Whitecaps second half goals doom Earthquakes 2-1

The Vancouver Whitecaps make it up field on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Providence Park in Portland in their one goal win over the Earthquakes 2-1 (@ WhitecapsFC photo)

Marko Ukalovic

PORTLAND, Ore.-The Vancouver Whitecaps scored two goals in a six-minute span early in the second half en route to a much needed 2-1 comeback victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on a chilly Saturday evening at Providence Park.

Vancouver’s win snapped a four-game losing streak to San Jose. The Whitecaps have won three out of its last four games and have tied San Jose for seventh place in the Western Conference with 24 points. The Quakes are 4-2-1 in their last seven matches with three matches left in the regular season.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Canada still has its border closed and therefore Vancouver has needed Providence Park to play its matches, including it’s final four where there will be the home team in three of them.

San Jose (6-8-6) controlled play in the first half as they won the possession battle 62%-38%. Cristian Espinoza had a quality chance to put the Quakes on the board in the 18th minute when Chris Wondolowski set him up with a back pass just outside the box but Espinoza fired high and wide of the net.

The Quakes scored the match’s first goal in the 24th minute. Espinoza started a counter attack near the end line at midfield. He raced down the right side centering the ball right into the middle where an open Carlos Fierro one-timed a right footed shot into the lower right corner of the net beating Whitecaps goalkeeper Evan Bush for his second goal of the season.

The Fierro/Espinoza combo has become a deadly weapon for head coach Matias Almeyda. Espinoza recorded his team leading eighth assist (fourth overall in MLS) on Fierro’s goal. The goal was a rarity for San Jose as that was just its seventh first half goal of the season, compared to the 22 they have scored in the second half.

Vancouver (8-12-0) made its comeback early in the second half. Left back Ali Adnan rifled in a free kick from 30 yards out into the upper left corner of the net that Quakes goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski had no chance at in the 51st minute. It was Adnan’s second goal of the season.

Then just six minutes later, a defensive breakdown by San Jose led to an odd-man rush inside the box where Cristian Dájome’s shot from the left side deflected off the hand of Marcinkowski over to Tosaint Ricketts. The Canadian midfielder made a point-blank finish into an empty net for his second goal of the season.

“Vancouver came out and wanted to press us down the middle, and we played right into the teeth of it,” said Wondolowski on the Whitecaps second half success. “Also, we just weren’t able to connect passes. I think once we did connect a pass, we didn’t move after and give us an option. When we do that, we become stagnant. We lose a lot of possession and a lot of passes that we shouldn’t. That usually feeds into another team’s counterattack. They punished us twice and rightfully so. Then we’re playing catchup. I thought we combined well after that. We just couldn’t hit that final pass.”

The two quick goals by Vancouver shell-shocked San Jose as they were never able to recover the rest of the second half. Their passing was sloppy and rushed which resulted in turnovers. Even with substitutions made at the 71st and 72nd minutes, they could not regain the momentum they had established in the first half.

“I think we had a great first half in which we had the lead. We were interpreting how to play the game. But then we went back to making the same mistakes that were made previously. In five minutes, there was a lack of concentration that the opponent took advantage of. Once the opponent took the lead, I think the momentum in the match shifted. We were not able to find that final pass to create those chances that would give us the tie or win,” Almeyda said.

Despite having a few chances in the final five minutes of the match, San Jose was not able to score the equalizer and were left to contemplate the disappointing result.

Bush only needed to make one save for the victory. Marcinkowski finished with two saves on the evening in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: Both teams had six corner kicks during the match.

Vancouver leads the overall series 9-8-9.

San Jose had its shutout streak snapped at 234 minutes (over 2.5 matches), plus stoppage time.

UP NEXT: The Quakes return home to host Real Salt Lake on Wednesday 10/28 at 7:30pm at Earthquakes Stadium.

