Match Preview | MNUFC2 v Earthquakes II


MNUFC2 v Earthquakes II

PayPal Park | San Jose, California

9.3.2023 | MLS NEXT Pro Game No. 25

9:00 p.m. CT | Streaming on

MNUFC2 is heading into this week’s matchup with more than a desire for three points, but a need. Sitting just outside of playoff contention, the Twos are one win away from possibly leaping from eighth place all the way to fifth – depending on this Sunday’s opposition, Earthquakes II. The final six playoff spots in the Western Conference are all up for grabs, and every point counts in the race for the postseason.

The Twos are looking for a bit of redemption after their 4-2 loss to Tacoma Defiance last week. With 23 chances and only two goals to show for it, the Loons struggled to capitalize on what they created. While cooking up so many chances is a feat in itself, it falls short of the kind of outcomes necessary to clinch a playoff berth.

“Listen, they [Tacoma Defiance] have a role to play in it,” said Head Coach Cameron Knowles. “They blocked some shots and the goalkeeper made some saves. We have to look back at the different decisions we can make: Are the runs in the box good enough when we’re getting the crosses in? We had a large number of crosses. But, is our movement good enough? Ultimately, we’ve conceded four goals. We’ve got to be tougher than that at home than we have been recently. That side of it, too, is a little bit disappointing.”

Earthquakes II is also coming into Sunday’s game with some frustration after falling 3-1 to St. Louis CITY2. With 38 points, San Jose is by no means safe on the other side of the playoff line, especially with so many teams – including MNUFC2 – with the points and skill to knock them out of their spot. 

San Jose is not known for having a high-scoring attack, only notching three or more goals in three of their matches this season. MNUFC2’s style of keeping other team’s chances to a minimum and looking for quick counters should be a benefit to the Twosies. San Jose’s Eduardo Blancas leads the team with 8 goals and will be the main attacker to shut down.

Despite the two recent losses, the Twos have had some great defensive shape and attacking form. All of the pieces for success are there, and if they can find a way to put away more of their opportunities, they will be just fine this week.

“It’s less about that [revenge] and more about how do we continue to build on what we’ve been doing,” said Cameron Knowles. “One game at a time, not looking too far ahead, understanding the importance of it. It’s a game on the road, we’ve been good on the road this year. It’s a team we’ve played already this year and we’ve been alright against it. We get a longer week now to recover. If we look back at the games we’ve had, we had some in quick succession and short rest coming into this one [Tacoma Defiance]. We get the time to reflect, to mentally reset, physically reset and prepare for what’s going to be a really big and exciting game.”

Don’t miss the Twos’ important matchup against Earthquakes II on Sunday. Both teams will be fighting for a piece to their playoff puzzle, and, with so much at stake, this game will definitely be one to watch.