Ebobisse’s late goal heroics earn the Earthquakes a point in 3-3 draw with Austin FC

San Jose Earthquakes Jackson Yueill battles on the ground with Austin FC’s Danaiel Pereira during their match at Q2 Stadium on Saturday AUG 6, 2022. (CWEB.com)

by Marko Ukalovic

There’s something about Austin and comebacks.

Jeremy Ebobisse scored the equalizing goal in the 88th minute as the San Jose Earthquakes escaped the Lone Star state with a 3-3 draw against Austin FC on Saturday evening at Q2 Stadium.

San Jose snapped a three-match losing streak with the first point in its last four matches. Austin FC has points in eight of its last nine matches dating back to June. The Quakes remained undefeated against Austin FC (2-0-3)

The late match heroics came when Cristian Espinoza sent in a cross from the right wing into the center of the box. No one from Austin FC marked Ebobisee who headed the ball past goalkeeper Brad Stuver for his team leading 13th goal of the season. He now ranks tied for third in goals in MLS this season.

‘Quakes goalkeeper Matt Bersano made his first career MLS start in place of JT Marcinkowski, who was out with concussion like symptoms.

There were plenty of fireworks in the first half as both teams combined for four goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Austin FC (13-6-5-45 points) drew first blood in the first blood in the sixth minute off a set piece. Diego Fagúndez centered his corner kick into the box where unmarked Julio Cascante headed the ball past Bersano for his second goal of the season.

San Jose (5-10-9-24 points) answered back two minutes later. Paul Marie sent in a ball to Benji Kikanovic whose one touch off his foot knuckleballed past Stuver into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season.

The Earthquakes gained their only lead in the 20th minute. After Espinoza’s corner kick was punched out by Stuver into the middle of the pitch, Marie gathered the ball, made one touch with the ball before blasting a shit from 30 yards out into the upper left corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

Austin stormed back in the 26th minute with the first of Sebastián Driussi’s two goal on the evening. Ethan Finlay caught the ‘Quakes back on their heels when he centered a pass over to a wide open Driussi who buried the ball in for his 15th goal of the season.

Druissi wans’t done as he gave Austin FC the lead back in the 44th minute. Finlay centered a ball into the box that knocked away by a sliding Judson. Driussi kept the ball alive before tapping into an empty net for his team leading 16th goal of the season.

Bersano finished the match with three saves on six shots to earn his first point. Stuver made two saves on five shots on target.

GAME NOTES: Both teams finished the match with five corner kicks.

Espinoza had his ninth assist of the season and 39th assist of his MLS career. He has now assisted four of Ebobisse’s 13 goals this season and is one assist away from tying Chris Wondolowski for fourth-most in assists in club history.

San Jose acquired two players at the transfer deadline. The club announced today the acquisition of center back Rodrigues on a 12-month loan with option to buy or extend through the end of 2023 from Brazilian side Grêmio. Rodrigues will occupy an international spot on the Quakes’ roster. Also, on Friday they signed veteran LaLiga fullback and Equatorial Guinea international Carlos Akapo. The deal for the 29-year-old – who last featured for Cádiz CF in the Spanish top flight – runs through the 2023 season, with a club option for 2024.

UP NEXT: San Jose stays in Texas when they visit FC Dallas on Saturday 8/13 at 6:00pm at Toyota Stadium

Inter Miami upend Earthquakes in 1-0 shutout win

San Jose Earthquakes fullback Tanner Beason jumps up to win a challenge over Inter Miami’s Ariel Lassiter at Pay Pal Park on Wednesday AUG 3, 2022. (Dario Cruz-Tectonic Takes)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming more and more obscured.

The light being the playoffs hopes for the San Jose Earthquakes as they fell to Inter Miami FC 1-0 on Wednesday night at Pay Pal Park. It was the first meeting between to the two clubs.

San Jose has lost three of its past four matches and are currently nine points out of the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 11 matches left in the regular season. Inter Miami have points in three of its last four matches and are tied with Charlotte FC for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

It was a night to forget on the defensive front for San Jose (5-10-8-23 points) as they gave up numerous counter attacks to the visiting team which resulted in numerous scoring chances. The Earthquakes were fortunate in that Inter Miami only cashed in on one of them.

Inter Miami (8-10-5-29 points) broke through with the match’s lone goal in the 12th minute. Robert Taylor’s cross into the box was headed away by ‘Quakes rookie back Oskar Aegren but landed on the foot of Jean Mota and he fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net from just beyond the D for his first career MLS goal.

