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Sporting KC v San Jose Earthquakes: Preview, Injuries & Predictions

Sporting Kansas City return home still searching for their first win with the possible perfect opponent coming to town.



Jake Davis fights off two San Jose players. | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC vs San Jose Earthquakes

When: Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 7:30 PM CT (7:40 kickoff)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass

Sporting Kansas City are undefeated! Or winless. It’s all about perspective. No matter how you slice it, things are at least marginally better than the start of 2023, though that bar is exceedingly low. Through three games last season, they had not scored any goals and were 0-1-2. Then they went on to lose six of their next seven games (excluding an Open Cup win over fourth division Tulsa Athletic).

In 2024 they are 0-0-3 but have scored two goals. However, there is no doubt they’ve looked better in those three games on aggregate. It started off a little disjointed against the Houston Dynamo, but they mustered a draw. Then they were the far better side against the Philadelphia Union and were an errantly given throw-in away from winning. Against LAFC, they went on the road and played really well in the first half, before wearing down and resorting to way too much emergency defending in the second half.

While it could be argued two of those sides (Houston and Philly) were depleted, and LAFC have massively turned over their roster, they were three of the better teams in all of MLS last year. LAFC and Houston played in the Western Conference finals and Philly finished fourth in the East and were ousted in the semi-finals by the one seeded FC Cincinnati.

San Jose on the other hand, snuck into the playoffs and were knocked out by Sporting KC. And they have been awful this season, losing all three of their games. Sporting KC can get the 2023 monkey off their back by winning, and this feels like a perfectly reasonable chance to pull that off.

What’s new for San Jose in 2024?

Nothing earth shattering has happened in San Jose around their roster build.

IN: Amahl Pellegrino is probably their biggest signing. The 33-year-old forward comes over from Bodø/Glimt in Norway. He’s scored 175 goals and added 76 assists as a professional and is replacing Cade Cowell. Outside of that they added goalkeeper Mikołaj Biegański from Wisła Kraków (Poland) and defender Vítor Costa from CS Marítimo (Portugal’s 2nd division). They also traded with the LA Galaxy for former SKC II forward Preston Judd.

OUT: Cade Cowell is the headliner as he was sold to Chivas Guadalajara (Mexico) this past offseason. He’s still super young, but he never lived up to his potential with San Jose and I’m frankly surprised they got as much of a haul for him as they did. Outside of that it’s a handful of MLS veterans who are gone in Judson, Jamiro Monteiro, Nathan and Jonathan Mensah. USMNT fringe player Matthew Hoppe’s loan expired as well.

Kansas City’s Form

  • (Preseason) Feb 10th vs. Miami FC (USL) – 5-0 Win
  • (Preseason) Feb 17th vs Atlanta United – 3-1 Win
  • Feb 24th @ Houston Dynamo – 1-1 Draw
  • March 2nd vs Philadelphia Union – 1-1 Draw
  • March 9th @ LAFC – 0-0 Draw

San Jose’s Recent Form

  • (Preseason) Feb 14th vs Portland Timbers – 1-0 Win
  • (Preseason) Feb 17th vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 1-1 Draw
  • Feb 24th @ FC Dallas – 1-2 Loss
  • March 2nd vs LA Galaxy – 1-3 Loss
  • March 9th vs Vancouver – 0-2 Loss

Two goals and three losses through three games. Eek! That said, a single win this weekend would equal SKC’s point total.

Injury/Availability Report

Official injury reports aren’t available until matchday minus one, so here are last week’s reports sprinkled in with anything else we’ve learned through the week. Come back Friday for updates. 

Update 3/15/2024: Lots of changes for SKC, but none for San Jose.

Sporting KC:

San Jose:

  • OUT – Carlos Akapo (Foot), JT Marcinkowski (Knee), Niko Tsakiris (Lower Body)


Sporting KC: None

San Jose: None


Sporting KC

Goals: Remi Walter, Erik Thommy (1)

Assists: None

San Jose

Goals: Preston Judd, Benji Kikanovic (1)

Assists: None


The Earthquakes have yet to find their form in 2024. They sit at the bottom of the table as the only team in the Western Conference yet to earn a point. They have shipped the most goals in the West (seven) while only managing to score twice.

Sporting KC have been fairly stout defensively, despite some second half chaos against LAFC where they were frankly bailed out by some really bad finishing.

You never want to call the fourth game of the season a ‘must-win’ but at the same time, it really feels like a ‘should-win’ situation. Sporting KC had chances against sides that were depleted. Now they get a side that’s in really bad form. Kansas City are also at home and need to start picking up points. Five of their next six games are at home, and they better rocket up the table because that means they’ll have a tough stretch of road games coming later this year. Draws can only be good results on the road if you win your home games. Or at least most of your home games.

Sporting KC beat San Jose in the playoffs, but that was technically a draw that went to penalty kicks. They also beat them 3-0 in August, the last time the teams faced in the regular season. It really feels like they need to beat them again to quiet any doubters. If they continue to get draws at home, or even worse, lose, then it’ll be cause for concern. The team is mostly healthy, so the excuses just aren’t there for Sporting KC to not be winning a chunk of the next few games.

PREDICTION: 2-1 Sporting KC Win

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