Almeyda urges patience as Fraser lauds youngsters
San Jose Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda has called for patience despite his side's dismal MLS campaign.
The Quakes sit bottom of the Western Conference heading into their clash with Colorado Rapids, having not won a game since their run to the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals.
However, Almeyda has urged fans to have patience with the project, claiming San Jose's inexperienced side needs time to grow.
"It's there to see that we aren't being competitive, we have a lot of youngsters. The project here is different," Almeyda told Argentina's Radio Continental.
"Today there is a big difference between the opponents we are playing and ourselves. Our team needs a different physical state, I know well what we have and how far we can go."
Conversely, the Rapids are looking sharp ahead of Wednesday's clash, having won two out of their last three outings, though they did lose 4-1 to FC Dallas on September 17, and coach Robin Fraser hailed his side's core of young players.
"I'm really proud of the whole team, overall, and I've always liked them since I got here, the spirit of the team, the talent of the players, especially the young players," he told a news conference.
"It's exciting when you get a group of young players who are really hard working, compliant and play to the system and bring what they do individually really well, and it works, so I'm really proud of the young guys we see making strides every week.
"This is a side which wants to invest in our youth, we're very much about developing players and we feel like we have a good group."
Colorado Rapids - Cole Bassett
Rapids midfielder Bassett has been in good form in front of goal this season, scoring three goals from six MLS regular-season appearances, including in a 2-0 win over LA Galaxy last time out. He scored just three times in his first 28 league games prior to this run.
San Jose Earthquakes - Chris Wondolowski
The San Jose stalwart has scored five goals so far in 2020, despite making just three starts. With the Earthquakes still in search of a first regular-season win since the restart, the 37-year-old is still their main danger man.
- A late Kei Kamara goal earned the Rapids a 1-1 draw at San Jose in early September in the first meeting between the sides this season. Colorado have won four straight home matches against San Jose and are unbeaten in eight against the 'Quakes in Commerce City.
- Colorado have lost just one of their last nine home matches (W6 D2), though they're winless in their last three at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
- The Rapids have scored at least once in their last 22 home matches dating back to their last home match of 2018, the longest active home scoring streak in MLS.
- San Jose have collected just three points since returning from MLS is Back (W0 D3 L4), fewest in MLS since the regular season restarted in August. They're the only team without a victory since coming out of the Orlando bubble.
- The Earthquakes have conceded 33 goals this season, two more than any other team after 12 matches of an MLS season (Rapids - 31 in 1998). They've already conceded at least five goals in four games this season, tied for the most in a season in MLS history (FC Cincinnati in 2019 and New England Revolution in 1998).
Updated September 22, 2020