Breaking News FutbolMLS.com reports Carlos Valdes will return to the Philadelphia Union "next week"

Match #6 Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. San Jose Earthquakes

CHESTER PA - JULY 10: Sebastien Le Toux #9 of the Philadelphia Union takes a shot between Ramiro Corrales #12 and Ike Opara #6 of the San Jose Earthquakes at PPL Park on July 10 2010 in Chester Pennsylvania. San Jose beat Philadelphia 2 - 1. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Setting: Saturday, April 30 at PPL Park in Chester; kickoff scheduled for 4:06:30 PM Eastern

Broadcast Information: 6abc HD (J.P. Dellacamera, Taylor Twellman, Bob Rigby) with coverage starting at 3:30 PM Eastern with a pre-game show and concluding into Action News at 6:00 PM Eastern / No local television coverage in San Jose, La Kaliente KZSF 1370 AM (Carlos Cesar Rivera) in Spanish / MLS Direct Kick, MatchDay Live (6abc feed -- no blackout in San Jose)

San Jose's Record: 1-3-2, ninth in West

San Jose's Last Match: L, 2-1 vs. Chivas USA

Philadelphia vs. San Jose Last Season: 0-2-0 (San Jose 2 @ Philadelphia 1 on July 10; Philadelphia 0 @ San Jose 1 on September 15)

For the San Jose Perspective, Visit Quake, Rattle and Goal

After an extended break following their last match, the Union are back in action this weekend as they take on the struggling San Jose Earthquakes at PPL Park. Make no mistake, if the Union are truly as good defensively as they have appeared, handling the Quakes shouldn't be a problem. Heck, even with their stagnant offense, it will be a disappointment if Philadelphia can't consistently break through the Quakes for high-quality chances.

For San Jose, tomorrow afternoon offers a chance to turn their season around and gain a statement result on the road some 3,000 miles away from their friendly confines of Buck Shaw Stadium. After a promising postseason run to the Conference Finals last year spearheaded by star Chris Wondolowski's Golden Boot-winning year, it would be a severe disappointment for the Earthquakes to not be back in the MLS Cup mix, and things have not looked great for them thus far in 2011.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, is looking to prove that they're a better side than the one that let Seattle net a tying goal in stoppage time some two weeks ago. They need to show that they are capable of scoring more than one goal per match, and can continue to play solid defensively in front of Faryd Mondragon. What better way to get back on the right track than taking on a struggling club from the West Coast at PPL Park on a Saturday evening in mid-60s weather?

Projected starters, up-to-date injury reports and assorted match notes after the jump...

Likely starters:

Philadelphia: Mondragon (C); Harvey, Califf, Valdes, Williams; Daniel, Miglioranzi, Carroll; Ruiz, Mwanga, Le Toux

San Jose: Busch; Corrales, McDonald, Opara, Leitch; Cronin; Johnson, Wondolowski, Stephenson, Convey; Sealy

Injury updates:

For Philadelphia, Gabe Farfan is doubtful with his right little toe dislocation. Jordan Harvey, Brian Carroll and Justin Mapp are all considered "probable" despite hamstring strains (left leg, right leg and left leg issues respectively).

For San Jose, Andre Luiz has been ruled out due to a left knee injury, while Tim Ward's availability is "doubtful" due to a right hamstring sprain. Joey Gjertsen and Matt Luzunaris are listed as "questionable" with a left groin strain and left hip flexor strain, respectively.

Of note:

  • Mark Geiger is listed as tomorrow's match referree. In the 80 career MLS matches Geiger has reffed, he's called an average of between 26 and 27 fouls per match, handed out about four cautions per match, has given a total of 14 red cards and has called for a total of 26 penalty kicks.
  • Tomorrow is Dollar Dog Night at PPL Park. If you're heading down to Chester tomorrow, be prepared to eat. It is also Autism Awareness Night, and as part of that the Union will be wearing blue shoe laces.
  • Bobby Convey, who grew up in the Northeast and attended Penn Charter, is expecting about to have about sixty family members and friends in attendance at PPL Park tomorrow. Convey played the full 90 for San Jose in both of their matches against the Union last year, registering an assist.
  • Wondolowski has scored three of the Earthquakes' six goals on the season, good for a 50% clip. What's amazing, though, is that he scored more than half of San Jose's goals last season (18 of 36).
  • In five matches, Mondragon has seen eleven shots directed directly at his net. Total.

The Earthquakes look to turn their season around while the Union look to get back in the win column and maybe, just maybe, score more than one goal in a match. Join us for a gamethread tomorrow afternoon -- it should be an excellent match.

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