Earthquakes fall to Sounders 1-0 as San Jose’s winless streak reaches 11

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — The Seattle Sounders (6-9-5) picked up an important three points to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, thanks to a birthday gift from one of their new forwards. Raul Riadiaz scored in his first MLS start to help the Sounders shutout the San Jose Earthquakes (2-12-6) 1-0 at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday night.

With the latest loss, San Jose is now on a season-long 11-game winless streak (13 overall if you count the U.S. Open Cup loss against Portland and the Manchester United match), which includes three consecutive shutouts. Seattle is currently on a five-game unbeaten streak.

The Sounders received the lone and game-winning goal in the 62nd minute when off a turnover at midfield, Cristian Roldan center a pass over to Rual Ruidiaz, who turned 28-years-old today, who gathered the ball and fired a shot past Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell into the lower left corner of the goal for the first MLS career goal of the Peruvian striker.

The first half possession of the ball was merely even with Seattle holding a slight edge of  51%-48% over San Jose. Both teams had scoring chances, but could not find the back of the net in the first 45 minutes. San Jose fired off seven shots (with two on target) while Seattle had five shots (with one on target).

Guram Kashia, making his MLS debut with the Quakes, fired off a header from a Nick Lima centering pass that was stopped by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 16th minute. He also had another header attempt just sail over the cross-bar in the 70th minute.

“He hadn’t played for a couple of months actually,” said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre regarding Kashia’s debut. “He gave quite a solid performance and was one of the best players on the Earthquakes this evening.”

Luis Felipe Fernandez, also making his MLS debut with the Quakes, was issued a yellow card from referee Kevin Stott 38th minute for a sliding tackle.

“I don’t understand why I got carded,” said Fernandez regarding the call. “We both slid for the ball, I got the yellow card and he didn’t.”

Best chance for the Quakes came in the 80th minute. Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski shot from the left corner of the goal six yards out that just sailed wide of the net after taking a nice pass from Quincy Amarikwa, who came in as a substitute in the 69th minute for Danny Hoesen.

“We have to be ruthless and lethal when we’re in that final third (of the pitch) and we’re nowhere near that,” said Wondolowski. “We have guys we let them turn in the midfield and run right through us. Poor turnovers, these mistakes are the difference (in the game).”

Stahre called it a slow game between both teams and believed it was more of a 0-0 game from his perspective.

“In general the game was with out energy, I think it was quite a slow game,” said Starhe. “Both teams possessed the ball in a good way but there was hardly any high pressing. There were very few good chances.”

GAME NOTES: Quakes defender Anibal Godoy was suspended for the match due to receiving his second yellow card last week against Montreal.

Will Bruin substituted for Ruidiaz in the 66th minute.  This was Ruidiaz’s second game back from playing on the Peruvian World Cup team. Not a bad gift to give oneself scoring a goal on his 28th birthday.

Wondolowski is currently the all-time leading scorer against Seattle with 11 goals.

San Jose is now 10-9-5 versus Seattle and 5-2-4 at home.

Attendance for the match was 16,478.

UP NEXT: The Quakes host Real Salt Lake on Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 pm PDT at Avaya Stadium.

Earthquakes come back to draw with NE Revolution 2-2

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic and Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Earthquakes (2-9-4) are becoming a second half team as of late. Danny Hoesen scored two goals to help San Jose to a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution (6-4-6) at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday evening. San Jose is now winless in their past six games.

The Quakes drew first blood in the 19th minute when Danny Hoesen was able to take possession of a ball off a deflection. He dribbled in from 20 yards out and fired a shot past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner into the left corner of the net. It was Hoesen’s team leading ninth goal of the season.

Diego Fagundez got the equalizer for the Revolution in the 31st minute off a free kick from 18 yards out. Fagundez, a Uruguayan midfielder, was able to bend his shot inside the left corner of the goal beating Quakes goalie Andrew Tarbell for his fifth goal of the season.