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Quakes battle to maintain 7th place face Vancouver Saturday in Portland

The San Jose Earthquakes face Vancouver Whitecaps for this Sat Oct 24th’s game at Providence Park in Portland neutral site game (@SJEarthquakes image)

On the Quakes podcast with Marko:

#1 The Quakes (6-6-7) are in seventh place heading to Portland to play a neutral site game against the Vancouver Whitecaps (7-0-12) the Quakes have gone undefeated in four of their last five games how crucial of a game is this one to keep their playoff hope going?

#2 In their last game last Sunday they battled the Seattle Sounders (9-4-4) tooth and nail to get a nil-nil draw and the Sounders are not a very easy task to accomplish that task.

#3 The tie gives San Jose 24 points on the season as they hold on to the seventh spot in the Western Conference and have earned a point in five of its last six matches

#4 Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said that after all the loses the team had suffered before going undefeated in four of their last five it took hard work and having to admit the team was doing bad and gaining their confidence back it certainly started with that shocking win against LAFC (7-4-7) back on Sep 27th.

#5 Neutral site game on Saturday night at Providence Park in Portland against the Vancouver Whitecaps the Whitecaps have won two of their last three games including a game against LAFC. The Quakes shutout the Caps 3-0 last time they met Wed Oct 14th at Earthquakes Stadium. Marko set this match up for us.

Marko does the Earthquakes podcasts each Friday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


Earthquakes battle Sounders to 0-0 draw, earn point in playoff hunt

The San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski (8) goes for the header against the Seattle Sounders Alex Roldan (16) in the first half of Sun Oct 18, 2020 at Earthquakes Stadium San Jose (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif.- The confidence is continuing to grow for the San Jose Earthquakes pursuit of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. They battled to a hard fought scoreless draw with the Seattle Sounders on Sunday evening at Earthquakes Stadium.

The tie gives San Jose 24 points on the season as they hold on to the seventh spot in the Western Confernce and have earned a point in five of its last six matches (4-1-1). The tie also allowed Seattle to remain even with the Portland Timbers atop the conference with 31 points.

“I think that the players have regained their confidence and we have worked hard to be able to compete again. It wasn’t easy to get back up after so many losses and conceding so many goals. We insisted, based on our path, to recognize that when the team is doing bad, they suffer, but when they are united and play as a team, they compete. I think we now see a team that works hard, where everyone runs and everyone plays. The players now play with a confidence that they didn’t have a month ago. I hope they can keep this momentum, stay calm, and strive for more,” Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said.

Seattle (9-4-4) were without superstar forward Raul Ruidiaz, who remained in quarantine in Peru following his positive COVID-19 test while on international duty with the Peruvian national team. 

The first half featured a wide open, up-style tempo as both teams exchanged scoring chances back and forth during the opening 45 minutes.

Nicolás Lodeiro tried giving Seattle an early lead in the sixth minute when he fired in a shot on net, only to have Quakes goalkeeper J.T, Marcinkowski make a two-handed save.

San Jose (6-7-6) had their best look of the first half in the 42nd minute, as Chris Wondolowski got on the end of a free kick from Cristian Espinoza and headed a shot that looked bound for goal, only to see it cleared off the line by Seattle’s Will Bruin to keep the contest scoreless.

The Quakes just missed a go-ahead goal in the 64th minute, when a shot from Carlos Fierro looked headed for the bottom corner of the goal. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei was up to the task, however, laying out to make the save.

“The team is here to fight. We have to carry this team as high as we can. We are obviously aiming for playoffs; we are either in or out. The team, day after day, game after game, we know what we want and are getting closer to that. We are aiming for a trophy, but first our focus is playoffs. Tonight, we competed against a first-place team; a team that once defeated us by a lot of goals, but I believe they played against a different team tonight. We are a team that will fight, and it won’t be easy to knock us out,” said Fierro.

Both teams had a late chance, with the Quakes nearly striking again off an 80th-minute shot from Judson that was also saved by Frei. Seattle nearly struck back on the other end just a minute later, but Jordan Morris saw his dangerous cross intended for Bruin go out for a goal kick after springing free on the left side.

