Quakes fall into “Sea of Red” in 3-1 loss

photo from sjearthquakes.com

By Pearl Allison Lo

San Jose went into Atlanta Saturday, went down a man, Coach Matías Almeyda was ejected again and Captain Chris Wondolowski received a red card from the bench as another Bay Area team entered a “sea of red” and emerged with a loss.

The Quakes remain winless versus Atlanta United as their road game losing streak stretched to six as they faced the second place team in the Eastern Conference this time.  

San Jose’s Cristian Espinoza’s run which tied the game was sandwiched in between two yellow cards to him as well, putting the Quakes down a man in the 34th minute. 

With just a game in between free, Almeyda was forced to leave the game again late in the match.

Wondolowski received his penalty from the bench in 91st minute in between Atlanta goals for a foul and abusive language.

An added note to Espinoza’s run, it ended up being an own goal by keeper Brad Guzan, that came after fellow keeper Daniel Vega sent a rainbow from his side to Espinoza.

A different Bay Area team that was also involved with an own goal recently, happened in the hockey world versus red-clad fans in the stands too. The last goal of the San Jose Sharks game Wednesday was an own goal by the Sharks, which was credited to the Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau. 

Returning back to soccer, the game started with the Quakes going down early after Justin Meram scored in the fourth minute. The ball was helped by a deflection off defender Florian Jungwirth on the way into the net. 

Espinoza’s first card came in the 16th minute for interfering with the throw-in

The second yellow and subsequent red came after a tussle with Franco Escobar. 

Atlanta’s Emerson Hyndman had an opportune chance in the 46th minute, especially with a defensive breakdown, but missed to the left. 

Besides the obvious uphill battle, ended up being outshot 4-0 in the first half after four minutes of stoppage time. Atlanta had the slight possession edge 51.3% to 48.7%

It was quiet and even in the second half at first with Gonzalo Martínez having one attempt saved, the other missed, teammate Brandon Vázquez’s attempt saved and San Jose substitute Danny Hoesen’s attempt saved.

Then Atlanta took a hit in the second half when Josef Martínez (who did not have a shot in the game) was found on the sidelines twice and eventually pulled off on a stretcher because of presumably his knee. His MLS goal-scoring streak had been active since May 24 for 15 games. Martínez’s substitute Mohammed Adams took his place in the 79th minute. 

Martínez’s teammates then amped up their play. Leandro González, Vázquez and Julian Gressel had misses in the 79th through 81st minutes before Vega stepped up with saves versus Hyndman, Darlington Nagbe and Miles Robinson in the 82nd, 84th and 85th minutes.

It would be too much though as the Quakes’ chances dissolved when Hyndman scored a redemption goal in the 90th minute, Wondolowski got his red card for perhaps the first time in his 300th MLS start and Martínez made it 3-2 in the 92nd minute.

San Jose substitute Andrés Ríos made two more attempts, which were saved and blocked as did Gressel and Adams (both saved) before the final whistle was blown. 

Atlanta finished with 18 shots (Hyndman and Martínez four shots apiece) to the Quakes’ three and with 60.7% possession. 

Up Next: Despite key pieces missing now, San Jose will look to right the ship when they host the Philadelphia Union Wednesday at 8 pm for the first of a two-game homestand.  

Quakes score first, but end with 2-1 loss; SJ has dropped 5 of their last 7 games  

photo from newsday.com: Alexandru Mitrita #28 of New York City FC celebrates after scoring the second goal during the first half of their game against San Jose at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2019.

By Pearl Allison Lo

The San Jose Earthquakes remained winless versus New York City FC as they suffered their third straight 2-1 loss against them Saturday at Yankee Stadium. 

It was the top of the Eastern Conference’s seventh straight contest without a loss and they have held their opponents to one goal or less in that stretch.

Quakes coach Matías Almeyda was back on the sidelines with this team, but they continued on a five-game losing streak away from home. 

San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski broke the 0-0 tie as he struck with hits 158th goal in the 20th minute. It was his third shot out of five for the Quakes so far compared to one shot for NYCFC not on target up to that point. Magnus Eriksson received the ball on the touchline, passed to Vako and with narrow room and precision timing, Vako found Wondolowski in the goal box as Wondo extended his staggered stance past defender Alexander Callens

Off a corner, NYCFC’s Gary Mackay-Steven hit the crossbar in the 26th minute after his ball hit the Quakes’ Guram Kashia.  

New York City FC started building up their shots, none dangerous enough though until suddenly San Jose found themselves down in the 43rd minute

Keeper Daniel Vega saved a shot in the 39th minute and then another off his line in the 40th minute after Keaton Parks passed to Mackay-Steven. However, Vega caused a rebound which Tommy Thompson got a foot on before Parks blew the ball past Vega and Marcos López, who was helping in net. That deposit was Parks’ first in the MLS.

Three minutes later, with two defenders surrounding him and Vega off his line again, Alexandru Mitrita took the well-directed pass from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and made the 2-1 tally, as he slid on the grass like a turtle with a fist pump in celebration. It was Mitrita’s second goal in as many games and third in four games. 

NYCFC finished the first half with eight shots, five on target and the Quakes with only one more shot then when they scored their goal.

San Jose was not shy about going for the equalizer to start off the second half. 

Those included attempts in the 46th & 47th minutes (both saved by keeper Sean Johnson), 51st minute (did not have Wondo at the right spot to finish), 58th minute and two by Wondolowski in the 59th and 60th minutes. 

Wondo was also involved in some off-the-ball action as he raised his right elbow against Callens, but avoided serious trouble.  

In the 65th minute, the Quakes’ Judson saved a goal after the ball hit Vega and went past him. 

San Jose defender Florian Jungwirth tripped Mitrita at the top of the box in the 81st minute, but his kick went high.

There were eight minutes of stoppage time, but the Quakes were unable to level up the game.  

Up Next: Vako added three shots in the second half along with Wondo, who ended up with a game-high six. San Jose will look to pull out a win on this road trip when they conclude it Saturday at 12:30 pm versus Atlanta United FC.