Vako had two scoring chances to give San Jose the lead two minutes apart. In the 35th minute, he received a pretty centering feed from Magnus Eriksson from 15 yards out only to have his shot hit the right post. Then, in the 37th minute, he made a nice move dribbling between two New England defenders, but Turner made a great save on his shot that was headed for the right corner.

The Revolution would take the lead on a nice counter attack that started with Kristian Nemeth finding Fagundez in the middle of the pitch who then sent a pass over to the left side to Cristian Penilla who raced in and rifled a shot past Tarbell in the upper right corner of the goal for his sixth goal of the season.

“Mental mistakes,” said Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski on his team’s defensive lapses. “We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. When we’re organized it’s hard to break us down defensively. When we don’t track runners, get too passive, we get punished and rightfully so.”

The Quakes would answer back right out of the gate in the second half when Nick Lima chased down a ball into the right corner and was able to cross the ball into the center of the box were Hoesen was in perfect position to one-time a header past Turner into the lower left corner of the net for his 10th goal of the season and second of the match in the 51st minute.

“When things are not going well, players (can) get selfish,” said Hoesen. “But we want to get out of this thing (winless streak), it doesn’t matter who scores or gets the assists we want to help each other and be happy together.”

The Quakes had a golden opportunity for the game winning goal in the third minute of stoppage time when Hoesen dribbled down the left side of the pitch just inside the defensive box, stopped and crossed the ball into the middle that was just beyond the reach of Jackson Yueill, who just came into the game a minute earlier as a substitution for Eriksson.

Teal Bunbury, whose four-game goal scoring streak came to an end, had a point-blank shot stopped in 59th minute by Tarbell.

Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre didn’t like how his team gave up what he coined “easy goals” to New England near the end of the first half but like the fight his team showed in the second half to come back to tie to the game.

“We came out in the second half like against LAFC,” said Stahre. “We created lots of chances. I think we were better than the opponent, but (the end result) was still a tie. A step in the right direction I think.”

GAME NOTES: Quakes defenseman Shea Salinas missed his second game due to an hamstring injury. Kevin Partida was suspended for the match after earning two yellow cards in the match against LAFC this past Saturday.

Revolution defenseman Antonio Milnar Delamea earned a yellow card in the 71st minute on a sliding tackle on Magnus Eriksson. Quakes defenseman also earn a yellow marker in the 35th minute for unsportsmanlike conduct.

San Jose had 10 corner kicks as opposed to New England’s 9.

Teal Bunbury’s four-game goal streak ended.

Fatai Alashe substituted in for Yefferson Quintana in the 61st minute as Quintana was kicked in the thigh during a sliding tackle attempt earlier in the second half.

New England is now unbeaten in their last five games and their streak is now at six games (3-0-3) against San Jose. This was the third consecutive draw in the last three meetings. San Jose is 10-6-5 at home and leads the overall season 20-14-8 against New England.

UP NEXT: The Quakes travel to Salt Lake City to take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday on June 23 at 7 pm PDT at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Earthquakes lose to LAFC 4-3 in heartbreaker

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic and Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE — In a season where the San Jose Earthquakes (2-9-3) have often been donkey kicked in the gut losing on late goals, it was LAFC’s turn to add their name to the list of heartbreaking losses. LAFC (7-4-3) scored two goals past the 90th minute for a 4-3 comeback victory on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.

The Quakes would draw first blood in the 11th minute when captain Chris Wondolowski, who would be involved in three Quakes’ goals, fed a ball over to forward Danny Hoesen along the right corner. Hoesen then crossed the ball right into the center of the box where Vako would one timed the ball past LAFC goalie Tyler Miller into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

Adama “Dio” Diomande would answer back for the expansion LAFC just four minutes later at the 15th minute. Quakes defenseman Kevin Partida made a bad clearing attempt with a header that went right over to Dio and he wasted no time heading the ball into the back of the net past Quakes goalie Andrew Tarbell for his second goal of the season.