“It was a positive performance for us,” said left back Tommy Thompson after the game with four match remaining for the Quakes. “Any time we’re at home, we want to win. We fought hard, we could’ve won it there at the end. But I think it’s a good step forward for us against a great team and we got to keep this momentum going.”

The Quakes’ defense recorded its third shutout in the last four matches and held the league’s second highest scoring offense to just four shots, a season low.

Marcinkowski finished the evening with only one save for his second consecutive shutout and third on the season. Frie also made one save in his shutout performance.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had six corner kicks. Seatle had two.

Judson was named Man of the Match.

Wondo started in his 300th match for San Jose becoming the third player in MLS history to reach the milestone for a single club (Nick Rimando – RSL, Kyle Beckerman – RSL). He is the only player to accomplish the feat with his original MLS club.

The Quakes held Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris without a single shot for just the second time in his 14 starts this season.

Seattle leads the overall series 12-10-8.

UP NEXT: The Earthquakes travel to Portland, Oregon where they will play the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday 10/24 at 7:00pm at Providence Park.

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Earthquakes look for their fourth win in five games Sunday against Seattle

The San Jose Earthquakes converge during their game against the Los Angeles Galaxy Wed Oct 14th, 2020. The Quakes say after going winless in nine straight games things are getting better after winning three of their last four games (photo from USA Today)

On the Earthquakes podcast with Marko:

#1 How big was it for the Quakes after coming off a 3-0 shutout against the Portland Timbers to throw a shutout themselves with a huge 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday?

#2 Nick Lima played a key role in the Wednesday contest scoring the first goal and the last goal of the evening.

#3 The Quakes have defeated any team named LA in their last three contest with LAFC and twice with the Galaxy.

#4 The Quakes have 23 points putting them tied with the Minnesota United for sixth place in the Western Conference.

#5 The Quakes next task is the Seattle Sounders this Sunday at 7:30pm at Earthquakes Stadium talk about the Quakes chances to pick up a fourth win in five games?

Marko does the Earthquakes podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Earthquakes devour Galaxy 4-0 in a shutout win at the Classico

by Marko Ukalovic

LOS ANGELES, Calif.- Nick Lima could not have picked a better time to score his first multi-goal game of his carrer.

The San Jose defenseman led the offensive attack by scoring the first and last goal for the Earthquakes in a 4-0 shutout route of the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday evening in the fourth installment of the California Classico at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The win for San Jose gives them 23 points, tied for sixth place in the Western Confernce with Minnesota United. LA suffered their six straight loss and currently reside in the basement of the West. The Quakes are 6-2-2 in their last 10 matches against the Galaxy.

San Jose (6-7-5) dominated the match from start to finish in just their second road win of the season. They controlled the possession by a two-thirds margin over their SoCal rival.

The Quakes hard work payed off in the 44th minute when Carlos Fierro found Andy Ríos on the left side of the box. Ríos then chipped it into the middle where Lima fired a shot past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann for his first goal of the season.

Klinsmann, the son of former US Men’s National Soccer team coach and World Cup champion Jurgen Klinsmann, made his MLS debut and first career start for Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

It was a debut to forget for the 23-year old native of Munich, Germany. His team played sloppy and at times lifeless out on the pitch with countless turnovers that resulted in San Jose counter attacks that kept Los Angeles (4-9-3) on its heels the whole match.

San Jose picked up in the second half where they left off in the first. In the 52nd minute, the Quakes doubled its lead when Fierro sent a perfect cross into the middle where Ríos sped past Nick DePuy and kicked in a one-timer past Klinsmann for his team leading fifth goal of the season.

“Carlos (Fierro) and I have a good relationship beyond the pitch,” said Ríos about the chemistry the duo have created with each other. “We got to know each other well even though I got to play a little more than he did last year due to his injuries. Regardless he’s doing really well now, he’s fit. We are both doing very well physically. We always want to combine with one another and having good movement on the field creates a good connection. He’s doing really well in having the ability to cross the ball accurately to players inside the box. He’s always looking for a teammate and doesn’t do it blindly. His game is noticeable now and is important to our game.”

