Minnesota United uses set pieces to dominate Earthquakes 5-2

photo from bayareanewsgroup.com: San Jose Earthquakes’ Danny Hoesen (9), front right, fights for the ball against Minnesota United FC’s Romain Métanire (19) in the first half of an MLS soccer match in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, March 7, 2020

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- In a game that featured the heavans opening up with a steady rain throughout the match, the Minnesota United scored four goals in the first half to dominate the San Jose Earthquakes in 5-2 victory on Saturday evening at Earthquakes Stadium.

The game went on despite warnings earlier in the week from Santa Clara County officials regarding the Coronovirus in wanting to cancel large group outings such as sporting events and concerts.

Minnesota United (2-0-0) scored the opening goal at the 13th minute mark off a corner kick. Jon Gregus floated a ball into the center where defenseman Ike Opara cleanly headed the ball past Quakes goalie Daniel Vega for his first goal of the season.

San Jose (0-1-1) scored the eqaulizer thanks to a controversial non-call. Minneota United defender Chase Gasper tripped up Tommy Thompson just inside the box as Thomspon tried dribbling the ball around Gasper. There was no call on the initial play but after video review referee Baldomero Toledo awarded a penalty kick to the Quakes.

Quakes captain Magnus Eriksson finished off the penalty kick into the lower right corner of the net for his first goal of the season a minute later at the 19th minute.

Minnesota United didn’t need much time to regain the lead. Luis Amarilla led a rush into the Quakes zone. He made a nice pass over to Jan Gregus who fired a shot from outside the box past Vega for his first goal of the season at the 26th minute.

“A football team that wants to fight for important things, can’t give away so many defenseive mistakes. I told the players these are losses you should remember your whole life. Because if you always make three mistakes a game, you’re being very generous to your opponents and it’s impossible to win in football that way,” Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said.

Six minutes later Minnesota United caught the Quakes napping on defense. Team leading point scorer Kevin Molino centered a ball into the middle where Amarilla was left all alone to head the ball into the upper left corner of the net for his second goal of the season at the 32nd minute.

“There’s a great collective spirit,” said Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath when asked about his team’s start. “They do what’s asked of them. They hold each other accountable which is always important. It doesn’t surprise me they start we’ve had.”

Minnesotsa United went up by three goals right before half time. They were awarded a penalty kick in the third minute of extra time off a set piece. Goram Kashia tackled Opara inside the box resulting in the penalty. Amarilla’s shot was saved by Vega, but Robin Lod came in and cleaned up the rebound for his first goal of the season.

The Quakes cut the lead in half in the 53rd minute. Off a corner kick, Eriksson’s attempted cross was deflected into the middle of box where Vako collected the ball, made one touch, and then buried a shot past United goalie Tyler Miller for his first goal of the season.

Opara scored his second of the game off an identical corner kick in the 71st minute. Once again he was left unmarked and his header split two Qukes defenders and past the reach of Vega.

“Honestly Jan (Gregus) is great with his services. If we do our runs consistently, we got enough guys more than capable getting chances. It wasn’t San Jose (doing a poor job of defending), that’s just how much we believe in what we can do. Tonight it finally came through,” said Opara.

Miller made four saves on six shots on target to earn his second victory of the season. Vegas eight saves on 10 shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with 20 shots. Minnesota United has 17.

San Jose finished with 6 corner kicks. Minnesota United had 8.

Cade Cowell substituted for Danny Hoesen to start the second half. At 16 years old and 150 days, he is the youngest player to make his Quakes debut. He is the fifth youngest ever in MLS history.

Amarilla was issued a yellow card in the 67th minute for unsporting behavior.

UP NEXT: The Earthquakes travel out to Philadephia to take on the Union on Saturday 3/14 at 4:30pm at PPL Park.

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic filling in for Ana Kieu: Hoesen was an unforeseen hero against Real Salt Lake

Photo credit: sjearthquakes.com

On the San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko:

1. The Quakes lost to Minnesota United 3-1 at Allianz Field last Wednesday.

2. Danny Hoesen lifted the Quakes to a 1-0 shutout over Real Salt Lake at Avaya Stadium last Saturday.

3. US Men’s Soccer lost to Mexico 1-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at Soldier Field on Sunday.

4. Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and Reno 1868 FC midfielder Seth Casiple were named to the USL Championship Team of the Week for Week 17.

5. With the Quakes’ newfound success, how much of an impact does Matias Almeyda have on his team?

6. The Quakes head to L.A. to face the Galaxy always a battle when both of these teams meet up they faced each other last in June at Stanford Stadium.

Marko Ukalovic is a Quakes beat writer and catch Ana Kieu on the San Jose Earthquakes podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Minnesota United ends Earthquakes’ unbeaten streak with 3-1 win

Photo credit: @MNUFC

By Pearl Allison Lo

The San Jose Earthquakes’ six-game streak was serious, but Minnesota United FC–also known as the Loons–showed their game before was not a fluke, halting the Earthquakes with a 3-1 win at Allianz Field Wednesday.

