Whitecaps FC set for California clash against San Jose Earthquakes

‘Caps look to shake the Quakes

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2W-2L-0D) return to California this weekend for a Western Conference battle against San Jose Earthquakes (2W-1L-1D) this coming Saturday, April 6 at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Saturday's match between Whitecaps FC and San Jose Earthquakes kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and is live on Sportsnet Pacific, Bell mobile devices and MLS LIVE (live.mlssoccer.com). 'Caps fans can also listen to Saturday night's match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 5:30 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match.

WHITECAPS FC

WATCH: Whitecaps FC look ahead to San Jose

Whitecaps FC will look to get back to winning ways following a 2-1 defeat to Chivas USA last Saturday at The Home Depot Center. Striker Kenny Miller had his second goal of the season on a terrific diving header after Dan Kennedy stopped the initial shot from Erik Hurtado.

Whitecaps FC now head to Buck Shaw Stadium, where they are winless in two matches played at the home of the Earthquakes. The ‘Caps will look to capture their first win in San Jose and their first road win of the 2013 regular season.

The Earthquakes will have to watch out for Darren Mattocks, who has scored seven of his nine MLS goals on the road, including his first goal of the 2013 season on March 23 against Houston Dynamo.

This will be the first of two visits by Whitecaps FC to Buck Shaw Stadium this season. The ‘Caps will return to San Jose on September 14, 2013 in the final stretch of the regular season.

Absences due to injury include captain Jay DeMerit out indefinitely due to a left Achilles tendon rupture, while midway through Tuesday’s training session, Kenny Miller withdrew from practice as a result of some tightness in his right hamstring. Miller did not train on Thursday and on Friday morning, it was decided that he will stay in Vancouver for additional treatment.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The Earthquakes are coming off of a 2-0 loss to Houston Dynamo last Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.

San Jose have no shortage of talent, as the reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield winners have 2012 MLS top goalscorer Chris Wondolowski and Honduran men’s national team defender Victor Bernárdez. Last season, Wondo tied former MLS star Roy Lassiter for the league record in goals scored in a single season with 27 across 32 matches.

WATCH: Quakes vs. 'Caps

Needless to say, stopping Wondo will be a key for the 'Caps this weekend. Over five MLS meetings, Wondolowski has scored six goals against the Blue and White, on failing to score in the clubs' most recent meeting on July 22 last year, a 2-1 win for Vancouver at BC Place.

The Northern California side recently saw the return of Alan Gordon in their last match versus Houston. This weekend will also likely see the return of striker Steven Lenhart, who has been out recovering from left knee surgery. Although he will likely not play the full 90 minutes, it is possible he will draw in as a substitution at some point during the match. Gordon and Lenhart combined for 23 goals last season, scoring 13 and 10 goals respectively.

The Quakes will also likely be without midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy, defender Steven Beitashour, and midfielder Tommy Muller all due to injury.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Saturday’s match will be the sixth all time meeting between the ‘Caps and the Earthquakes. Whitecaps FC hold a 2W-1L-2D overall record and a 0W-1L-1D record on the road against the Quakes.

In their previous clash, Whitecaps FC defeated San Jose 2-1 at BC Place on July 22, 2012. Former ‘Caps Dane Richards and Barry Robson scored, while striker Alan Gordon had the lone goal for the Quakes.

WATCH: Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose - July 22, 2012

Over five matches between the two clubs in MLS action, 16 goals have been scored and four matches have featured at least three goals.

Before 2011, Vancouver played San Jose's MLS club three times as a North American second division club. Vancouver were defeated 3-1 to San Jose Clash in Abbotsford, BC, on June 14, 1998, and then fell to a 3-1 defeat to the re-named Earthquakes at Swangard Stadium on August 14, 2001. San Jose then beat the 'Caps 4-3 in a friendly at Swangard on September 1, 2003.

There is also plenty of history between Vancouver and San Jose dating back to the days of the original North American Soccer League (NASL). Between 1974 and 1984, Whitecaps FC registered 14 wins and 11 defeats in 25 meetings versus the Earthquakes, with the 'Caps recording eight victories and four losses at home during that time.
 
Among the player connections between Vancouver and San Jose is Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon, a native of the Bay Area. Cannon spent a large portion of his MLS career with San Jose before the 'Caps selected him in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft from the Earthquakes. Another connection is San Jose winger Shea Salinas, who made 26 appearances for Whitecaps FC in the club's inaugural MLS season before returning to the Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money on November 29, 2011.
 
NEXT UP 
 
Following Saturday's match, the ‘Caps return to Vancouver to host Real Salt Lake next Saturday, April 13, 2013. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT. Tickets are available for purchase at  ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.