The San Jose Earthquakes return to Philadelphia to face the Union for the first time since Arturo Alvarez broke the hearts of Union fans last year with a late winner.
Coming into today's game, the Union (3-1-1) have only conceded two goals, but they also have only scored four. An offense consisting of Sebastien Le Toux (no goals, one assist), former MLS MVP Carlos Ruiz (two goals), former number one overall pick Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney has yet to have a game with over a single goal scored so far in this MLS season. All the while, the defense (Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams, Jordan Harvey) has been boosted by the presence of veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who sports a goals against average of 0.40 - good enough for second in MLS, behind Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando. Two weeks ago the Union faced the Seattle Sounders, their last game played, and gave up their first goal at PPL Park in almost five games dating back to 2010.
Robert Jonas, of SB Nation's Earthquakes blog Quake, Rattle and Goal,had this to say about San Jose's 2011 season:
Before we start compiling an obituary for the 2011 Earthquakes - 28 games still remain on the schedule - the reaction of the players this week in training and at PPL Park in Chester, PA this weekend against the Philadelphia Union still needs to be observed. Monday morning saw a players-only meeting take place among the Earthquakes, and head coach Frank Yallop has promised substantial changes to his starting XI. If neither of those actions shake the Quakes out of their complacency, I'll certainly be ready to believe in the data - and admit to the pattern condemning San Jose to a season of struggle that will be impossible to ignore.
For more on the game, visit the Brotherly Game and participate in its game thread for commentary and reaction during the game from staff and fans.