While the Earthquakes played flat in first 45 minutes, their energy picked in the second half. However, their aggressive play trying to score the equalizer led to easy counter attacks from Inter Miami.

“The second was a little bit different but the first half we started with low energy, and it was something that we were trying to address at halftime. In the second half we started a bit more aggressive, we recovered balls, we were able to do transitions and be a little bit more dangerous. Obviously when they are winning, they dropped back their lines and to get in was difficult, even if we had some good opportunities,” ‘Quakes interim head coach Alex Covelo said.

San Jose were without starting goalkeeper JT Marcikowski to start the second half as he was evaluated for a concussion after a collision that happened earlier on in the first half.

Matt Bersano made his MSL debut to replace Marcinkowski in net. Bersano did a tremendous job of keeping the Inter Miami from expanding their lead. Bersano came out aggressive on the many threats Inter Miami had inside the box.

“Yeah, I don’t really think there’s a perfect way to make the first appearance,” said Bersano. “So obviously I’m thankful to get out there and get some minutes. I think it was a bunch of years in the making. But to absorb the way we did and keep pressing and get so close, it’s definitely a bittersweet feeling. I’m so thankful for finally getting some MLS minutes, but above all else, I want to win, we want to win these games, and it’s definitely a sour taste in the mouth at the end of the day.”

The best save of the night came in the 51st minute when a chance by Ariel Lassiter at an open net was headed away by Aegren at the goal line.

Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender finished t mawith fives saves on six shots on target to earn a clean sheet. Marcinkowski and Bersano combined for

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with 13 corners kicks. Inter Miami had seven.

The Earthquakes are now 5-5-5 in MLS play under interim head coach Alex Covelo.

Seventeen-year-old Homegrown midfielder Niko Tsakiris made his first MLS appearance since April 2.

Rookie defender Oskar Ågren made his second career start.

UP NEXT: San Jose travels to the Lone Star state to take on Austin FC on Saturday 8/6 at 6:00pm at Q2 Stadium.

Savarino’s last-minute goal in extra time saves Real Salt Lake in 2-2 draw with Earthquakes

Real Salt Lake’s Maikel Chang battles with San Jose Earthquake’s Jamiro Monteiro at Pay Pal Park on Saturday JUL 30, 2022. (MLS)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE— It was deja vu all over again for the San Jose Earthquakes.

For the second consecutive game, San Jose failed to hold on to a lead in the second half as Jefferson Savarino scored the equalizer in the last minute of stoppage time as Real Salt Lake earned a point in a 2-2 draw on Saturday evening at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose has not won in three consecutive matches. Real Salt Lake have points in two of its past three matches.

Real Salt Lake (9-7-7) escaped with a point in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Justin Meram crossed the ball over to the right side and Savarino one-touched the ball before blasting a shot through the hands of ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski for his team leading fifth goal of the season.

“Right now, all of us are very frustrated and sad because they scored on the last play,” said interim ‘Quakes head coach Alex Covelo. “Those are three points that would’ve helped us. We have to recover and recover mentally; soccer provides you with opportunities. We play Wednesday against Inter Miami CF which is an important game, and we have to stand up and fight again with the mentality to win the game because we have done it before, and we can do it.”

San Jose (5-9-8) drew first blood early in the first half. A hand ball inside the box by Justen Glad resulted in a penalty kick for the ‘Quakes in the 10th minute. Two minutes later, Cristian Espinoza had RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath head right before depositing the ball into the lower left corner for his sixth goal of the season.

RSL came back in the 21st minute. Andrew Body dribbled between two ‘Quakes defenders before lofting the ball over to Jasper Löffelsend who chipped the ball over the head of Marcinkowski into the right corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

The Earthquakes regained the lead in the 62nd minute. Espinoza intercepted a telegraphed pass from MacMath from 30 yards and found Jerermy Ebobisee unmarked inside the box. Ebobisse slid the ball past a diving MacMath for his team leading 12th goal of the season.

Ebobisse ranks tied for fourth in MLS with 12 goals this season and he has now set a new single-season career-high.

“Clearly, we need to be a little bit more intelligent when we are winning and play with that nervousness from the other team especially when playing at home which is what all teams do in the league when they have a lead,” Espinoza said.