LAFC kept pouring on the pressure as San Jose would be haunted once again by an ex-player. This time Steven Beitashour was the recipient off a ball played in that was deflected off Quakes defenseman Nick Lima that went right on to his foot and scored into an empty net on the far right corner in the 19th minute for his second goal on the season.

In the 39th minute, it looked like the Quakes would get the equalizer when Vako received a ball 25 yards out from goal. In one motion, he turned around and fired a shot on goal that Miller made a brilliant save knocking the ball over the goal to preserve the 2-1 lead heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Quakes gained the momentum back just seven minutes in when Wondolowski received a long ball from Florian Jungwirth just past midfield and dribbled down the left side of the pitch before stopping, putting a deke on LAFC midfielder Benny Feilhaber and chipped a perfect ball into the lower right corner for the equalizer in the 52nd minute for his third goal of the season.

Wondo wasn’t done scoring when Miller had a mental blunder and dribbled the ball past the defensive box instead of picking up the ball. Wondo was able to pickpocket the ball off of Miller’s foot and shot the ball into a wide empty net to give the Quakes a 3-2 lead in the 63rd minute. The gift from Miller was Wondo’s fourth goal of the season and his 138th career MLS goal. He is now just seven back of Landon Donovan, the all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history with 145.

“I love scoring goals more than many people here,” said Wondo. “But winning, nothing beats that. I will score zero goals all year if we win.”

Wondo would be forced to come out of the game at the 72nd minute due to a stomach illness that was bothering him throughout the game. He was replaced by Fatai Alashe.

“I was feeling a little under the weather and all of a sudden my lunch came up,” said Wondo. “Almost all over Walker Zimmerman’s shoes. Especially after the third time it came up, I decided it was better (to come out of the game).”

LAFC would not go gently into that good night. In the 90th minute they kept the pressure inside the Quakes zone. Beitashour crossed a ball in from 30 yards out over to a sliding Zimmerman where his initial shot was saved by Tarbell. However Dio was able to crash the net and tap in the equalizer.

LAFC would break the hearts at Avaya Stadium in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Latif Blessing took a ball just to the left of the goal. He crossed the ball back into the middle of the box where Joao Moutinho’s one-timer deflected off Quakes defenseman Jimmy Ockford and past Tarbell into the right corner of the net for the game-winner. It was Moutinho’s first goal of the season.

“This is the hardest defeat of my MLS career,” said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, who was obviously frustrated. “It was absolutely crazy (of an ending).”

Despite the Quakes winless in their past five games, Stahre said he was proud of the effort and execution on the offensive side of the ball his team displayed throughout the game.

“I’m really proud of the players commitment and energy,” said Stahre. “They really followed the game plan, especially in the second half.”

GAME NOTES: The Quakes were down a man in the final minute of stoppage play when Partida would earn his second yellow card of the match, resulting in a red card and automatic ejection. He will miss the next match.

Zimmerman and Moutinho earned yellow cards for LAFC.

This was the first ever match between the two clubs as LAFC is playing their inaugural season in the MLS.

The win snapped a four-game winless streak for LAFC. They now have 24 points and are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference.

The Quakes are in 11th place with only nine points on the season.

Quakes players Anibal Godoy and Harold Cummings missed the game as they are getting ready to play in the World Cup next week in Russia for their native Panama.

LAFC was also were missing four players due to international duty at the World Cup. Omar Gaber, Marco Urena, Carlos Vela, and Laurent Ciman are in Russia playing for their respective countries.

UP NEXT: The Quakes face off against the New England Revolution on Wednesday, June 13th at 7:15 pm PDT at Avaya Stadium.

Earthquakes lose to D.C. United 3-1

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Earthquakes welcomed D.C. United to Avaya Stadium Saturday night. San Jose looked forward to Retro Night while D.C. hoped to end their two-game losing skid.

