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Earthquakes U.S. Open Cup Preview

The U.S. Open Cup is a tournament that has been filled with futility for the Earthquakes. In their history since the inception of MLS in 1996, the farthest they ever made it in the tournament was the semifinals in 2004. After the club’s two-year hiatus from 2006-2007, they did not make an appearance in the tournament until 2011. The furthest they have advanced in the Open Cup since their return was the Quarter-Finals in 2012. Since then they have gone 2-3-0 in the tournament. Last season they were drawn against the LA Galaxy. This year, they got shafted in the draw again, and drew the Portland Timbers away. Tonight, they will try and pull out a win in Portland for the first time in club history. With a weakened squad due to Copa America obligations, they will face an even tougher task.

Earthquakes’ U.S. Open Cup Preview

What will the squad look like?

Well, there still won’t be any Copa America players back, even though Simon Dawkins didn’t play. Dawkins did not travel with the team due to the groin injury. Most likely they will set up exactly how they did in their last game at Portland. The Earthquakes really should’ve won that match, but somehow were kept off the board. Most likely they’ll line up like this:

What Must They Do To Advance?

Be Disciplined

Luckily, the least disciplined players on the squad will most likely not be playing (Anibal Godoy, Andres Imperiale). In these types of single-elimination tournaments, they cannot afford to be reckless and get sent off. Yes, it is a pretty heated rivalry with the Timbers. With that in mind, it must be stressed even more, that they need to stay disciplined. Not only do they need discipline when it comes to their challenges, they must be disciplined in their possession. If they can clear the ball from the back effectively and not give Portland second chances, they should be able to get a result here.

Win The Set Piece Battle

In knockout games, set pieces become crucial. Not only does the amount of set pieces matter, but the location matters, especially with Portland. Portland’s Diego Valeri is one of the best set piece maestros the league. If they give him multiple chances within range, he has the ability to hurt them from dead ball situations. On the contrary, San Jose has dangerous players who can get on the end of set pieces for them. If they want to win this match, they will need to win the battle when it comes to set pieces. If they can avoid giving Portland chances on set pieces, and capitalize on their own, the ‘Quakes will be in good shape.

Have Good Luck

The Earthquakes recently have had incredibly terrible luck, especially in the U.S. Open Cup. Being drawn against MLS opponents in each of their last four Round of 16 matches. Not only that, two of the last three years were drawn away to Seattle, and this year’s away match in Portland. Throw in the Galaxy last year, and that just goes to show you how bad of luck they have had in the tournament. They haven’t been very lucky this season, barring the Sporting KC home match. They need some luck tonight.


1-0 Portland: The Earthquakes have still yet to win on Portland’s turf, and with five out of the normal starting XI missing, I don’t see them changing that tonight. Chris Wondolowski has scored nearly 40% of the club’s goals since 2010, and he’s away on US National Team duty. If they want to pull off a win tonight, it will take an incredibly special performance.

Key Players:

  • Quincy Amarikwa: Goals need to start coming from him.
  • David Bingham: He needs to be strong, decisive, and confident.
  • Tommy Thomson: Must find the right pass in the final third
  • Matias Perez Garcia: Some real MPG magic will be needed tonight. He has to come find the game, not wait for it to come to him.





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