Chicharito’s brace powers Galaxy in 3-2 win over Earthquakes in California Classico

San Jose’s Niko Tsakiris attempted a counter attack during the California Classico at Stanford Stadium on Saturday Sep 24, 2022. (San Jose Earthquakes)

by Marko Ukalovic

PALO ALTO–Chicharito ended up getting the last laugh in the Bay Area.

The Mexican striker recorded a brace as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 in this season’s installment of the California Classico on Saturday evening at Stanford Stadium.

San Jose has three of its past four matches with two left to go in the regular season. Los Angeles has won two matches in a row and has points in five of its past six matches.

Before the match, a big banner ran along the end zone that depicted two clowns in an attempt to poke fun at the Galaxy.

17-year old ‘Quakes homegrown player Nico Tsakiris made his first start of the season at midfielder for interim head coach Alex Covelo. Tsakiris replaced Jamiro Monteiro who was out on international duty. Defender Miguel Trauco made his ‘Quakes debut in the 59th minute when he subbed in for Tanner Beason.

“Fantastic, that’s why he played,” said Covelo when asked to evaluate the play of Tsakiris. “He is a player that is going to be the future of San Jose, MLS, and maybe Europe. That’s why we put him in. We didn’t put him in because I just woke up this morning and said let’s put in Niko. I think it was a good opportunity for him and he deserves it. He did well.”

Los Angeles (13-12-7-46 points) drew first blood in the 12th minute. Julián Araujo sent in a cross into the middle of the box where Chicharito deked out Rodrigues and then beat ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski with a left footed shot for his team leading 16th goal of the season.

The Galaxy doubled its lead in the 42nd minute. A turnover by San Jose led to Gastón Brugman blasting a shot from the edge of the 18 that hit the bounced underneath the crossbar and into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

Los Angeles scored its third unanswered goal with Chicharito’s second goal of the game in the 69th minute. Efraín Álvarez threaded a ball through the two defenders that allowed Chicharito to sneak behind the defense and seal the deal with his 17th goal of the season.

San Jose (7-15-10-31 points) attempted a comeback three minutes later when Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond tripped up Cristian Espinoza inside the box for a penalty kick. Espinoza was on a mini breakaway after receiving a brilliant pass from Tsakiris. Bond had no other option but to take down Espinoza.

“As a No. 10, and it being my first start, you want to try and create as much as you can but also keep it simple. The opportunity came and it just felt right. We ended up improving and scoring from it, which was helpful for the group and our momentum. The opportunity was there so I took it,” Tsakiris said.

Espinoza cashed in the penalty in the 74th minute with a shot to the lower right corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season.

The Earthquakes scored on the final play of the game off of a set piece to make the score look respectable in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Espinoza sent a corner kick out the edge of D when Trauco kicked it into the middle of the box where Nathan one-touched the ball off of a defender’s foot for his third goal of the season and fifth in a ‘Quakes uniform.

“The atmosphere was spectacular. The team pushing hard in the second half was also due to the atmosphere, and the fans who came out to support and push the team to win until the end,” said Covelo.

Bond finished the match with one save on three shots on target to earn the win. Marcinkowski made one save on four shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with four corner kicks. Los Angeles had six.

The attendance for the match was 44,200, sixth most of any MLS match during the 2022 season.

San Jose is now 28-35-16 all-time vs. LA Galaxy, including a 5-2-2 record at Stanford Stadium.

The Earthquakes are now 7-11-7 in MLS play under Covelo.

UP NEXT: San Jose plays its final home match of the season on Saturday 10/1 when they host Minnesota United at 7:00pm at Pay Pal 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.

California Classico postponed tonight due to power outage at Stanford

by Marko Ukalovic

PALO ALTO-Calif. — The California Clasico featuring the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium, originally scheduled to be played tonight at 7:00pm, has been rescheduled to Saturday, September 24. Stanford University has been experiencing a power outage due to an equipment failure caused by the nearby Edgewood Fire.