Marcinkowski finished the match with three saves on six shots on target. MacMath made two saves on four shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with five corner kicks. Real Salt Lake had two.

San Jose is now 9-16-5 all-time vs. Real Salt Lake, including a 7-5-4 record at home.

San Jose is one of just nine teams in MLS with two or fewer home losses this season (4-2-5).

Espinoza is one of three players in MLS with 6+ goals and 8+ assists this season (Luciano Acosta – CIN, Carlos Vela – LAFC).

Defender Tanner Beason made his 50th MLS appearance, starting and playing 90 minutes. Beason was selected by San Jose in the first round (12th overall) of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

The match was also a Women’s Soccer Celebration. It featured a pre-match women’s leadership panel, a women’s resource fair, a ceremonial first goal by U.S. Women’s National Team legends Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner, and a halftime recognition of local collegiate women’s soccer teams.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts Inter Miami on Wednesday 8/3 at 7:00pm at Pay Pal Park.

Timbers upend Earthquakes 2-1 with second half comeback

Portland Timbers’ Dairon Asprilla (#27) celebrates his game winning goal with a somersault during a match against the San Jose Earthquakes in Providence Park on Saturday JUL 23, 2022. (Portland Timbers)

by Marko Ukalovic

PORTLAND, Ore. —The Portland Timbers scored two goals in the second half to overcome a one-goal halftime deficit to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday evening at Providence Park.

San Jose has lost two in a row and sit in 13th place in the Western Conference with just 22 points. Portland moved up to seventh place with the three points and are unbeaten in their last seven matches.

Portland (7-6-9-30 points) scored the game winning goal in the 71st minute when Santiago Moreno sent a cross inside the box to an unmarked Dairon Asprilla who headed the ball past the outreach of ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski for his fifth goal of the season.

San Jose (5-9-7-22 points) drew first blood just before halftime. In the 42nd minute, off of a free kick, Cristian Espinoza received a pass inside the box from Jackson Yueill. Espinoza’s shot was initially saved by Timber’s goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic. However, Larrys Mabiala clearing attempt went over to Benji Kikanović who tapped home the ball into an empty net for his third goal of the season.

Kikanović has scored or assisted in four of the team’s five matches thus far during the month of July.

“We can score but sometimes defensively I don’t know if we don’t concentrate enough, I couldn’t tell you what it is but it’s on every single one of us. We need to tighten up everywhere really, not just the back. It sucks for JT [Marcinkowski] because he’s making saves doing what he can, we’re all trying to do what we can, but we’re giving up goals. We just need to come together and figure it out,” Kikanovic said.

The Timbers took control of the second half not long after it began, controlling the tempo of play.

Portland scored the equalizer in the 53rd minute. Diego Chara connected on a nice give and go with Eryk Willamson. Chara’s shot from just outside the box deflected off of Jaroslaw Niezgoda and into the back of the net for the Polish striker’s team leading eighth goal of the season.

“We had a very good first half,” said ‘Quakes interim head coach Alex Covelo. “We had our chances to score here which is not easy. At halftime we were talking about that point, a critical point where the opponent is trying to push and pass that moment, and we needed to be ready to hold that part and control the game. They were going to press more and find more balls in behind. When we were going through that moment, they scored off a rebound and then we started to suffer a little bit.”

San Jose came within inches of scoring their own equalizer in the 89th minute. Paul Marie set up Espinoza on the right side just outside the box. Espinoza’s shot bounced off the left post after Ivacic got a piece of the shot as he extended his hand out spoiling the Earthquakes chance.

Ivacic finished the match stopping six of the seven shots on target to earn the victory. Marcinkowski made three saves on five shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with nine corner kicks. Portland had three.

San Jose is now 9-17-4 all-time vs. the Portland Timbers, including a 0-12-4 record on the road.

The Earthquakes are now 5-5-4 in MLS play under interim head coach Alex Covelo.

The Quakes led at halftime of a road match against the Timbers for just the third time in 16 visits to Portland.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts Real Salt Lake on Saturday 7/30 at 7:00pm at Pay Pal Park.

Earthquakes and RC Celta de Vigo battle to 1-1 draw in a international friendly

San Jose Earthquakes fullback Marcos Lopez battle for the ball with RC Celta de Vigo’s Hugo Mallo at Pay Pal Park on Wednesday JUL 20, 2022. (RC Celta de Vigo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE— The San Jose Earthquakes came back down from a one-goal deficit late in the first half as the settled for a 1-1 draw with LaLiga’s RC Celta de Vigo in an International friendly on Wednesday evening at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose featured a lineup of players that consisted of the main team’s bench players and a few from MLS Is Next Quakes II team.