With just a point separating them in the standings, Minnesota leapfrogged San Jose after the result. The last time the two teams met it was during the infancy of the 2019 season. Minnesota won 3-0 and it was the Quakes’ second straight loss and first shutout of the season and would be followed by three more losses.

Minnesota whooped FC Cincinnati their last game 7-1, and even though FC Cincinnati was in last place, they proved their play with their performance versus rising San Jose. In both this and their last game, Minnesota’s possession percentage hovered in the 30s.

Goalie Vito Mannone excelled for his team, making a MLS career-high seven saves, especially in the second half, as the Quakes attempted to come from behind. San Jose had 27 to Minnesota’s 13 shots and 10 shots blocked.

Michael Boxall had the game-winner in the 52nd minute. An inadvertent kick forward by San Jose helped and before goalie Daniel Vega could get to the ball, Boxall capitalized to put Minnesota back up.

The Quakes fell behind for just the second time in 12 games, early in the 5th minute. Darwin Quintero was aided by Ethan Finlay and Miguel Ibarra.

Things got heated in the end of the first half. San Jose’s Vako bled, both teams jawed at each other and the Quakes’ Tommy Thompson got knocked down. Thompson ended up scoring his second goal in as many games with either his hip or stomach in the 47th minute in stoppage time as a result.

As Thompson put it, “We have a couple different set pieces that we work on; Magnus [Eriksson] and Cristian [Espinoza] can both whip a great ball in. We get a lot of guys in the box for a reason and I’m glad it payed off on that play.”

San Jose ended up with 65% possession throughout the game. Minnesota received four of five yellow cards in the second half. The Quakes’ Magnus Eriksson had a game-high six shots.

Eriksson replied, “Nothing to be ashamed of. We controlled the whole second half and we are proud of the way we executed this game…”

Teammate Shea Salinas made his presence known after entering in the 66th minute. He had two assists on shots Mannone was forced to save, to Danny Hoesen in the 68th minute and Eriksson in the 71st minute.

Thompson’s shot in the 88th minute went over the bar.

Minnesota wasn’t done yet though. Former Quake Ike Opara had the primary assist as he won the ball against Minnesotan Jackson Yueill and sent it to Kevin Molino from the midfield Molino who entered in the 83rd minute, scored in the 92nd minute and got a yellow card the minute after. Molino also had the last goal of the last match, which came in the 87th minute and he was the only repeat scorer for Minnesota between their last two games.

San Jose still had life when Cristian Espinoza was pulled down, but his subsequent attempt was saved as well.

Up Next: The Quakes will have an even quicker turnaround for their next game, as they return home for one game to host Real Salt Lake Saturday at 7:30 pm.

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Ana Kieu: Quakes blowout Galaxy in Cali Clasico; Quakes to take on Minnesota United; plus more

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

On the San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Ana:

1. The Quakes blowout the LA Galaxy 3-0 in the Cali Clasico for their second straight win.

2. The Quakes take on the Minnesota United at Allianz Field Wednesday.

3. After that, San Jose will return to Avaya Stadium to host Real Salt Lake Saturday night.

4. Vako, Tommy Thompson and Matias Almeyda were all part of the MLS Team of the Week for Week 17.

5. Vako was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 17.

Catch Ana on the San Jose Earthquakes podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Trump says Rapinoe’s protest is inappropriate; War of words starting to brew between Trump and Rapinoe over protests; plus more

photo from time.com: Megan Rapinoe #15 of USA (center) and her teammates are standing for the national anthem during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Group F match between USA and Chile at Parc des Princes on June 16, 2019 in Paris, France.

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The war of tweets and words has initially begun at the US World Women’s soccer matches between President Trump and US Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe originally took a knee during national anthems during the 2016 games. Now she stands without putting her hand over her heart unlike the rest of the teammates. Rapinoe said she will not visit the White House if the US team wins the championship. Trump says by her not doing it, Rapinoe is inappropriate and said she should win first before she talks.

#2 Rapinoe said that the reason she is protesting is because of unjustified treatment by police and law enforcement officials towards minorities and people of color. Rapinoe told American Soccer Now, “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.” With the World Cup going on, this will most likely not be the last of the stand off between Trump and Rapinoe.

#3 We asked London about the World Cup putting up signs on the scoreboard indicating that there will game delays for replay reviews. This lends to fans following the games and thinking that their team has the game in hand, but they’ll wait until a replay review has been called for.

#4 After going five straight games without a loss the San Jose Earthquakes lost to LAFC who took it to the Quakes with a 3-1 win in Los Angeles last week on Thursday. For LA, Adama Diomande scored twice, which led LAFC to the two-goal win.

#5 The Quakes continue their road trip tonight against Houston at Avaya Stadium in San Jose as they face the Dynamo. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the MLS West at 7-3-4. The Dynamo are 2-1-3 in their last six games and have lost their last two games to Minnesota and Portland.

London Marq covers the San Jose Earthquakes and does Headline Sports podcasting each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com