Earthquakes battle Toronto FC to 0-0 scoreless draw

San Jose Earthquakes Benji Kikanovic attempted a shot against Toronto FC in a 0-0 draw at Pay Pal Park on MAR 25, 2023. (Jose Rocha/Tectanoic Takes)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Earthquakes earned a point against Toronto FC as both teams ended their match with a 0-0 draw on Saturday evening at Pal Pay Park.

San Jose has points in two of its past three matches. Toronto FC has earned points in four of its five first matches.

San Jose (2-2-1) head coach Luchi Gonzalez was forced to tweak his starting 11 as Jamiro Monteiro was out on international duty and Carlos Gruezo out with an injury. Benji Kinkanovic and Michael Baldisimo made their first starts of the season.

“I mean we’ve had our challenges with injuries and also missing guys. So definitely both Toronto and us had challenges in that regard. But I am happy with some of the things we created in terms of our expected goals. We definitely created enough chances to score at least a goal. We defended very well collectively and individually, shutting down a few of their key guys and that’s important. If we can have an effort like that, consistently, defensively, things will bounce our way offensively I believe in our process,” Gonzalez said.

The Quakes controlled the majority of the possession in the opening 45 minutes but were a tad off here and there on passes deep inside Toronto’s zone that prevented them from having a shot on target.

The closest Toronto FC (1-1-3) threatened to put a dent in the scoreboard in the first came in the seventh minute when Deandre Kerr’s right footed shot from the center of the box was knocked away by Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

“In the first half we couldn’t connect with each other, but I think that was because in the first half teams normally come with a lot of energy,” said Quakes forward Christian Espinoza regarding the teams chances. “We knew that in the second half they were going to drop that energy, so that we could create more chances to score. That is what happened on the field, but today we couldn’t connect on a couple of crosses and the chances that we had. But we are happy with this point and clean sheet, and we have to keep going.”

San Jose’s Rodrigues had two quality headers in a two-minute off set pieces in span from the 54th minute to the 56th that went just wide of the net of Toronto FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Toronto FC played more of the same defensive style in the second half with as it only generated two shots on goal.

The Quakes had it chance for a game winning goal in the second minute of stoppage time in the second half when Jackson Yueill’s low line drive shot was saved by an outstretched Johnson. Tommy Thompson had a chance to clean up the rebound with Johnson down on the ground but his mistimed his attempt and fell to the ground without getting off a shot.

Both Marcinkowski and Johnson were credited with two saves in each earning a clean sheet.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with six corner kicks. Toronto FC had three.

San Jose has earned 7+ points from their first three home matches for the first time since 2017.

The Quakes have conceded one total goal across the three home matches and have an active 253-minute shutout streak at PayPal Park.

San Jose is now 6-5-8 all-time vs. Toronto FC, including a 3-2-4 record at home. With the draw, the Quakes extended their unbeaten streak against Toronto to five matches (1-0-4) dating back to 2018. San Jose’s last home loss vs. Toronto came in 2010.

The attendance at Pay Pal Park was 12,434.

UP NEXT: San Jose host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday 4/1 at 7:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

Espinoza’s first tally of the season provide Earthquakes 1-0 shutout win over Rapids

San Jose Earthquakes forward Christian Espinoza celebrates his game winning goal over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday MAR 11, 2023. (Dario Cruz-Tectonic Takes)

by Marko Uklaovic

SAN JOSE — Christian Espinoza is proving he’s the guy you count on to seize the opportunity.

Espinoza’s first goal of the season in the 78th minute, proved to be the game winner as the San Jose Earthquakes shutout the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Saturday evening at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose has won two of its first three matches to start the season. Colorado had its third consecutive game without scoring a goal. It is the first time since 2015 that they have gone scoreless in its first three matches to start the season.

Espinoza, who is only five assists away from becoming the all-time assist leader in Quakes history, gathered the rebound off of a Miguel Trauco shot. The Argentinean striker dribbled to the right before firing a right-footed shot top from just beyond the box top shelf past Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough for his first goal of the season that sent the Quakes faithful into a frenzy.

“He is lethal with his right foot in terms of a cross or a shot,” said Quakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez regarding Espinoza. “Can we get him opportunities to get more shots? That is something that we want to keep working on. Also with his left foot, he is good at cutting inside and scoring with his left as well. He showed that in preseason. We are really proud of him and a player that is relentless with his energy and his mentality, and then when he has a little bit of space and can get a shot or a cross in, we know he can create issues. We want to keep doing that.”

San Jose (2-1-0) had the pitch tilted in its favor for the majority of the first half as the generated numerous scoring chances. Their best chance came in the 35th minute when Espinoza’s attempt from 25 yards out was knocked off the cross bar when Yarbrough was able to get a hand on the ball keeping it out of the back of the net.