Interim Head coach Alex Covelo was creative with his lineup that featured a 5-2-1-2 formation

RC Celta de Vigo, who finished last season in 11th place of the LaLiga, came in with their full lineup consisting of international stars Iago Aspas and Renato Tapia. They featured a 4-2-2-2 formation.

San Jose had a chance in the 36th minute to break the ice from Marco Lopez, but his shot from 12 yards out was saved by RC Celta goalkeeper Ivan Villar.

RC Celta earned a penalty kick in the 39th minute when Jan Gregus fouled Miguel Baeza inside the box.

Aspas cashed in the penalty a minute later as his shot beat ‘Quakes goalkeeper Matt Bersano to the left side to draw first blood for RC Celta.

The ‘Quakes scored the equalizer off a set piece in the 44th minute. Jan Gregus centered the ball off of a corner kick into the box with a charging Marcos Lopez left unmarked and headed the ball into the back of the net.

The best scoring chance for either team in the second half came in the 59th minute for RC Celta. The Spanish team had a point blank shot off a centering pass that had Bersano out of position. Casey Walls came back and knocked the ball away before it crossed the goal line.

Covelo inserted some of his regular starters late in the second half such as Cristian Espinoza, Benji Kikanovic and Judson. However, neither were able to able help give San Jose the winning goal in the end.

US Men’s National Team member Luca De La Torre made his debut for RC Celta as a substitute late in the second half. De La Torre signed with the Spanish club back on July 8th from Heracles in a deal worth around $2 million.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns to MLS action on Saturday 7/23 when they play the Portland Timbers at 7:30pm at Providence Park.

Celta de Vigo 4-2-2-2 formation

Dynamo scores two goal in five-minute span for a 2-1 comeback win over Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes couldn’t hold the lead against the Houston Dynamo at Pay Pal Park in San Jose in MLS action on Sun Jul 17, 2022 (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — In a battle of playoff hopefuls, the Houston Dynamo scored two goals in the second half to complete a 2-1 comeback victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose had its three-match unbeaten streak snapped. Houston, with the win, have points in two of its last three matches.

Possession was even in the first half as both teams weren’t able to generate many scoring chances.

San Jose (5-8-7-22 points) had two shots on target in the opening 45 minutes. In the 13th minute, Benji Kikanovic set up Cristian Espinoza for a shot, but his attempt was grabbed by Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark.

Then late in the half in the 41st minute, Clark came up big when he knocked a rocket of a shot by Paul Marie from 20 yards out over the net for a corner kick.

Houston (7-10-4-25 points) did not generate a shot on target against Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski in the first half.

San Jose drew first blood in the 53rd minute. Off a set piece, Tommy Thompson’s header hit off the top of the crossbar and ‘Quakes captain Jackson Yueill cleaned up the rebound with a right footed shot past Clark for his fourth goal of the season.

Houston took advantage of Marie’s turnover inside San Jose’s zone in the 71st minute. Fafà Picault picked the ball from Marie, then centered a pass over to Sebastián Ferreira who kicked in a right-footed shot for his co-team leading seventh goal of the season.

“I think the mistake [on the first goal] was an individual mistake, and on the second goal we had to keep the ball out when there wasn’t a clear moment to build up, and that’s it. I don’t think it was because we were building up in the back that Houston had those opportunities. I think we committed individual mistakes and that’s why it’s a very simple analysis today,” interim head coach Alex Covelo said.

The save of the match belonged to fullback Tim Parker. In the 73rd minute, the Earthquakes thought they had regained the lead just over two minutes later when Jeremy Ebossise had the ball inside the box staring at an empty net. Ebobisse’s attempt was blocked away by Parker with a sliding save right along the goal line.

The Dynamo gained their first lead of the match in the 76th minute after the ‘Quakes failed to clear the ball out of their own zone. Darwin Quintero found Thorleifur Úlfarsson in the center of the box and he beat Marcinkowski with a left-footed shot to the far corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season.

San Jose had one final chance to score the equalizer on the match’s final play off of a corner kick. However, Nathan’s header attempt sailed wide left of the net.