The closest the Galaxy came to getting on the scoreboard was in the 58th minute when Cristian Pavón had a good look at the net but his shot was stopped by Quakes goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski.

San Jose continued to pour it on in the 76th minute. From midfield, Jackson Yueill sent in a long ball to a wide open Tommy Thompson down the middle. Thompson’s initial shot was knocked away by Klinsmann, but Thompson gathered his own rebound and from angle a geometry teacher would be proud of, slammed the ball into the far side of the net for his first goal of the season.

“I think we have repeated this type of performance many times in the past, except without the goals. Even when things were going badly, we always had this system of play. A few times we were able to achieve this offensive system. We are happy with today’s victory. However, we are not surprised that Nick [Lima] and Tommy [Thompson] scored tonight. 10 days ago, Paul Marie scored a goal and 15 days ago, Marco Lopez also scored a goal. It’s nice when we are able to finish the play but it’s not surprising because that’s always what we’re aiming for,” Almeyda said.

Lima then put the icing on the cake for the Quakes two minutes into stoppage time for his second goal of the contest. Cade Cowell, celebrating his 17th birthday on the evening, made a nice move around a Galaxy defender near the endline before chipping the ball back into the middle where Lima blasted the ball into the upper middle of the net where a defenseless Klinsmann could only watch and cringe.

“I think that the team is very confident, and we want to make a push,” said captain Chris Wondolowski about his team’s chances on making the playoffs with five matches remaining. “I think that making the playoffs is first and foremost. We want to do that. We want to do that any way, shape, or form. I think that we learned a lot from last year, and I’m hoping we learned a lot from our mistakes. We can’t rely and depend on the last day. We have to put everything against the wall. We have to be smart. We have to get points where we can. That being said, we want to host. We want to be in the top four. I think that’s our sights right now, where we want to be, and where we think we can be. We have a lot of work that we still need to do. I still think there’s a lot of points out there, but I think that’s a reasonable goal. I think that’s something we’re shooting for, but first and foremost, we’ve got to get into those playoffs. Once we do, we know we can make a run.”

Marcinkowski finished the match with three saves for his second shutout of the season. Klinsmann made a valiant effort with seven saves in the loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had five corner kicks. LA had four.

Lima was named the Man of the Match.

The Galaxy were shorthanded with Jonathan Dos Santos and Rolf Feltscher out due to international play. The Quakes were without Vako, Guram Kashia and Marcos Lopez for the same reason.

With Lima and Thompson each scoring their first goals of the season, 15 different players have now scored for San Jose in 2020, the third most in a single season in Quakes history despite having played just 18 games to date.

Cowell was credited with the assist on Lima’s second goal, marking the first assist of his MLS career.

Rios was also credited with an assist on Lima’s first goal, marking the first assist of his MLS career.

UP NEXT: The Quakes return home to host Western Conference leader Seattle Sounders on Sunday 10/18 at 7:30pm at Earthquakes Stadium.

Niezgoda’s two goals power Timbers to a 3-0 shutout win over Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes took another tough defeat at Providence Park going undefeated in 13 visits there against the Portland Timbers and Sun Oct 11, 2020 was no different in another loss to the Timbers (photo from the Portland Timbers) 

by Marko Ukalovic

PORTLAND, Ore.- Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored two goals in a six-minute span in the second half as the Portland Timbers dominated the San Jose Earthquakes in a 3-0 shutout victory during a rainy Sunday evening at Providence Park.

Portland has won five matches in a row to tie the Seattle Sounders for atop of the Western Conference with 30 points. The loss snapped San Jose’s three match winning streak. However the Quakes did not lose any ground in the standings as they stayed at the seventh spot with 20 points, one ahead of both Colorado and Houston, with six matches left to play.

