Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes
By: London Marq
SAN JOSE–Major League Soccer’s best, currently in the form of the glamorous Los Angeles Football Club, travels north to battle the bottom ranked San Jose Earthquakes. Though San Jose bested LAFC in the preseason, it has been a tale of two different clubs since the season began. LAFC has a league-best 10 points entering play with 10 goals to their cause versus an Earthquakes team that has yet to earn a point through their first three matches. San Jose, who have only managed two goals on the season, looked to create a rivalry with their southern neighbors under the guidance of head coach Matias Almeyda.
The first half saw the Earthquakes struggle to find any cohesion as LAFC applied constant pressure in every sector of the pitch. The fullbacks struggled to advance the ball into the midfield, and it would be a problem for San Jose from the earliest moments of the game. In the eighth minute, LA forward Carlos Vela would steal the ball from a defender and knock it into the area of the Quakes goalie Mario Vega. Vega attempted to clear the ball out of the box and whiffed, leaving the crowd stunned and the goal wide open. Vela would score the first goal of the match.
Mario Vega’s whiff was only the beginning of his very long day. Though he made several saves and blocks, Vega found himself one-on-one with the opposing strikers and back line offered little resistance. Carlos Vela would go on to score twice more, including a beautiful arcing shot from outside the box into the far corner in the 66th minute to complete his first MLS hat trick. LAFC also had goals from Steven Beitashour and Diego Rossi in the 26th and 68th minutes, respectively.
For Almeyda and the Quakes, it’s back to the drawing board. Frustrations mounted in the second half as the match became more physical. There were some questionable fouls made by the referees, who at different points in the match had lengthy conversations with Coach Almeyda and Quake midfielder Tommy Thompson. At one point, Thompson became so frustrated after a whistle blew for a foul against him, that he picked the ball up threw it across the pitch. Frustrations aside, the Quakes seem stagnant and unsure of themselves. They still seem to lack a sense of group cohesion that successful teams possess and until they find it, they will continue to struggle.
FINAL: LAFC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 5-0.
UP NEXT: The next match for the Quakes will take place at Avaya Stadium on Saturday, April 6th versus the Portland Timbers.