“I just forget this game,” said Jamiro Monteiro. “It already happened. We lost. Now we’re onto next week. We still have 14 games. Tomorrow is a new day. We have a new week, new chances. Every week is a new chance for us.”

Clark finished the match with four saves on five shots to earn the victory. Marcinkowski made two saves on four shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with eight corner kicks. Houston had seven.

The ‘Quakes were without fullback Marcos Lopez who was suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.

San Jose is 9-16-4 all time against Houston.

San Jose had its four-home match (W2 D2) unbeaten streak against Houston that dated back to 2017. Their four-match run was San Jose’s longest home unbeaten run against the Dynamo in MLS play.

The Dynamo snapped its four-game losing streak on the road. They are 4-14 from home dating back to last August.

After his right-footed goal in San Jose’s 3-2 win over the Galaxy on Wednesday, Ebobisse has now scored 10 goals with his right foot in MLS. Since 2019, Ebobisse is the only MLS player with double-digit goals with each of his right foot, his left foot and his head.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts a friendly against Spanish La Liga team RC Celta De Vigo on Wednesday 7/20 at Pay Pal Park at 7:15pm. They return to MLS action against the Portland Timbers on Saturday 7/23 at 7:30pm at Providence Park.

Earthquakes explode for a three goal first half, then hang on to beat Galaxy 3-2 in California Classico

The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate its 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the California Classico at Dignity Health Park on Wed July 13, 2022. (Reuters)

by Marko Ukalovic

CARSON, Calif. — Call it torture, call it whatever you want, the San Jose Earthquakes exorcised their demons on the road.

San Jose scored three goals in the first half for the first time this season and then held on by the skin of their teeth to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 and earned their first win on the road in the 94th installment of the California Classico on Wednesday evening at Dignity Health Park.

San Jose has beat Los Angeles in back-to-back Classicos in LA for the first time ever. They have points in four of their last five matches and sit five points out of seventh place, which the Galaxy presently occupy. Los Angeles has lost back-to-back matches and have conceded three goals in consecutive games.

San Jose (5-7-7-22 points) featured the return of midfielder Jamiro Monteiro back into the starting lineup for interim head coach Alex Covelo.

“It’s truly special (to win at the California Classico), I was talking to Chris Leitch before the game today that the last we were here all together was in 2007,” Covelo said.

Los Angeles (8-8-3-27 points) was without their leading goal scorer Chicharito (seven) and Marky Delgado due to injury.

The Earthquakes drew first blood early in the game when Julián Araujo tripped up Benji Kikanovic inside the box in the 12th minute drawing a penalty kick. Cristian Espinoza cashed in the PK a minute later when he beat Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond with a right footed shot into the lower right corner for his fifth goal of the season.

San Jose doubled its lead a minute later. Taking advantage of a bad back pass by Los Angeles in their own zone, Monteiro found Jeremy Ebobisse on the left wing. The native of Paris, France blasted a right footed shot to the same lower right corner for his team leading 11th goal of the season in the 14th minute.

Ebobisse is tied for second in the MLS with three other players with 11 goals.

The ‘Quakes scored their third unanswered goal of the half in the 40th minute. A nice give and go between Marcos Lopez and Kikanovic resulted in Lopez with a brilliant deke out on Bond and his left footed shot glided down the goal line inside the right post for his first goal of the season.

Los Angeles best scoring chance came in the first 45 minutes came at the 23rd minute mark. Samuel Grandsir’s point-blank shot from the left of the net was knocked away by ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

The Galaxy opened the second half by cutting into the ‘Quakes lead. Kévin Cabral set up Dejan Joveljic, who roofed a shot top shelf beyond the reach of Marcinkowski for his seventh goal of the season in the 48th minute.

“The numbers speak for themselves, we are still giving up too many goals. We need to work on that and clean that up,” said Covelo.

Los Angeles controlled the play in the second half as San Jose sat back and played a prevent style of play that almost cost them the three points.

Joveljic made for an intense finish when he scored his second goal of the match late in the second half. Douglas Costa found Joveljic just outside the box. Joveljic faked out two different ‘Quake defenders before depositing the ball into the upper left corner of the net for his brace in the 88th minute.

Joveljic, who took over the team lead with his eighth goal of the season, has scored seven goals in his last six matches after only scoring three in his first 25.

Marcinkowski finished the match stopping eight of the 10 shots he faced, as he was the best player for San Jose in the second half, to earn his fifth win of the season. Bond made one save on four shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with eight corner kicks. Los Angeles had 11.