“We were informed by Stanford University that the issues they are experiencing on campus this week are going to prevent the California Clasico from taking place Saturday,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee. “We appreciate Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy for swiftly coming to an agreement on a rescheduled date that would allow us to keep this match and all its pageantry at Stanford Stadium. We are looking forward to putting on a spectacular event for our community in September.”

All tickets purchased for the match will carry over to the future date. Tickets will be eligible for a refund for the next 30 days at the original point of purchase. More information about the rescheduled date, including kickoff time and broadcast information, will be announced later.

San Jose returns to action on Sunday 7/3 when they host the Chicago Fire at 6:00pm at Pay Pal Park.

Earthquakes take down Galaxy 2-1 in California Classico

San Jose Earthquakes edges the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson on Fri Aug 20, 2021 (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

CARSON, Calif–Don’t look now, but there is talk of playoffs in the South Bay.

The San Jose Earthquakes received an own goal late in the match to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 on Friday night in the third installment of the California Classico on Friday evening at Dignity Health Sports Park.

San Jose is on a season long 10 match unbeaten streak (3-0-7) and with 26 points jumped into the seventh place and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Los Angeles have lost two matches in a row and currently sit in third place in the conference with 35 points.

Los Angeles (11-8-2) conceded the game winning goal in the 71st minute when Chofis received a ball near the right end line. Chofis made a nice move around Sega Couliably as he dribbled in towards the net. His shot deflected off the leg of fullback Niko Hämäläinen into the back of the net for an own goal.

“That is the identity I try to transmit to this group and other teams I have coached,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “There is a big commitment for each other, and there is a sense of belonging that they earn day-to-day when they put on the jersey.”

San Jose (6-7-8) controlled the pace of play throughout the match, especially in the first half when they had quality scoring chances that were either stoned away by Galaxy goalie Jonathan Bond or the crossbar.

Forward Jeremy Ebobisse had his best game as an Earthquake in just his fourth appearance. He had back to back point blank chances inside the box in the first minute of stoppage time in the first half. Both times Bond came up big, committing highway robbery on Ebobisse to keep the first 45 minutes scoreless.

The Earthquakes came out possessed in the second half as two minutes in off a corner kick, Ebobisse had a header hit off the crossbar and the subsequent rebound by Tanner Beason was stopped by Bond.

Ebobisse was not to be denied in this match. In the 52minute, Chofis sent a ball down the right wing where Luciano Abecasis settled it and made a perfect cross over to Ebobisse as the talented striker headed the ball past Bond into the right corner of the net for his first goal in a Quakes uniform.

“It’s easy to get demoralized in those moments,” said Ebobisee about his earlier chances in the match. “It’s also part of the growth in the development of a striker is being relentless and understanding that if you’re missing chances, if the goalie is making good saves, there’s another chance that’s coming your way. I was happy I was able to meet the quality of the cross that came in with a quality finish as well.”

In eight appearances against the Galaxy, Ebobisse has scored seven goals.

The Galaxy scored the equalizer in the 65th minute off a set piece play. Victor Vazquez’s corner kick knuckleballed just inside the left post as Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski’s diving attempt was not enough to keep the ball out of the net. It was Vasquez’s first goal of the season.

Almeyda tactically went defensive in the final 15 minutes of play when he inserted fullback Paul Marie in the 81st minute for Chofis. A moved that paid off as the Galaxy, despite many corner kicks late, weren’t able to earn a point in the match.

“The mentality of the team to go find that game winner, that symbolizes what this team is capable of. To go on the road in the Cali Classico against an LA Galaxy team that is very strong, near the top of the table (in the Western Conference). To show the resilience, not put our heads down, not allow them to capitalize, equalizing the game shows what this team can be if we’re into it for 90 minutes,” Ebobisee said.

Marcinkowski finished with three saves on four shots to earn his sixth victory of the season. Bond, who arguably was the man of the match, made five saves on six shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had six corner kicks. Los Angeles had 12.