Chris Wehan, a winger from Orange, California, made his MLS debut with the Quakes on this cool, windy evening in the South Bay. The Quakes appeared to be ready for the match, but they turned out to be unprepared. Well, at least in the first half, that is.

DC United grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 15th minute. Zoltan Stieber slipped behind the back line to get on the score sheet for the third straight game.

It wasn’t long before DC United doubled their lead. Darren Mattock scored a goal off a pass from Luciano Acosta to make it 2-0 at the 20th minute.

DC United capitalized off a Quakes’ turnover for a 3-0 lead at the 37th minute. Yamil Asad scored the third goal of the game in the midst of excess pressure.

After what appeared to be a countless number of missed shot attempts, San Jose cut its deficit to 3-1 at the 43rd minute. Danny Hoesen scored the Quakes’ first goal of the match.

Hoesen provided a necessary boost to help the Quakes avoid a shutout, but DC United proceeded to take a 3-1 lead to the locker room at the end of the first half.

Both teams returned to the field for the second half. Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski also entered the match, which excited most, if not all, fans in attendance.

Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell continued making noteworthy saves, including a flawless reaction save at the 57th minute, to fend off what could’ve been a fourth DC United goal.

The Quakes swapped Jackson Yueill in favor of Quincy Amarikwa, who made it clear that it was Quincy time.

Unfortunately, San Jose was unable to get past DC United as they kicked multiple saves that either ended up caught by the opposing goalkeeper David Ousted or just wide of the net.

The Quakes made their third and final substitution at the 82nd minute. Tommy Thompson took Vako’s spot on the field.

After a full 90 minutes plus three minutes of stoppage time, the score remained in the same and DC United defeated the Quakes 3-1.

Notes 
Quakes’ starting lineup
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D.C. United’s starting lineup
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Up Next
Quakes head to L.A. to take on the Galaxy next Friday, May 25th at 8:00 pm PST.

D.C. United also head to L.A., but to face the LAFC next Saturday, May 26th at 7:00 pm PST.

Oakland A’s breaking news: Wolff out – Fisher in as managing partner

wolff-fisher
Lew Wolff and John Fisher Photo: USA Today Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Major leadership transition announced

The Oakland Athletics announced on Thursday a major leadership change will be taking place within the organization. Managing partner Lew Wolff will become Chairman Emeritus and majority owner John Fisher will become the managing partner. This management/ownership change was approved by the MLB owners in Chicago today. Wolff will sell most of his shares of the team to the remaining owners with the exception of a small stake.

“It has been an honor serving as Managing Partner and I thank our fans, staff, and players for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great organization,” said Wolff. “John and I have talked in great length about the future of this club and I am ready to pass the reins to him.”

“I want to thank Lew for his leadership over the last 11 years,” said Fisher. “His initiative and love of the game of baseball brought my family to the A’s, and we would not be involved without him. Lew has given the organization all of his energy and experience for the last 11 years and I look forward to a new chapter in our working relationship and friendship. It is a privilege for me to steward the A’s at this important moment for the franchise.”

There will also be a new club president

A’s president Michael Crowley will also be stepping down from his position and to become a senior advisor to the ownership group. Crowley has been the club president since 1998.

Dave Kaval will replace Crowley as president of the Athletics. Kaval is currently the president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. The Earthquakes built the $100-million privately financed Avaya Stadium which opened in March of 2015.

Kaval also has a baseball background. He was the founder of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2003.

kaval_2016kickoff
Dave Kaval new president of the Oakland Athletics

What does this mean for the A’s

The first major change is the managing partner will be based in the Bay Area and not in Southern California where Wolff bases his business efforts. Fisher is San Francisco based and Bay Area connected. He is also 25-years younger than Wolff, so there may also be a higher energy level.

Since the A’s are in desperate need of a new stadium and that effort is still at square one, a new, younger ownership voice with Bay Area ties may be helpful in moving the project forward. Fisher is also involved in the financial world and may be able to attract local, private investment in a stadium project.

