St. Louis City will play their first MLS game without Bradley Carnell after the head coach was dismissed ahead of Thursday's meeting with San Jose Earthquakes.

Carnell's departure was confirmed this week after failing to triumph since mid-May, slipping down to 12th in the Western Conference standings after a nine-game winless run.

St. Louis were guided to a first-place finish in the West last season, their maiden campaign in MLS, yet they are preparing for a new era with technical director John Hackworth in interim charge.

"Given Bradley's many contributions to the club, this was not an easy decision,” said City's sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel.

"Unfortunately, based on our results to date, we believe a coaching change is in the best interest of the club as we regroup and look to improve, both our performance and our results."

Hackworth has almost 30 years of coaching experience, including positions within the United States men's national team and MLS rivals Philadelphia Union.

His first task will be downing an out-of-form San Jose, who sit at the bottom of the West standings with just three wins to their name all year.

The Earthquakes are also without a manager after Luchi Gonzalez's dismissal, falling to a 3-0 defeat against LA Galaxy in their first match since his dismissal.

Gonzalez's assistant coach Ian Russell took interim charge for that home humbling, and will be desperate to turn things around as San Jose remain in search of a new full-time boss.


St. Louis City – Njabulo Blom

Njabulo Blom's seventh-minute goal on Saturday was St. Louis' 10th from outside the box in regular-season play in MLS, with Blom the ninth different player to record one of those strikes.

Blom may fancy his likelihood of adding another long-range strike in this outing, considering the Earthquakes defence is far from convincing.

San Jose Earthquakes – Hernan Lopez

Hernan Lopez has contributed to a goal in each of his first four MLS road games (two goals, two assists), with the midfielder hoping to extend that impressive run here.

However, only two players have recorded a goal contribution in each of their first five MLS road games: Cucho Hernandez (six straight in 2022) and Romain Alessandrini (also six in a row in 2017).


The hosts are the heavily backed favourites for victory in this encounter, despite their woeful run of form of late.

St. Louis are winless in their last nine matches, losing six of those. Prior to this run, they had only lost as many games in 27 league matches dating back to June 2023.

Yet, the home side will fancy their chances of arresting that streak given St. Louis beat San Jose twice last season, winning 3-0 and 2-1.

The Earthquakes' form is poor, too, having lost 15 of their first 20 matches this season. Only Tampa Bay Mutiny in 2001 suffered more such losses in the post shoot-out era since 2000.

Only four teams have collected fewer points than San Jose's 11 this year at this stage of a campaign, most recently D.C. United (10) in 2013, and that drab spell could extend here.


St. Louis City win – 52%

Draw – 24.5%

San Jose Earthquakes win – 23.5%