TFC and the 'Quakes head into their final MLS match before the break looking to gain ground in their respective playoff chases.When Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes kick off at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon, both teams will have 16 points and be on the outside of their respective conference playoff races.
However, both Toronto and San Jose hold games in hand over several of their conference rivals, and any points picked up on Saturday — the final league match ahead of the World Cup break for both sides — could come in handy when postseason races heat up in a few months' time.
TFC currently sits on 16 points after 10 games, good enough for sixth in the East. Thanks to a light spring fixture list, the Reds hold three to five games on the rest of the conference's playoff hopefuls and would actually vault up to third place on points-per-game average.
Toronto has still struggled to score goals, and newcomer Dominic Oduro — acquired in exchanged for Alvaro Rey on Friday — will be looked upon to provide a spark in attack. If he's able to start against the Earthquakes, Oduro will join a speedy cast that could look to simply outrun the undermanned California outfit.
San Jose heads into the match missing leading scorer Chris Wondolowski and central defender Victor Bernardez, both of whom are on World Cup duty. Despite those key absences, the 'Quakes have put together a a run of three wins over the past four MLS matches.
The Earthquakes are just two points back of FC Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but San Jose has played three fewer matches.