Kaval’s experience in seeing the Avaya Stadium project through to completion has to bring a fresh perspective to Athletics’ stadium push. With Kaval in the president’s office, there may well be some other changes particularly on the business side of the organization.

oakland-as-waterfront-ballpark
Jack London Square Water-front Stadium drawing

* some of the information used in this report was supplied by the Oakland Athletics 

 

Earthquakes Force Draw With A Late Score Against D.C

By Shawn Whelchel

SAN JOSE, California-The San Jose Earthquakes nearly avoided dropping their second consecutive game after returning home to Avaya Stadium on Saturday night, as some late game heroics saw the retro-clad home team escape with a 1-1 draw against D.C. United.

After 87 frustrating minutes that saw San Jose squander multiple looks at the net, the Quakes finally broke through their string of misfortunes when Adam Jahn made a sprinting strike off of a beautiful cross from Shea Shalinas to notch the Quakes one and only goal.

The goal would be all San Jose needed to avoid consecutive losses after a 3-1 downing in Los Angeles two weeks ago.And while the outcome isn’t ultimately what head coach Dominic Kinnear would have hoped for, it was a welcomed sight at the end of a trying effort.

“I though the effort tonight was great. Ties aren’t the same, they’re a little bit different where if we got scored on late, the feeling would have been sickening. But it does give you a lift when you score late and you can get something.”

The score came from an unlikely hero in Jahn, who played a game-low eight minutes. But Kinnear said that the substitution was intended to take advantage of his height to break the opposing defense.

“I thought with Adam we could get a little more territory…I think at that time it helped to have Adam’s height and his eagerness to get on the other side of crosses. Good for him.”

Despite being the aggressors early and often, the San Jose Earthquakes couldn’t find the back of the net in what turned out to be a frustrating first-half for the home team.

San Jose had multiple looks at the net, including tries from Tommy Thompson, Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa, but couldn’t cash in on the stumbling D.C. defense. But despite the aggressive pushes from the Quakes, it was United who struck first, as Patrick Nyarko took advantage of a momentary lapse in the San Jose’s defense to put the first goal on the board with a sprinter header past the outstretched hands of David Bingham at the 34′ minute mark.

San Jose would nearly add an equalizer just moments later off a beautiful feed from a Wondolowski header near the net, but Amarikwa would be caught jumping offsides to negate the goal. Nyarko’s goal energized the previous lackluster D.C squad, leading to another dangerous attempt from Fabian Espindola at the 38′ minute mark before the Earthquakes would retreat to the locker room at the half with a one score deficit.

The frustrations continued to spill over from the first half for San Jose, as the home team frantically sought to appease the loud Avaya crowd with a flurry of shots to open the second frame.

Alberto Quintero played spoiler to his team’s own cause on a three-man rush towards the net for San Jose. Quintero found himself alone on the left wing with two attacking Quakes on the far side of the pitch, but couldn’t chip the ball over Travis Worra for the score. Moments later, Amarikwa would put his second and third shots on the goal, only to be denied in back-to-back attempts. Both Tommy Thompson and Wondolowski would later find themselves in front of the goal, only to send lazy attempts into the chest of Worra in what seemed like a contest where the Quakes couldn’t buy a goal.

But with the time winding down on San Jose’s efforts, a pair of substitutes would breathe new life into San Jose’s lackluster offense. With San Jose seeming desperate for a solution, Shea Salinas would shake his man on the wing to send a cross towards the sprinting Adam Jahn, whose split-legged slide would add the equalizer for the Earthquakes in the 88′ minute.

The Earthquakes would add one last furious attempt to find the back of the net before the whistle would sound on stoppage time, sending D.C home still in search of their first win of the season, while sneaking away with a point of their own.

 

Wondolowski Header Hands Earthquakes A Win On Opening Day.

