What was setting up as a potentially uneventful midweek contest with Atlanta United FC traveling west to visit the San Jose Earthquakes got a bit more interesting earlier this week.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at Avaya Stadium between the top and bottom teams in MLS play.
San Jose (4-16-8, 20 points) made the decision Monday to part ways with coach Mikael Stahre. Taking over for the final six games is Steve Ralston, another assistant with the team.
“We felt we needed a change,” said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a statement issued by the team. “We decided that the six remaining games represent an opportunity for all of us to begin heading in a new direction and to evaluate our options actively with a single goal in mind: to strengthen our First Team for the upcoming season and beyond.”
Atlanta (17-5-6, 57 points) sits not just on top of the Eastern Conference, but also in the Supporters’ Shield standings with the best mark in the league.
In the team’s previous match, Atlanta beat Denver 3-0 on the road in a game where Miguel Almiron scored twice and added an assist. The midfielder is one of just five players in the league this year to hit double digits in goals and assists.
The win pushed Atlanta to 9-3-2 on the road this year, the best road record in the league.
“I think our team is tighter this year,” said Almiron of the road success. “The players on the bench have done a really nice job as well and that makes us feel more united on the field. We have to keep it up.”
Atlanta also boasts Josef Martinez, who set the all-time single season MLS goal mark already, racking up 28 goals.
—Field Level Media