Sporting Kansas City-Earthquakes Preview

Although they’ve struggled mightily on the road, the San Jose

Earthquakes have stayed in the playoff picture with a lengthy

unbeaten streak at home that includes four consecutive

victories.

Sporting Kansas City knows just how challenging it is to win in

San Jose.

The Earthquakes will try to make it 12 straight home games

without a loss by denying Kansas City its first road win in the

series in 13 years Sunday night.

San Jose (8-10-6) had a season-best, three-game win streak

snapped last Saturday in Vancouver with a 2-0 defeat, its fourth in

a row away from home. The Earthquakes have one of the worst road

records in MLS at 1-9-2, but they’re 7-0-4 in their last 11 home

games.

They’ve scored 18 goals in 12 games at Buck Shaw Stadium this

season, compared to seven in 12 road contests, and now seek their

first five-game home win streak since June 18-Aug. 6, 2005.

“Any time we’re at home, we’re trying to protect our home

field,” defender Steven Beitashour told the league’s website.

“We’re definitely going for the win. If we get those 15 (points in

the final five home games), it’d be making things a lot easier for

the road games.”

San Jose is 17-2-10 at home over the past two years and 8-0-5 in

the last 13 visits from Sporting Kansas City (11-7-6) in the

regular season. Kansas City’s last win in San Jose was Aug. 16,

2000, when it was known as the Wizards.

Despite those road woes in the series, Kansas City is 3-0-1 in

the last four matchups and won 2-1 in the most recent one May 27,

2012.

Kei Kamara had a goal and an assist in that game, and he helped

Sporting KC avoid a third straight loss last Saturday by scoring

twice in a 3-0 victory over New England. However, he had to leave

in the 86th minute with a sprained left ankle.

Kamara, questionable for this contest, has three goals and an

assist in his last two games.

Teammate Soony Saad also has been hot, with three goals and two

assists in his last five.

There’s a chance Sporting KC could get Graham Zusi back from a

strained right quad. The midfielder got hurt in the MLS All-Stars’

loss to Italian club AS Roma on July 31.

“It’s coming back well,” Zusi told the league’s website. “I’m

just building it up little by little. I don’t want to push it

unnecessarily.”

Kansas City is 3-1-2 in its last six road games.