The Earthquakes are winless in 13 trips to Providence Park (0-10-3) dating back to 2011.

Oswaldo Alanís made his return to the starting lineup at centerback for Quakes head coach Matias Almedya, after missing the past five games with a lower body injury. It was his first action since September 16th.

San Jose (5-7-5) held their own in the first 45 minutes getting quality scoring chances only to be thwarted away by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark when they put shots on goal.

Two of the Quakes best chances to get on the scoreboard in the first half came at the beginning and at the end. Chris Wondoloski’s header from a Cristian Espinoza cross in the sixth minute and Jackson Yueill’s point blank shot in the second minute of stoppage time were stoned away by Clark.

Portland (9-4-3) seized momentum and control of the match a minute into the second half. Diego Chará came streaking with the ball down the right sideline when his cross was headed in by Niezgoda into the upper right corner of the net for his first of two goals on the evening. His fourth goal of the season came at the 46th minute.

The Timbers continued to pressure the Quakes inside their zone led by Diego Valeri. The Argentinean midfielder hurried Tanner Beason into a turnover after a diving save by Quakes goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski. Beason’s clearing attempt went right to the foot of Niezgoda who fired the ball into an empty net for his fifth goal of the season. It was the first career multi-goal game for the 25 year-old striker from Poland.

San Jose had a golden opportunity to cut Portland’s lead in half in the 67th minute when Carlos Fierro was all alone after receiving the ball of the left side. Fierro was one-on-one with Clark when he punted the ball high and far over the net resulting in a goal kick for Portland.

The Quakes appeared to have scored in the 71st minute after a corner kick led to Beason kicking the ball in the net right on the goal line. However, VAR review determined he was offsides and the goal was erased off the board.

The MLS is Back Tournament champions sealed the game in the 86th minute when once again Chará creating the opportunity with a chip cross over two Quakes defenders that was headed in by Felipe Mora, normally a starter for head coach Giovanni Savarese, came in as a sub in the 61st minute, for his seventh goal the season. It was Chará’s second assist of the evening.

San Jose was left frustrated on what could have been had they been able to cash in on the earlier opportunities they had in the match.

This was also the first match where Almeyda only used one substitute during the match with Shea Salinas coming in for Tommy Thompson in the 65th minute.

Clark finished with seven saves for his fourth shutout of the season. Marcinkowski made five saves in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had seven corner kicks. Portland had three.

Florian Jungwirth was suspended for the match for yellow card accumulation.

San Jose were also without Vako, Guram Kashia and Marco Lopez as they were out playing internationally.

Each team were issued two yellow cards.

UP NEXT: The Earthquakes conclude their two-game road trip when the travel to Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy on Wednesday 10/14 at 7:30pm at Dignity Health Sports Park.




Earthquakes dominate in 3-0 shutout win over Whitecaps

The San Jose Earthquakes Paul Marie boots a goal for the Quakes in the second half against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Earthquakes Stadium on Wed Oct 7, 2020 (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- What a difference a week and a half makes. One minute you’re left rotting in the basement of the Western Conference, the next, you’re in a playoff spot.

The San Jose Earthquakes played one of its best matches from start to finish in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday evening at Earthquakes Stadium.

San Jose are on a season high three-game winning streak where they have jumped from dead last all the way up to 7th place in the Western Conference with 20 points. The top eight teams in the conference make the playoffs. A tough season for Vancouver continued with their fourth consecutive loss.

Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda only had to make one slight tinker to his starting lineup as Tommy Thompson started at left back in place for Marcos Lopez, who was out playing with the Peruvian national team.

Despite a scoreless 45 minutes, the first half featured plenty of scoring chances from both sides. Vancouver (5-11-0)’s Cristian Dájome sent a header over the cross bar in the eight minute and the Whitecaps leading scorer, Freddy Montero, sent in a shot that Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski saved to keep the Whitecaps off the board in the 20th minute.

