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Earthquakes aim to add to Union's road woes

The San Jose Earthquakes get a chance to host one of the worst road teams in MLS on Saturday, when the Philadelphia Union make the cross-country trip to Avaya Stadium.

The Earthquakes (9-10-5) are sitting just above the red line on the Western Conference table.

The Union (8-11-5) are 1-7-3 on the road this season and enter the weekend in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They're coming off a 3-0 loss at home to the Montreal Impact on Sunday and are desperate for anything that could spark a late-season surge.

"We've just got to have a different mindset going on the road," Union midfielder Chris Pontius told reporters this week. "I think we've been a little tentative at times. It's not easy playing away from home in this league. We need points now. We just dropped three against Montreal. It's got to be three against San Jose now."

The Union have enjoyed recent success in San Jose, going 2-0-1 in their last three trips to visit the Earthquakes.

San Jose has been increasingly tough at home this year, though. The Earthquakes are 7-1-4 at home this season, with their only defeat coming against the LA Galaxy in late March.

"It's good to be back at home," midfielder Shea Salinas said. "We're playing well at home right now, so keep that momentum going."

To do so, San Jose will need to shake off last week's 3-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo. The Earthquakes hope to get veteran star forward Chris Wondolowski going. Wondolowski, with nine goals and five assists, accounts for 35 percent of San Jose's goals.

"You still always think of Wondo, in or around the box, eight yards and in, he's still an incredibly dangerous striker in our league," Union coach Jim Curtin said of the Earthquakes' star. "He gets goals, his work rate is tireless. Wondo is still a real key, even after all these years. It still starts with him even after all these years."

Forward C.J. Sapong leads the Union with a career-high 12 goals and five assists. Sapong needs two more goals to set the franchise single-season record.

Sapong has accounted for 38 percent of Philadelphia's goals.

Updated August 18, 2017

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