Los Angeles has scored 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of a match this season. They are second in MLS in that category.

San Jose has won five of its last eight visits to the Galaxy in MLS play (5-3-0) after winning only five of its first 30 regular season visits. The Earthquakes won, 2-1, at Dignity Health Sports Park in their last visit last August.

It was the sixth time this season LA has conceded three goals in a match, losing all six. The Galaxy have a record of 8-2-3 in the 13 matches in which they’ve held opponents under three goals.

With his 11th goal of the season, Ebobisse now has eight goals in eight career MLS starts against Los Angeles. He’s failed to score only once in his eight MLS starts against LA.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday 7/17 at 6:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

Frantic finish by Earthquakes leads to 2-2 draw with Toronto FC

San Jose Earthquakes defender Marcos Lopez (27) battles for the ball with Toronto FC forward Deandre Kerr during the first half at BMO Field on Saturday Jul 9, 2022. (Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports)

by Marko Ukalovic

TORONTO — Jack Skahan was at the right place at the right time to rescue the San Jose Earthquakes off of life support.

Skahan, who came off the bench in the 83rd minute as a sub for Jan Gregus, scored the equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time to earn a point for San Jose in a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field.

San Jose is unbeaten in three of its last four matches and continued its winless streak on the road this season (0-6-3). Toronto FC earned a point in four of its last 12 matches.

Seemingly left for dead at the start of stoppage time, a clearing attempt by
Ifunanyachi Achara hit off ‘Quakes captain Jackson Yueill that sprung Skahan down the right wing. Skahan rifled a shot into the lower left corner past Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg for his first goal of the season to allow San Jose to escape with a point north of the border.

‘Quakes head coach Alex Covelo needed to make one change to the starting 11 with midfielder Jamiro Monteiro was away on the birth of his child. Judson started in Monteiro’s place.

San Jose (4-7-8) drew first blood in the 26th minute off of a turnover. Benji Kikanovic centered a ball into the box where Jeremy Ebobisse got behind the defense and beat Westberg with a right footed shot to the left corner of the net for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

Ebobisee, who tied for third in the MLS goals scored, snapped a three-match goal less draught.

Toronto FC (5-10-5) had a golden scoring chance to even the game in the 44th minute. Deandre Kerr’s attempt from 10 yard out was blocked away by ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. The rebound by Jonathan Osario was knocked out of bounds by a diving Marcos Lopez.

On the ensuing the corner kick, Kerr’s header hit the crossbar and went over the net.

Toronto FC controlled the play for most of the second half and broke through twice in a four-minute span.

In the 71st minute, Kerr received the ball from Osario just past midfield. San Jose’s defense allowed Kerr to dribble all the way up to the box before he beat Marcinkowski with a left footed shot for his third goal of the season.

Then four minutes later in the 75th minute, Kerr returned the favor as his centering pass hit off of Judson and onto the foot of Osario, who was all alone versus Marcinkowski, and he chipped the ball into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Marcinkowski finished the match with four saves on six shots on target to earn his eighth draw of the season. Westberg made one save on three shots for his fifth draw.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with three corner kicks. Toronto had seven.

San Jose is unbeaten in its last four meetings with Toronto (W1 D3). The Earthquakes are unbeaten in its last two matches against Toronto FC at BMO Field.

The ‘Quakes are one of three teams (Toronto, Colorado) without a road win in 2022 (D3 L6).

UP NEXT: San Jose concludes its two-game road trip in Los Angeles when they take on the Galaxy on Wednesday 7/13 at 7:00pm at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Lynx Destroy Aces 102-71 last place team beats first place team; Vegas’ fourth loss in six games

Guard Kelsey Plum of the Las Vegas Aces (10) show driving the ball down the floor against the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Sun Jul 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

Lynx Destroy Aces 102-71

By Barbara Mason

Sunday afternoon the Las Vegas Aces (15-6) took on the Minnesota Lynx (7-15) for a second time in as many days. The Lynx put on a display in front of their home crowd that was a stunner in a 102-71 win.

After losing to the Aces in Las Vegas Friday night the Lynx came into this game a different team. They outplayed the Aces at every turn. They had an incredible defensive game. They had 13 offensive rebounds to the Aces one. Minnesota couldn’t miss showcasing an offensive display.

The Lynx outscored the Aces 33-15 in the first quarter and they never looked back. The Aces did win the second quarter 20-16 but never got on the defensive track. Las Vegas never led once in his game.