“We really saw a competitive team. The restart of this season for each team was difficult. This season is unstable, just how we are living all around the world. It is difficult to train so little and play so often. Today, we had 20 players even. Many youngsters participated. I think standing up after the previous negative performances, there is conviction and special work that we’ve done. There is good communication and adequate interpretation. We were able to overcome that negative streak at the beginning of the season. However, we cannot deny that the season is difficult for everyone,” Almeyda said.

The only thing Vancouver dominated throughout the match was corner kicks. They had seven in the first half alone. Andy Rose’s header in the 26th minute, fought off by Marcinkowski, was the best chance the Whitecaps had to breaking the deadlock.

San Jose (5-6-5) midfielder Cristian Espinoza was involved in two of the Quakes best chances to get the Quakes on the board. He shot attempt in the sixth minute was stoned away by Whitecaps goalkeeper Evan Bush. Then in the 31st minute, Marcinkowski found Espinoza all alone on a long ball but Espinoza’s chip shot sailed over the net.

The Quakes kept its momentum rolling in the second half finally breaking through with the game’s opening goal in the 50th minute. Nick Lima found an open Espinoza inside the box. The 25 year old Argentinean performed a spin-o-rama around two Whitecaps defenders and fired a shot from 15 yards out past Bush to the far left corner of the net for his second goal of the season.

“The team was just trying to keep the momentum going,” said Marcinkowski when asked about his team’s three-game win streak. “Keep the quality we know we can play. I think we lost out identity a little bit ago. It’s nice to have it back. It’s nice to be playing good football.”

Frustrations seemed to get the better of Vancouver as in the 53rd minute, Rose received his second yellow card of the match, resulting in an automatic red card and ejection from the match.

With Vancouver down a man, San Jose took advantage of the situation in the 66th minute. Thompson found Carlos Fierro streaking down the left side of the pitch. Fierro centered the ball into the middle of the box where an open Andrés “Andy” Ríos one-timed the ball past Bush for his fourth goal of the season. Ríos has scored in back-to-back games for San Jose.

The Whitecaps began to lose their composure from there on out. Érik Godoy was issued a red card by referee Allen Chapman in the 75th minute for unsportsmanlike play against Jackson Yueill. They finished the match with only nine players on the pitch.

San Jose capped off its impressive night with its third goal with just under a minute left in the match. Thompson started a counter attack and found Paul Marie, who came in as a substitute in the 85th minute for Lima, and the 12th overall pick in the 2018 MLS draft lasered in a shot from 20 yards out beating Bush to the far left corner of the net for his first career MLS goal.

Marcinkowski finished the night with five saves for his first career shutout and third straight victory. Bush also finished with fives saved in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had four corner kicks. Vancouver had seven,

The Earthquakes announced earlier in the afternoon that the club has signed midfielder Jackson Yueill to a new multi-year contract.

Quakes defenseman Florian Jungwirth will be out with a one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. He was issued a yellow card in the fourth minute of stoppage time in the first half.

San Jose won the possession battle by a 66%-34% margin.

The Earthquakes are one of five teams in MLS to win each of their last three matches.

The Quakes now hold a 4-0-0 record in their last four meetings with Whitecaps FC, scoring at least three goals in each of them.

San Jose set a club record with five Homegrown Players appearing in a match for the first time (Cowell, Fuentes, Lima, Marcinkowski, Thompson). The Quakes also had each of their last three first-round SuperDraft picks appear in the match (Beason, Haji, Marie).

Espinoza has now tallied a goal or assist in three consecutive matches, totaling one goal and three assists in that span. It also marked his second game-winning goal of the season and second of his MLS career.

Fierro was credited with an assist on Rios’ goal. It marked his second assist of the season and second of his MLS career.

Thompson was credited with an assist on both Rios’ and Marie’s goals. It marked his third and fourth assists of the season, and eighth and ninth of his MLS career. His four assists this season tie his single-season career high (2017).