By Shawn Whelchel

photo credit: San Jose Mercury News– San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham (1) dives to make a save grabbing the ball away from Shkelzen Gashi (11) of the Colorado Rapids on Sunday

SAN JOSE–Chris Wondolowski’s header was all the San Jose Earthquakes would need to secure a win on opening day of the 2016 MLS season, as a strong defensive effort from David Bingham would keep the Colorado Rapids off the scorecard for a 1-nil victory at Avaya Stadium.

Bingham had an outstanding day guarding the net for San Jose, making five saves on 18 shots from the Rapids, while showing off his hands and athleticism repelling a second-half flurry from the visiting team.

San Jose would secure their lone goal with the help of a new face-and their old reliable captain-as Alberto Quintero would feed a beautiful ball into the cutting Wondolowski for the go-ahead score at the start of the second-half. Despite a second-half outburst from the Rapids which saw them line-up 13 of their 18 total shots on the day, San Jose walked away victors for their 13th consecutive match without a loss against Colorado.

The Quakes got off to a sluggish start on the slippery turf at Avaya on Sunday, doing most of their work on the defensive side as the Rapids looked to be the aggressors early on.

Bingham received no grace period to start the season, being thrust into action to stop multiple Rapids’ attempts throughout the half. Kevin Doyle and Dillon Powers-who accounted for three of the Rapids five first-half shots- sent a trio of dangerous balls towards San Jose’s net. San Jose’s offensive attack couldn’t offer Bingham an extended spell either, as Colorado dominated the time of possession at 57.1 percent throughout the first 45-minutes of play as well, keeping the 26-year old Bay Area native on his toes.

While Bingham was busy showcasing his good hands, Colorado goaltender Zac MacMath had a relatively easy going early on. Quincy Amarikwa broke free on a dangerous run towards the goal near the 33′ minute mark, but was thwarted by a well-timed tackle by Rapids defender Jarred Watts near the goal. San Jose would loft up a few lazy shots throughout the frame, but failed to seriously threaten in a lackluster opening half.

But the revamped Earthquakes would shake off the season-opening cobwebs to start the second half, earning their inaugural 2016 goal off the head of the man who put through 16 for the team last year.

Just seconds after the sound of the whistle, newcomer Quintero- who was loaned to the team from Lobos BUAP in February-would feed the cutting Wondolowski a well-placed ball that would find the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

San Jose would continue to keep their newfound intensity up, with both Wondolowski and Tommy Thompson nearly missing a second goal for their club. But with time running out, Colorado launched a furious attempt to find an equalizer against Bingham.

Marco Pappa nearly connected with the back of the net on two attempts, including a free-kick attempt and a dangerous header attempt at the 88′ mark that just scraped the left-side of the goal post before heading out of bounds. Dominique Badji would also threaten the Earthquakes lead with a dangerous sprint up the middle of the pitch for an uncontested try that sailed into the second deck. Badji would represent the Rapids last attempt before game’s end as well, with Victor Bernardez showing some defensive prowess to stop the midfielder’s attempt before Bingham would make his fifth and final save.

The win represents the second-straight opening day victory for the Earthquakes at Avaya, and sets them off on the right foot for the 2016 MLS season. San Jose has a week off before facing the Portland Timbers on March 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Earthquakes Open Avaya Stadium with Preseason Win Over Galaxy

By: Eric He

SAN JOSE — The game didn’t count in the standings, but in almost every other sense, it did.

The San Jose Earthquakes opened up Avaya Stadium with a bang, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in their final preseason tune-up.

“For a preseason game, it was a big event,” said Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It was almost like opening day. You can just tell the field had something different about it when you walked out onto the field for warmups or the locker room to start the game. It didn’t have a real preseason feel.”

Second half goals by JJ Koval and Adam Jahn were just enough to defeat the defending MLS Cup champions, as the Earthquakes weathered off a late comeback attempt and a hailstorm in the final minutes.

“It was a great day for a lot of reasons,” Kinnear remarked. “Nice to see some goals. The home teams wins, which is good. Stadium is beautiful. The hail at the end was a bit unexpected, but it was a good day for everyone involved.”

