The Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season for 2023 ended on Saturday evening, and we almost know which teams are going to participate in the playoffs.
Thanks to their victory in the last round against Minnesota United, Sporting Kansas City rose to 8th place in the Western Conference and gained home-field advantage in the play-in match versus San Jose Earthquakes.
At the time of publishing this match preview, sportsbooks in the US have tagged the home side as favorites to claim victory at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday evening. Can the visitors end their winless run and cause an upset? Check out our top MLS betting predictions below.
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These two opponents have clashed two times this season. The first clash in April was easily won by San Jose Earthquakes 3-0, with Jeremy Ebobisse scoring a brace.
Sporting Kansas City returned the favor in front of their crowd in August, beating the opposition 3-0. The man of the match was Johnny Russell, with one goal and one assist.
The squad from Kansas has hosted the Quakes 36 times so far, won 26 encounters, and lost eight, while just two ended without a winner. The average number of goals seen in those matches is 2.72 per clash.
Sporting Kansas City Is Strong at Home Recently
Peter Vermes’ side struggled with consistency throughout this season but found the right rhythm and winning formula when they needed it the most.
Sporting Kansas City wrapped up the MLS 2023 regular season with four victories in their last five home matches, beating San Jose Earthquakes 3-0, St Louis City 2-1, Houston Dynamo 2-1, and Minnesota United 3-1. The only exception during this period was a 3-0 loss to Nashville SC.
Mexican striker Alan Pulido is having one of his best seasons in the MLS, scoring 14 goals in 28 league appearances while also registering two assists. He is currently at the top of the “Anytime Goalscorers” market, priced at +100 to find the net on Wednesday night.
In terms of the latest news and injuries, Kortne Ford, Kayden Pierre, and Tim Leibold are still injured and won’t be available for the upcoming match against San Jose.
Sporting Kansas City has won the MLS Cup twice so far, the first in 2000 and the most recent in 2013, beating Real Salt Lake on penalties 7-6 after the match was tied 1-1 in regulation and extra time. They didn’t take part in last year’s playoffs after ending as the 12th team in the West.
The Quakes Have Lost Almost Half of Their Road Matches
San Jose barely stayed above the playoff line, grabbing 44 points from 34 matches in the regular season. They have been struggling with poor efficiency (they scored 39 goals, 2nd lowest in the West) and a low number of points won on the road (they lost almost half of their away duels). Their last four league duels have ended without a winner, and the score against Nashville SC, Minnesota United, Dallas FC, and Austin FC was identical 1-1.
The last time the San Jose Earthquakes earned victory was in mid-September at home against Real Salt Lake 2-1, with Jeremy Ebobisse and Antonio Rodrigues hitting the target in the first half.
Argentine midfielder Cristian Espinoza, the top performer this season, bagged 13 goals and provided 8 assists in his 34 league appearances. Because of injuries, James Marcinkowski and Nathan won’t be available for this match.
The Quakes also earned two MLS Cup titles so far in 2001 and 2003.
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Sporting Kansas City vs San Jose Earthquakes Predictions
San Jose was easily defeated at Children’s Mercy Park on August 3-0. They have been struggling in the last couple of weeks, securing only one victory in their last ten MLS matches. With almost half of the duels on the road ending in defeats, I don’t see them having a good chance on Wednesday.
Besides the home victory, I will also back in-form Mexican striker Alan Pulido to score at any time. A bit more adventurous bettors can also try with a 2:0 correct score.
- Sporting KC To Win at -152 with BetMGM
- Alan Pulido To Score Anytime at +100 with DraftKings
- Sporting KC To Win 2:0 at +600 with BetMGM
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