Eighteen-year-old Homegrown Gilbert Fuentes made his first appearance of the season and third of his MLS career, entering as a substitute in the 85th minute.

Midfielder Siad Haji made his first appearance of the season, entering as a substitute in the 88th minute.

UP NEXT: San Joe begins a two-game roadtrip as it travels out to Portland to take on the Timbers on Sunday 10/11 at 7:00pm at Providence Park.


San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic: After knocking off two LA teams Quakes look to win a third straight tonight vs. Vancouver

The San Jose Earthquakes Nick Lima (left) looks to get after the futbol as he and the Quakes edged the Los Angeles Galaxy at Earthquakes Stadium in San Jose Sat Oct 3, 2020 (photo from USA Today)

Marko on the SJ Earthquakes podcast:

#1 The Quakes handled two LA teams LAFC and the Galaxy back to back after going winless in nine games.

#2 Taking the Quakes last game against the Galaxy they got a one goal 2-1 win and a full effort by everybody in the match.

#3 Marko, talk about the scuffle the Quakes and the Galaxy had during the game in the 58th minute when Nick Lima of the Quakes and Joe Corona were both going for the ball on the sidelines and ending up on the ground with Corona slapping Lima on the back of the head.

#4 From your column after the game Saturday:The Quakes scored the equalizer at the 42nd minute when a cross from Nick Lima sailed over from right to left on to the foot of Marcos López. The 20-year old left back made one touch before blasting a left footed strike past Bingham into the upper right corner of the net for his first career MLS goal.

#5 The Earthquakes host the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight at Earthquakes Stadium a 7:30 pm kickoff how do you see this match as the Quakes look to win their third straight game.

Marko Ukalovic is your host on the San Jose Earthquakes podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Earthquakes late penalty kick seals 2-1 comeback win over Galaxy

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- Beat LA, Beat LA. That could be the new motto for the San Jose Earthquakes.

For the the second time in less than a week, the Quakes pulled off a dramatic come from behind victory over an MLS team from Los Angeles. This time it was the Los Angeles Galaxy’s turn to suffer the sting of defeat in a 2-1 loss on Saturday evening at Earthquakes Stadium in the third installment of the California Classico.

Andrés “Andy” Ríos cashed in a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to give the Quakes their first and only lead of the match. It was set up when Cristian Espinoza set in a cross over to Shea Salinas just inside the box. Rolf Feltscher tripped up Salinas on the ensuing play and referee Robert Sibiga awarded San Jose the eventual game winning shot. It was Ríos third goal of the season.

The win for San Jose has given them something they haven’t had during the regular season in 2020, a winning streak. For LA, they have lost four matches in a row and are currently on a five-match winless streak. San Jose has now climbed out of the basement of the Western Conference and sit only a point out of the 8th and final playoff spot with 17 points (Real Salt Lake has 18 points). The Galaxy are now dead last in the conference.

For the second match in a row, Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda stayed with the same starting lineup he had last Saturday against LAFC.

Also for the second time in a row, the Quakes conceded the first goal of the match early in the first half. It only took the Galaxy four minutes in to the first 45 minutes to get on the scoreboard.

Quakes killer, Cristian Pavón set up LA’s lone goal with a nice cross inside the box where Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez hit the right post with his shot attempt. The rebound squirted out to Sebastian Lletget, who one-timed the ball into an empty net for his sixth goal of the season. He has scored four of the last five Galaxy goals.

San Jose (4-6-5) had a great opportunity to even the game in 12th minute when Los Angeles conceded a penalty kick off a handball by Nicholas DePuy off a Chris Wondolowski pass attempt. After a video review the call stood on the pitch.

However, Wondo telegraphed his penalty kick attempt to the right that allowed Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham to make a diving one-handed save to deny the all-time career MLS goal scorer from getting number 164.

San Jose controlled played for the last 20 minutes of the first half. Headers from Wondo in the 26th minute and Florian Jungwith in the 32nd minute gave the Quakes momentum after the fast start by Los Angeles.

