The San Jose Earthquakes are making positive strides under interim head coach Alex Covelo, however the next step could be a tough one on Saturday when they visit the Los Angeles Football Club.
The Earthquakes (3-5-5, 14 points) have scored 12 goals en route to posting a 3-1-2 record in six MLS matches since Covelo replaced Matias Almeyda last month. They extended their unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2) after securing a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Jackson Yueill scored his second goal in as many matches in the second half on Sunday. Yueill, however, joined a host of others in being held off the pitch on Wednesday as the short-handed Earthquakes dropped a 2-0 decision to Sacramento Republic FC of the USL Championship.
"We need to take this game as a lesson, understanding that all the games are important, and we have to be at 200 percent focus and ready to attack and defend better," Covelo said. "I think that right now, we need to recover the guys and prepare Saturday's game as best as possible, understanding the days that we have ahead, put the best lineup on the field and try to get a good result in L.A. before the international break."
The Earthquakes have yet to taste victory on the road this season (0-4-1) heading into Saturday's tilt in Los Angeles.
LAFC (8-3-2, 26 points) answered a modest two-match skid by scoring twice in the second half in their 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew last Saturday. Second-half substitutes Carlos Vela and Jose Cifuentes scored for LAFC, who were playing just three days after dropping a 2-1 decision to Austin FC on Wednesday.
"We wanted to split time between our five attackers to get fresh legs out there for exactly those moments when you are sitting a little deeper and defending a deeper block, you need some explosiveness in the offensive end and Carlos gave us exactly that," LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said. "His ability to finish speaks for itself, the amount of goals he's scored."
Vela's team-leading six goals are twice as many as the next closest members of the team -- Cifuentes, Ryan Hollingshead and Kwadwo Opoku each have three. Vela has five goals and four assists in five career matches versus San Jose.
--Field Level Media