The Quakes first unbeaten stretch of 10+ matches in a single season since July-Oct. 2005 (11-0-3). The 10-match unbeaten streak is the third longest in Quakes history (2005-14; 2001-12).

The Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak on the road to six matches (2-0-4). It marks the club’s longest unbeaten streak away from home since July-Oct. 2005 (6-0-0)

San Jose is now 27-24-16 all-time against the LA Galaxy, including an 9-22-6 record away from home.

The Quakes have now allowed one or fewer goals in nine consecutive matches, conceding a total of seven in that span.

Chofis recorded his second assist on the season on Ebobisse’s goal.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday 9/4 at 7:00pm at Pay Pal Park.

Chicharito’s brace leads Galaxy over Quakes 3-1 in Cali Classico

The Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond looked about as surprised as the San Jose Earthquakes offense did standing in front of the net after Bond stopped a shot at Pay Pal Park in San Jose on Sat Jun 26, 2021 (@LAGalaxy photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE–Chicharito scored two goals and the Los Angeles Galaxy cruised to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Pay Pal Park in the second installment of the California Classico.

Los Angeles have won three out of its last four matches, including two against San Jose. The Quakes have lost two matches in a row and are winless in their last four.

This was the first game where Pay Pal Park has been at full capacity for attendance since the 2019 season.

The Galaxy (7-3-0) drew first blood early in the second half. Samuel Grandsir serviced the ball from the right side into the middle where an unmarked Chicharito raced in and one-timed the ball past Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski for his ninth goal of the season at the 11th minute.

Despite having a 60%-40% edge in possession, San Jose (3-7-1) weren’t able to generate any quality scoring chances in the first 45 minutes of the match.

Los Angeles generated quality scoring chances with counter attacks that had San Jose on its heels during the first half including a shot from Grandsir from the left side of the box that Marcinkowski saved from going into the back of the net in the 41st minute.

“I think the team looked different compared to the last game,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “They uncovered their identity. We keep making the same mistakes where we have to restart in the middle (of the pitch).”

San Jose had a chance to score the equalizer in the 49th minute but Chofis’s shot hit off the right post.

The Galaxy doubled its lead a minute later on an almost identical goal. Once again Chicharito was left unmarked by the Quakes defense and one-timed a shot after receiving a centering pass from Kévin Cabral for his team leading 10th goal of the season at the 50th minute.

Almeyda inserted 17-year sensation Cade Cowell from off the bench in the 54th minute and he immediately provided a spark for the anemic offense.

In the 57th minute Chofis had the ball inside the box, did a spin-o-rama before firing a shot just to the outside of the night on the right side. Then two minutes later Jackson Yueill’s shot from 15 yards out was saved by Galaxy goalie Jonathan Bond.

To add insult to injury, the Galaxy received its third goal thanks to a gift from Florian Jungwirth. Cameron Dunbar serviced a ball into the middle and the ball hit off the foot of Jungwith and rolled into an empty net in the 70th minute.

The Quakes spoiled Bond’s shutout bid in the 82nd minute when Chofis found Cowell just inside the D box and the sophomore forward beat Bond with a left footed to the lower left corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

San Jose broke a 258 minute score-less draught with Cowell’s goal. The last time they had scored in a match was against Sporting KC on 5/22/21 when Chofis scored the opening goal in the fourth minute.

Bond made two saves on three shots to earn the victory. Marcinkowski made one save on three shots in the losing effort.

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

San Jose was issued a yellow card at the 40th minute when Almeyda kicked a ball back onto the field before a free kick.

UP NEXT: The Quakes travel out to St.Paul to began a three-game road trip as the take on Minnesota FC on Saturday 7/3 at 5:00pm at Allianz Field.

Earthquakes set MLS record in 3-1 victory over Whitecaps

photo from The San Jose Earthquakes get some love finally getting into the win column after five games with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night.

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a historic night that featured first goals for three different players, the San Jose Earthqaukes used two of them to their advantage as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.

San Jose set an MLS record for most shots in a game with 43 against Vancouver. The previous record for most shots in a match was 38.

