Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes – MLS, November 22, 2020
Having clinched top spot in the Western Conference, Sporting KC hosts eighth-seed San Jose at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, November 22, in the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs.
The Wizards are yet to face the Quakes this year, but after finishing with a nine-point lead and two games in hand over the Californians, SKC is expected to win this one.
Read on to see my Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes prediction and betting pick.
Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes Odds
Unsurprisingly, 10bet views Sporting KC (1.71) as the clear favorite to win this clash. Peter Vermes’ side has remained a consistent force throughout the campaign, while San Jose (4.05) made a late dash for the playoffs.
I assess both sides’ chances below.
With six wins in their last ten games and three straight victories to end the regular season, it’s safe to say that the Wizards are heading into the playoffs with a spring in their step.
Sporting KC managed to edge heavyweights Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers to finish atop the West, so they will surely be confident of carrying their form into the postseason.
Not only did Vermes’ men win their final three regular-season outings, they also kept three clean sheets in the process. Veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia is arguably playing some of the best soccer of his career at the moment, with center-backs Winston Reid and Roberto Puncec offering solid support.
At the other end of the pitch, Erik Hurtado has netted three goals in his last six appearances. It feels like SKC is strong in every department right now.
✅ Signed Alan Pulido— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) November 11, 2020
✅ Signed Gadi Kinda
✅ Played 6 Homegrowns
✅ Greatest single-season turnaround in @MLS history
✅ 1st Place in the West
✅ ??? nominated for Coach of the Year. Got it. https://t.co/i5lxhDFBMd pic.twitter.com/ovcQB1lwHK
A couple of months ago, even the most hopeful of San Jose supporters probably didn’t think their side could qualify for the playoffs. Heavy back-to-back thrashings to Portland (6-1) and Colorado (5-0) at the end of September all but ended the Quakes’ postseason dreams.
However, a remarkable late turnaround saw Matias Almeyda’s side win six of their final eight regular-season matches and book an unlikely spot in the playoffs.
Double-header victories over California rivals LA Galaxy and LAFC, along with wins over Vancouver and Real Salt Lake, propelled San Jose up the standings. A 4-1 defeat to Seattle on Decision Day exposed the Quakes’ weaknesses, although the team had already secured a top-eight finish by then.
There are still question marks over San Jose, but with 37-year-old Chris Wondolowski still doing what he does best, the Quakes should not be taken lightly.
My Betting Pick
Sporting Kansas City to Win1.71
The Quakes must be given huge credit for the way they turned their season around. San Jose looked dead and buried not so long ago, so to even be in the playoffs is an achievement in itself.
However, Sporting KC should be far too strong for Almeyda’s side. The Wizards have exceled at both ends of the pitch this year, making them one of the most complete teams in the country.
San Jose is likely to push SKC all the way, but I’m confident that Vermes’ men will get the job done.