The Quakes scored the equalizer at the 42nd minute when a cross from Nick Lima sailed over from right to left on to the foot of Marcos López. The 20-year old left back made one touch before blasting a left footed strike past Bingham into the upper right corner of the net for his first career MLS goal.

“For me, it means a lot because I’ve wanted it for a long time. I find it in a good time professionally, I’m still growing as a player, but I’m glad for my goal and happy for the team. I thank God for the opportunity and also the team for giving it their all,” López said.

Things got chippy at the 58th minute when Lima and Joe Corona challenged for a ball near the sideline that resulted in Corona slapping Lima in the back of the head when both players were down on the ground. Emotions flared as Jackson Yueill confronted Corona by pushing him. Both Yueill and Corona received yellow cards for their actions.

“I wouldn’t count it to one moment exactly,” said Lima regarding the team’s first winning steak of the season. “I count to a couple days leading up to the game and not playing the role of the victim. We went down to LAFC knowing that it was going to be a tough game, but we went and played freely. We emphasized that, and we emphasized work rates, just kind of the simple things that you can control. We made that front and center, and that we have a goal. At the time we had to solidify something that we’re all achieving. I think getting into a playoff spot is what that is right now, and we go out there each game with that goal in the back of our minds. We’re trying to get that.”

San Jose’s backline did an impeccable job at keeping Los Angeles’ (4-7-3) big three of Pavón, Chicharito and Jonathan dos Santos off the scoresheet. Pavón was left frustrated on the final play of the match when his free kick from 20 yards out sailed high and wide of the net.

“Tonight, we felt joy. The players in these last two games have given a whole lot. They are believing more in themselves, and luckily after a long time we were able to train for one week straight. I think today we faced a very difficult opponent, the previous game as well, and we were able to be competitive and get the victory,” Almeyda said.

Quakes goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski didn’t record a save in his second straight victory. Bingham made four saves in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose three corner kicks. Los Angeles had four.

Yony González made his Galaxy debut. The 26 year old from Colombia came in as a substitute in the 72nd minute for Lletget.

Quakes forward Danny Hoesen underwent surgery to repair oblique and adductor muscle tears on Friday. The surgery, performed by Dr. William Brown, is expected to sideline the forward for the remainder of the 2020 regular season.

Hoesen, 29, has made 104 appearances (64 starts) for San Jose since joining the club in 2017, tallying 23 goals and 12 assists. Hoesen was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 and his 23 goals rank seventh all-time in Earthquakes history.

San Jose is now 5-2-2 against the Galaxy in its last nine matches. LA leads the overall series 32-25-16.

The Earthquakes are one of four teams in MLS, and one of just two teams in the Western Conference, to win each of their last two matches.

The Quakes held LA to just one shot on target.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday 10/7 at 7:30pm at Earthquakes Stadium.

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic: The win against LAFC had to be one for the ages for Quakes

The San Jose Earthquakes Jackson Yueill center has the biggest smile of the game as the Quakes shocked the soccer world defying the odds to defeat one of the MLS’ toughest teams LAFC in Los Angeles on Sun Sep 27, 2020 (photo from mlssoccer.com)

On the Earthquakes podcast:

#1 The San Jose Earthquakes sure stopped the bleeding with a big win over LAFC on Sunday night this after the Quakes had gone winless after nine games.

#2 It’s a miracle win of sorts during the winless drought it looked like the Quakes were not going to win a game and playing in LA against LAFC looked like long odds being one of the toughest teams in the MLS.

#3 San Jose scored two goals in the final 13 minutes, including the game winner scored by Jackson Yueill in the final minute of stoppage time.

#4 The dramatic win by San Jose is the first one over LAFC since a second Los Angeles club came into the MLS as an expansion team back in 2018.

#5 Can the Quakes be up for the next challenge as they take on the LA Galaxy at Avaya Stadium in San Jose next Sat Oct 3rd.

Marko Ukalovic covers Earthquakes soccer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com