170704 Match Preview ATLvSJE

Match Preview: Atlanta United vs San Jose Earthquakes

On the night of July Fourth, Atlanta United host another match at Bobby Dodd Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes for an Independence Day showdown. Atlanta (8-7-3) is searching for a fifth-straight victory at home in the ATL while San Jose (7-6-5) is hoping to make it three wins in a row and improve their recent road form. The match will mark the first-ever meeting between the two clubs and the eighth-straight sellout match for Atlanta United.

If you’ve got a ticket, be sure to wear your red and grey secondary kits as well as your patriotic attire and stay after the final whistle for a celebratory Fourth of July fireworks show!

This cross-conference, Independence Day clash will be one you won’t want to miss. You can catch all the action starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on FOX Sports South or via FOX Sports GO.

Atlanta United (8-7-3)

It’s been a blistering start for Atlanta United in their inaugural season as an MLS expansion club, currently sitting in playoff position over halfway through the season and pushing for five-straight wins at home as they host San Jose on Tuesday. No other team besides Chicago has found the back of the net as much as Atlanta with 35 goals through 18 matches so far on the season.

Atlanta are coming off a 2-0 win in Columbus where Argentine forward Tito Villalba notched a brace and now boasts eight goals on the year. Villalba, along with fellow South American attackmen Miguel Almirón and Josef Martinez, have collectively tallied 23 of the team’s league-leading 35 goals this year. In the midfield, Yamil Asad also leads MLS on the assist chart (tied with Toronto’s Victor Vazquez) with nine thus far and will look to exploit any holes in San Jose’s defense on Tuesday.

The Atlanta back line led by Captain Michael Parkhurst has also been stellar as of late, recording two-straight clean sheets and will certainly be searching for a third in front of a friendly home crowd on Tuesday night. A clean sheet and a victory would push Atlanta past Orlando City and into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

San Jose Earthquakes (7-6-5)

San Jose will enter Tuesday’s matchup still filled with joy after the Quakes defeated their LA rivals in a true thriller chapter of the Cali Clásico. Down 1-0 just 10 minutes in, San Jose battled back in the second half with Chris Wondolowski grabbing an equalizer and Shea Salinas scoring a late stoppage-time winner. San Jose now find themselves above the playoff line, in fourth place in the Western Conference, a good spot to be heading into the second half of the season.

While they’ve only dropped one at home, the Quakes have yet to find a rhythm on the road (2-5-1) and due to Gold Cup duties, the San Jose central midfield will be without Panamanian Anibal Godoy and El Salvadorian Darwin Ceren. However, it doesn’t mean the Quakes won’t be armed and ready on Tuesday to steal three points in Atlanta.

Forward Chris Wondolowski leads the team in goals (7) and assists (5) this season, and currently holds the title of the 4th all-time goal scorer in MLS history. While he’s never been the most technical of players, he has a proven track record of being in the right spot at the right time, always a lingering presence and causing an annoyance for the opposition’s back line. In addition, DP midfielder Jahmir Hyka has shown he is one of the top playmakers in the league. The cool and clever Albanian international has recorded three goals and three assists on the season and will certainly be the guy that San Jose will look to have on the ball as much as possible.

Listen & Watch – Tuesday, July 4 | 7:00 p.m. EST




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