando, and saw a slew of other conference foes fall this past weekend. The bad news is that the Earthquakes missed a golden opportunity to maintain momentum and beat a struggling Rapids team that appeared ripe for the beating.
The Earthquakes play Orlando tonight, which has cooled as of late, but sits at 3rd in the East. For the Quakes, this is match one of three games over an eight day period from last Saturday to this upcoming Saturday when the Quakes face Dallas away. Finding 3 points midweek against Orlando tonight will be a stiff challenge, and it won’t get any easier when they head to Dallas.
I expect changes to the lineup for the Quakes tonight, as head coach Dominic Kinnear has a history of making changes to the Wednesday lineup in one of these midweek clashes. Another aspect to keep an eye on is the continued solid play from Jahmir Hyka, who has rebounded well from silent performances with big games so far this season.
The Albanian playmaker has racked up 2 goals and 3 assists so far this year, and although he was quiet against Colorado, I am expecting a big night from him. The Quakes know that winning in Dallas will be a tough task, and that their best chance for three points out of this rough three-match stretch will be tonight against Orlando.