Down 3-1, the Galaxy clawed within a goal in the 82nd minute on a tally by Robbie Keane. Taking a ball lofted ahead in the air by Stefan Ishizaki just to the left of the box, Keane left-footed it into the right corner of the net to cut the Earthquakes’ lead to 3-2.

Former Earthquakes striker Alan Gordon had a chance from point-blank to even the game in the 87th minute, but he skied it over the crossbar, and the Earthquakes hung on in three minutes of stoppage time.

A total of four goals were scored in the second half, two by each team.

The Earthquakes doubled their 1-0 in the 58th minute as the second half got under away. Midfielder JJ Koval, the Stanford product and Earthquakes’ ninth overall pick in the 2014 MLS Superdraft, hammered in a left-footed shot past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe. The ball ricocheted to Koval after a feed by Matias Perez Garcia into the box was knocked down by Chris Wondolowski, right onto the foot of Koval.

“It was a great ball by [Garcia],” said Wondolowski. “He saw my run and put it perfect. I saw [Koval] coming in make a late run at midfield – the amount of ground he covers is amazing – that was a great finish by him.”

He continued: “[Koval’s] engine has always been there. He’s always been able to cover an enormous amount of ground. His composure on the ball; he showed it on the finish. He made that look very easy.”

The two teams then traded goals in the 66th and 68th minutes. The Galaxy got on the board, cutting a 2-0 lead in half after Robbie Rogers, down the left side, found Jose Villareal with a cross, and Villareal headed it past Earthquakes goalkeeper Ryan Bingham.

But San Jose responded. Adam Jahn, who had substituted in for Koval in the 64th minute, headed in a goal off a corner kick by Garcia just four minutes later to give the Earthquakes a 3-1 advantage.

The high-scoring second half made up for a first half where the two teams were perhaps adjusting to the new field.

Kinnear thought so, remaking, “I thought we were a little bit frazzled in the beginning of the game. I thought guys got caught up in the moment a little bit and our positioning was a little bit off.”

There were no goals until the 42nd minute, when the Earthquakes struck first on an own goal by the Galaxy. Maneuvering around defenders in the area, Shea Salinas’ cross deflected off Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and into the net.

Just a minute later, they nearly tallied a second goal before halftime. It was Salinas again who sent a cross into the box, and a header by Wondolowski sailed just high of the crossbar after Rowe got a finger on it.

Despite being outshot by the Galaxy 5-2 in the first half, the Earthquakes seemed more comfortable and fluid in the latter stages.

In the 22nd minute, the Earthquakes pressured after a few miscues by the Galaxy in their own end, but could not capitalize due to a couple of poor crosses.

The Galaxy had controlled the tempo in the early going, playing in the Earthquakes’ end and generating free kicks and corners. Gordon deflected a pass by Juninho just wide in the 15th minute.

The Earthquakes will take the next week to prepare for the regular season, which begins with a match at FC Dallas on Mar. 7. They will play their first regular season game at Avaya Stadium on Mar. 22nd against the Chicago Fire.

Wondolowski enjoyed christening the new stadium in the preseason finale, but to him, it was just a game that doesn’t count in the standings.

“It’s a great feeling to step out to your home stadium and have a nice lively crowd out there,” he said. “To have passionate fans is amazing. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to the 22nd [of March]. That’s when it really counts.”

Notes

For their “soft” opening, the Earthquakes capped the attendance to 10,000 fans, short of the 18,000 that Avaya Stadium holds. … Jahn finished the preseason with seven goals. … Newly-signed Portuguese defender Paulo Renato suited up on Saturday. Renato spent last season in Segunda Divisáo Série Centro, the third tier of Portuguese football. Renato started in place of the injured Clarence Goodson. … Shaun Francis started on defense in place of Jordan Stewart, who also has an injury. … The Earthquakes finish the preseason 3-1-2, with a record of 1-1-2 against MLS competition.