San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-4, 19 points, 5th in the West) vs. Philadelphia Union (3-7-2, 11 points, 6th in the East) at PPL Park in Philadelphia.
6:00pm ET; Fox Soccer Channel
What’s at stake
The Union will open their first ever homestand against the visiting Earthquakes on Saturday. Undefeated in front of the supporting Philadelphia fans so far this season (2-0-1), the Union will have a tough job ahead of them as San Jose have been playing quite well lately.
This is the first time the two teams have met, given the Union’s position as an expansion team.
Heroes & Villains
Danny Mwanga vs. Ike Opara: Drafted 1st and 3rd overall, respectively, in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Mwanga and Opara will be out to show the other up in this match. Mwanga has been tearing up the league lately, scoring an impressive five goals in nine games. Opara himself is no stranger to finding the net, as he's also been knocking in some goals from his defensive position, scoring three in eight games. Furthermore, the Quakes center back will have his hands full trying to prevent Mwanga from scoring. Both players are in the running for MLS Rookie of the Year, so the pressure will be on to perform in this one.
Bobby Convey vs. Jordan Harvey/Cristian Arrieta: The Quakes top assists man this season, Convey will be flinging the ball in from the flanks all match and it’ll be down to Harvey and Arrieta (assuming he plays at full back) to shut down the Philly-native. If the two defenders can stop the winger from getting balls into the likes of Chris Wondolowski and Ryan Johnson, the Union could shut down San Jose's whole attacking game plan.
Stat that makes you go “Hm…”
Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux has had his hand in 12 of the Union’s 15 goals this season, scoring six and assisting on six more.
He said it
“I think we’re going to have one of the best, if not the best, homefield advantages in MLS. The fans never stopped chanting. They arrived early and stayed late. It’s the type of crowd any player would love to play in front of. We feel very fortunate.” -- Union captain Danny Califf on playing in front of Philadelphia fans at PPL Park.