It was also the first match without head coach Matias Almeyda who was suspended for the match due to his ejection for arguing a non-call in the match this past Wednesday in the 4-0 loss to LAFC.

The win snaps their three-game losing streak and four-game overall winless streak. The victory also propelled them into fourth place in the Western Conference as they are tied with the Los Angeles Galaxy with 41 points. Vancouver is 2-2 in their last four games and sit in the cellar with 27 points.

“It was a big example of character”, said defenseman Shea Salinas on how the team responded without Almeyda being out there on the sidelines. “We have a bunch of leaders on this team. Every single guy that steps out there make sacrifices for the team and it showed tonight. It was an amazing performance.”

Vancouver (6-13-9) drew first blood for the Whitecaps in the seventh minute when Jakob Nerwinski received a ball along the right sideline from Theo Blair. Nerwinski dribbled past Vako and bent in a left footed shot into the lower left corner for his first goal of the season in an entertaining opening 10 minutes.

San Jose (12-10-5) countered immediately on the next possession. Captain Chris Wondolowski received a nice ball inside the box from 10 yards out from Christian Espinoza. He one-timed a pass over to Judson who fired a shot into the lower left corner of the goal that beat Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crepeau for his first goal of the season in the eighth minute.

“We knew we had to hit the reset button”, said Wondolowski. “No need to panic but at the same time iron out the details. It was good to get the three points.”

The Quakes dominated the first half from there on out and never looked back as they peppered Crepeau with shots all the way up to the halftime whistle blew. Crepeau amazingly kept the Whitecaps in the game stopping eight of the nine first half shots, including a right footed shot from Vako that was destined for the far corner of the goal only to have Crepeau get a hand on it at the last second, poured on by the home team.

In the 29th minute, Ali Adnan apparently tripped up Mangus Eriksson inside the box but referree Ramy Touchan allowed play to go and no penalty was called.

San Jose gained the lead in the 34th minute off a set piece. A corner kick by Eriksson serviced into the middle where Florian Jungworth’s header attempt deflected over to an open Wondolowski who one-timed a header into the back of the night for his team leading 11th goal of the season.

To say the Quakes controlled possession in the opening 45 minutes would be an understatement as they had a 80%-20% advantage.

In the second half, San Jose continued its exhibition against Vancouver creating numerous chances agianst the porous Whitecap defenese in the first 25 minutes of the half. However they weren’t able to cash in on any of them whether it not being able to finish their attempts or because of Crepeau’s wall of stone.

“To be honest I think we match up well with them (Vancouver)”, said Wondo. “Our style (of play) kind of helps us dictate the game against them.”

San Jose’s hard work paid off for them in the 73rd minute when Eriksson dribbled inside the box, then found a wide open Andres Rios, who came in as a substitute in the 70th minute for Vako, just outside from 20 yards out and his one-timer fired off the left goal post and into the back of the night for his first career MLS goal.

“I’m really happy”, said Rios. “It was my first goal at home. It’s an important victory for the team in our fight to get to the playoffs.”

Daniel Vega finished with two saves in a light night for the Quakes goal keeper. Crepeau, who was arguably the Whitecaps best player of the match, finished the evening with 14 saves on 16 shots on goal.

“43 shots on goal, you’d expect a few more goals,” Salinas joked about his team setting the league record. “He’s (Crepeau) been making saves like that all year. He’s a great goal keeper.”

GAME NOTES: San Jose had an astounding 16 corner kicks to only 1 for Vancouver. San Jose led in fouls 10-9.

San Jose is now 4-1-6 all time against Vancouver.

Carlos Fierro and Shea Salinas came in as subsitutions for Wondo and Espinoza in the 80th minute.

Jungworth was isssued a yellow card in the 31st minute for unsportmanlike conduct toward Touchan. Marco Lopez was also issued a yellow card in 72nd minute.

UP NEXT: The Quakes host Orlando City FC next Saturday, August 31 at 7:15 pm at Avaya Stadium.