The race for the MLS Cup is heating up in Orlando and with a spot in the final four up for grabs this contest between the San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota United offers a real opportunity for both franchises. The Quakes advanced to the quarter-finals by making light work of Real Salt Lake with a 5-2 win while Minnesota upset Columbus Crew on penalties to progress to the last-eight.
Philadelphia Union were the first team to qualify for the final four with a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City and now San Jose will be hoping to join them. The Quakes advanced to the knockout stages as winners of Group B winning two of their three group games whilst drawing the other. San Jose then ran out comfortable 5-2 winners in their last-16 tie with RSL and now having come good in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex they are back at their home ground; Avaya Stadium. However, San Jose have managed just one clean sheet in eight at home and were beaten 5-2 by Minnesota when these sides met back in March prior to lockdown.
Minnesota have been much improved in 2020 are yet to taste defeat this year. Back-to-back wins in the original regular season which began in February over Portland Timbers and San Jose were followed by a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas to start their group campaign in the MLS is Back tournament. Draws with RSL and Colorado Rapids followed and then came a shock victory over Columbus Crew who were the only side to go through the group stage by winning every game. The Loons have shown that they know where the net is but they have kept just one clean sheet in six games in 2020.
There have been plenty of goals scored since the MLS returned and now despite teams gaining home-field advantage I expect that trend to continue. Minnesota have been impressive thus far and were 5-2 winners at this ground just a few months ago but San Jose have been rampant over the last couple of weeks and seem hellbent on going all the way. I think this will be a really entertaining game and it could go either way but for me we are sure to see goals so back both teams to score in this one.