As Real Salt Lake heads out to Avaya Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes, they’re hoping to steal a full three points from the home side to gain some vital positioning in the Western Conference table.
To do that, however, they’ll need to take into account the pool of talent that the Quakes have at their disposal. While they have plenty of players who deserve a mention, there are a few that certainly stand out above the rest of the crowd on a consistent basis.
Chris Wondolowski - Forward
This is no surprise, and an absolute no-brainer. Wondo is arguably the club’s best player of all time, scoring 123 goals in 235 appearances, while winning the MLS MVP award in 2012, and in that same year tied Roy Lassiter’s record for the most goals scored in a single season with 27.
The 34-year-old is known as one of the most potent poachers in the league, finding himself in the right place at the right time more often than your average player. It’s no accident, though — he’s got his style of play down to an art and has been doing it well for years, punishing RSL plenty of times in the process.
While he’s off to a slower start than usual this season — with six goals and five assists — he’s got the service he needs to be dangerous at any point in any game.
David Bingham - Goalkeeper
Bingham has become one of the better keepers in the league since he earned his starting spot in 2015. He’s already led the Earthquakes to six clean sheets this season while notching 36 saves in the process.
If RSL’s shot count from last week (29) is any indication of how they’ll be playing in San Jose, then the Quakes could be calling on Bingham often to keep them afloat throughout the game, and he’s usually up to the task.
Jahmir Hyka - Midfielder
A new addition to the team this season, Hyka has already made an immediate impact in San Jose, scoring three goals and tallying three assists in 13 games, landing himself as the team’s second highest scorer this season behind Wondo.
The 29-year-old Albanian international has already proven that he was worth signing, as his quick and agile style of play really shines in every match he plays. Hyka is a dynamic player who’s very skilled on the ball, and isn’t afraid to run at defenders. He’s got the wits to know when to take the ball in to score himself, or dish it off to someone in a better position when he needs to.
Of course, San Jose has plenty of other players worth mentioning, although a few of their more prominent players are out with injury. Names like Quincy Amarikwa, Florian Jungwirth, Fatai Alashe, and Marvell Wynne are all guys that won’t be seen on the pitch this weekend.