It's cold strikers all around as the Union head to northern California to take on the Earthquakes.San Jose's playoff hopes are on life support, and the Union isn't looking much better.
With a loss to the Galaxy last week, the 'Quakes are on the outside looking in, five points out of the postseason berths with a game extra played. Philly is still in the East's fourth spot, but a trio of teams are within striking distance.
The Union's task will be made that much more difficult by the absence of Amobi Okugo, with the defender serving the final game of a red card suspension. John Hackworth may opt to deploy right back Sheanon Williams in that role, a setup that helped the Union to a clean sheet against Montreal.
The Union have problems up front as well. Jack McInerney's scoring woes are well-publicized, but Conor Casey is on a three game drought and Sebastien Le Toux hasn't scored in over two months. If the Union are to get into the playoffs, let alone do anything of note once there, that needs to change.
San Jose has its own scoring issues. Chris Wondolowski, the goalhanging phenom of the last few years, has plummeted back to earth with a respectable but unspectacular haul of eight, while Alan Gordon's (4 goals, 3 assists) looks much more like the Alan Gordon MLS fans were used to before his career year in 2012. The other surprise package in San Jose's shield-winning run last year, Steven Lenhart, has just a pair of goals and a single assist in limited minutes.
Piling onto the Earthquakes' woes are injury issues, with Nana Attakora (concussion related symptoms)
Mehdi Ballouchy (R ACL tear), Ty Harden (R hip surgery), Tommy Muller (Lower back spasms),Marcus Tracy (R knee inflammation), Sam Garza (R ankle sprain), Mike Fucito (R ankle fracture) and Shea Salinas (L hamstring strain) all listed as injured or questionable.
The Union meanwhile, has only a slight worry about backup goalkeeper Chris Konopka (L knee sprain).