Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Earthquakes have yet to find their identity under new head coach Matias Almeyda. Things weren’t any better against the Monterrey Rayados. The Mexican League club jumped out to an early lead and then held on for a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at Avaya Stadium in an international friendly match.
The Rayados drew first blood just six minutes into the game. A defensive breakdown by Jimmy Ockford led to a break where Rogelio Funes Mori ended up one-on-one with Quakes goalie Andrew Tarbell and the Argentinian forward chipped the ball past him for a 1-0 Monterrey lead.
Monterrey kept the pressure on as Funes Mori sent in a shot over defender Florian Jungwirth, only to have Tarbell make a terrific save by batting the ball over the net.
Monterrey doubled their lead in the 24th minute. Once again, a lack of coverage left open Maximiliano Meza, who received the ball from 10 yards out, stumbled, regained possession and kicked the ball into the upper left corner for a 2-0 Rayados lead.
The closest the Quakes came to getting on the scoreboard in the first half came at the 35th minute when captain Chris Wondolowski’s header attempt from a centering cross pass was knocked away to the right by Rayados goalie Marcelo Barovero.
Monterrey had two quality chances to extend their lead in the first five minutes into the second half. First, in the 48th minute, Funes Mori’s shot from 12 yards out just sailed wide of the net. Then, two minutes later, Dorlan Pabon’s shot from 25 yards out was knocked away by Tarbell.
San Jose had a golden attempt to cut the lead in half at the 56th minute when Magnus Eriksson centered a perfect crossing pass over to Wondolowski, whose point-blank header was knocked over the net by back up goalie Luis Cardenas, who came in as a substitution for Barovero to start the second half.
The Quakes finally got on the scoreboard in the 61st minute. Tommy Thompson dribbled the ball near the end line then sent crossed the ball right into the middle of the box, where 15-year old Cade Cowell, who made his debut for San Jose, one-timed the ball into the right corner of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1 for his first professional career goal. Both players came in as substitutes in the second half.
San Jose gained momentum off of Cowell’s goal as they spent the next 15 minutes playing inside Monterrey’s zone creating chances that were deflected away by Rayado defenders.
The Quakes had a chance for the equalizer late in the match when they earned a free kick just outside the D-box in the 84th minute. Jungwirth’s shot was stoned away by a diving Edson Resendez, who came on a substitution for Cardenas, as well as Thompson’s rebound attempt from the right corner end line.
GAME NOTES: Paul Marie received a yellow card in the 49th minute on a tackle from behind.
UP NEXT: The Quakes return back to MLS action as they host LAFC on Saturday 3/30 at 12:30 pm at Avaya Stadium.