The Lynx won the third quarter 29-20 and the final quarter 24-16 in total domination over the Aces. The final was 102-71.

Besides the offensive rebounds the defensive rebounds were notable. Minnesota had 52 to the Aces 26. The Lynx’s Aerial Powers had a career high 32 points and Vegas could not stop her. The Minnesota defense held A’Ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum taking away that threat. Las Vegas was rendered helpless unable to get into any rhythm.

This was a stunning defeat for the number one team in the Western Conference. Las Vegas will need to put this in their rearview mirror moving forward. They will be back on the court Wednesday night to take on the New York Liberty. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM PT.

Kikanovic’s first ever brace the difference in Quakes 2-1 over Fire

Cristian Espinoza (10) and Benji Kikanovic (28) celebrate Kikanovic’s first goal of the match at Pay Pal Park on Sun July 3rd, 2022. (Dario Cruz-Tectonic Takes)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — Benji Kikanovic rose up to the occasion for a struggling team.

Kikanovic, started at forward in place of Cade Cowell, who was out playing for the 20 and under US Men’s National Team, made the most of his start with two goals in the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Sunday evening at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose earned just its fourth win of the season and is unbeaten in two of its past three matches. Chicago have lost four of its past six matches.

Chicago (4-9-6) had two quality scoring chances in the first half but didn’t generate much offense otherwise. ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowskin came out aggressively to stop Federico Navarro’s attempt in the 23rd minute.

Then in the 25th minute after a nice give and go from Xherdan Shaqiri to Chris Mueller, Marcinkowski made a diving save on Mueller’s shot.

San Jose (4-7-7) controlled the play in the final 15 minutes of the first half. Jeremy Ebobisse’s had the best scoring chance in the 32nd minute when his shot from 12 yards out was saved by Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina.

“The guys read the game very well, finding Benji [Kikanović], Jeremy [Ebobisse], and Cristian [Espinoza] behind and understanding that Chicago was going to press a high line and we knew that we had to get a few passes in and get into that space,” ‘Quakes head coach Alex Covelo said.

The Earthquakes broke the seal in the 47th minute. Benji Kikanovic cleaned up a Cristian Espinoza shot that hit off the left post as he tapped the ball into an open net. It finished off a wild sequence where San Jose hit the post twice and had one shot saved by Slonina before Kikanovic scored his first goal of the season.

“I think they did a good job of finding me in pockets,” Kikanovic said regarding his two goals. “I knew I was going to have space out wide and kind of do my thing. The first goal I was at the right place at right time to just tap it in.”

San Jose nearly doubled its lead in the 67th minute when Espinoza sent a cross into the middle of the box, but Slonina made a point blank save on Ebobisee’s one-timer.

Kikanovic iced the game for San Jose in the 87th minute with his second goal of the match. Jamiro Monteiro found Kikanovic along the right wing. The San Jose native striker deked out Carlos Teran before kissing a left-footed shot just inside the left post.

It was the first brace in a ‘Quakes uniform for Kikanovic.

Brian Gutierrez scored his first goal of the season in the last minute of stoppage time, but it was too little too late for Chicago.

Marcinkowski finished the match with five saves on six shots to earn the win. Slonina made six saves on eight shots he faced in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with two corner kicks. Chicago had three.

San Jose is now 13-16-11 all-time vs. Chicago Fire FC, including a 10-6-5 record at home.

This was the first meeting between the Fire and Earthquakes since a 2-0 San Jose win during MLS is Back in 2020. The ‘Quakes have lost only one of their last six home matches against the Fire dating back to 2011, winning four times and drawing once in that time.

The Earthquakes are unbeaten in eight straight home matches (W4 D4) after a 3-1 loss to the Red Bulls on the opening day of the season. San Jose has had just one longer single-season home unbeaten run in the last six seasons, going 12 in a row without defeat at home in 2019 (W10 D2).

The Fire have lost seven of their last right away matches, including the last four in a row. Chicago has won only two of its last 38 away matches against Western Conference foes (D9 L27) dating back to 2014.

Four different Earthquakes players have recorded at least four assists this season, led by Cristian Espinoza’s seven. No other MLS team has more players with at least four assists in 2022 (CF Montréal – also 4).

UP NEXT: San Jose travels to north of the border to take on Toronto FC on Saturday 7/9 at 4:30pm at BMO Field.