Los Angeles FC-Earthquakes Preview

Despite San Jose’s 2-8-3 record and three-game losing streak, Earthquakes coach Mikael Stahre remains optimistic.

“We came here with a clear game plan, and I think in general they followed that,” Stahre told the (San Jose) Mercury News after his team’s latest defeat, 2-1 at Chicago on June 2. “Look at the stats with the ball possession and the quality of the passes, and I think that we did well today, actually. I’m really disappointed with the result, but absolutely OK with the result with a decent away game.”

San Jose, which hosts Los Angeles Football Club on Saturday at Avaya Stadium, outshot Chicago 14-13 and controlled possession for 53 percent of the game but fell behind 2-0 early in the second half and could not find a late-game equalizer.

The Earthquakes, who are one point above last place in the Western Conference, managed to end a 212-minute scoring drought when forward Danny Hoesen struck in the 75th minute against the Fire. It was his team-best seventh goal of the season.

“Goals only matter if you win. We scored, but we had zero points again,” Hoesen said. “I think we had more possession, but the final ball was missing a little bit.”

The Earthquakes have one win since their season opener against Minnesota United on March 3.

LAFC (6-4-3) has two losses and two ties in its past four MLS matches after falling 2-1 at FC Dallas on June 2.

“Not our best night,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said after the match. “In this league, there are certain kinda games — get to the summer, get to the hot weather — (you lose) the ability to still be sharp, to still play football. I thought we were slow in the first half.

“In the second half, I thought we started to get some things going. But in the end, we just couldn’t produce another play.”

But Bradley said his team learned some things during its four-game winless streak in MLS play.

“In that stretch, we had two difficult away matches, Portland and Dallas,” Bradley said. “There were positives in both, but those are teams that are good runs right now. Going to those places and coming back with points means you got to be consistent over 90 minutes, and I don’t think we were in either case,” Bradley said, according to the league website.

“We tend to focus on just the lessons from each game and try to apply them moving forward. We knew we had left some points on the table, but all and all we were still feeling OK about the overall direction we were headed.”