Carlos Akapo made his first career MLS start at right back for San Jose and made an impact with helping out on the offensive attack while providing stability on the backline.

Colorado (0-2-1) played on their heels throughout the opening 45 minutes as were not able to generate any quality scoring chances as the Quakes backline held down the fort.

Throughout the second half San Jose came close to breaking through on the scoreboard as they generated four quality scoring chances, that included two saves from Yarbrough, before Espinoza’s tally.

Gonzalez praised his team’s effort and was happy San Jose came away with three points and not just one.

“You saw me celebrate it (Espinoza’s goal). I’m very happy for him (Espinoza) and the team find a goal because it wasn’t easy. Colorado defended well. Look had we not scored, and it ended up tied, I would’ve still been proud of how the guys played. Of course, I would’ve been disappointed had we not scored but would’ve been proud with the identity of our team we’ve established since training in the preseason,” Gonzales said.

Espinoza was glad he was able to contribute to the team’s success this early into theseason.

“We always try to find the free spaces to take that kind of shot, especially in front of the goal. Sometimes we can do it, and sometimes we can’t. But for that it’s very important that the team is committed to move the ball side to side and today I think that we had a great game,” Espinoza said.

‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who made his first start of the season, had a perfect clean sheet as Colorado failed to generate any shots on target during the match. Yarbrough made three saves on four shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with five corner kicks. Colorado had three.

San Jose is now 32-25-18 all-time vs. the Colorado Rapids, including a 19-9-9 record at home. They went 1-4-2 against Colorado last season.

The Quakes have only lost once when hosting the Rapids at PayPal Park since its opening in 2015 (6-1-2).

Midfielder Jackson Yueill made his 150th MLS appearance. Yueill is now tied with Jon Busch for the ninth most appearances in club history.

Tonight’s attendance was 13,383.

UP NEXT: San Jose will play its inaugural game against St. Louis City next Saturday at 5:00pm at CityPark.

Akapo’s late goal propels Earthquakes to 2-1 win over Whitecaps in home opener

The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate their 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Pay Pal Park on Saturday MAR 4, 2022. (San Jose Earthquakes)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — Carlos Akapo made a sizzling home debut for the Black and Blue.

Akapo scored the game winning goal in the 77th minute to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening before a sold-out crowd for at Pay Pal Park.

San Jose has lost two in a row to start the season/evened its record with its first win of the season in its home opener. Vancouver has lost two in a row to start the season/evened its record with its first win of the season.

Christian Espinoza found Akapo inside the box to the right. The 29-year-old Equatoguinean rifled a laser of a shot just inside the right post into the upper corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

Vancouver (0-1) drew first blood in the 17th minute as they took advantage of a lackadaisical pass from Jonathan Mensah which created a counterattack for the Whitecaps. Julian Gressel slid a pass over to Alessandro Schöpf, who got inside position on Paul Marie, and chipped the ball past Quakes goalkeeper Daniel De Sousa Brito for his first goal of the season.

The first 45 minutes for San Jose (0-1) was a half of missed opportunities. They had three shots on target but weren’t able to get the ball past Whitecap’s goalkeeper Yahel Takaoka, including a great individual effort by striker Cade Cowell where he went around three defenders before Takaoka made a save on his left footed attempt. Other opportunities hit the side of the net or sailed wide.

After a lackluster first half on defense as well, the Earthquakes responded with a sounder effort from their line in the second half that allowed the offense to control possession and gain momentum the rest of the match.

“I believe the sense of urgency changed,” said Mensah on the team’s rebound at home. “Of course, we could’ve started better, but being a goal down you need to do anything you can to come back and win the game. We sensed it right away that we needed to change gears and we did.”

The Quakes scored the equalizer in the 68th minute on a set piece. After a foul by Luis Martins on Espinoza, which resulted in a yellow card, Jamiro Monteiro centered a ball from 30 yards out where Jeremy Ebobisee soared high in the air and headed the ball into the upper left corner of the net for his second goal of the season.

“Set pieces are game changers and we know that. Unfortunately, in Atlanta, it didn’t bounce our way in terms of how we defended set pieces. We know the importance of set pieces. We think we have a team that can defend well and respond,” Quakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez said.

Ebobisse has scored in back-to-back games for San Jose.

Vancouver had a chance late in the match when Russell Teibert’s shot in the 86th minute was thwarted away by De Sousa Brito.

De Sousa Brito finished the match with one save on two shots on target for his first win in a Quakes uniform. Takaoka made four saves on six shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with 12 corner kicks. Vancouver had six.

San Jose is now 10-10-12 all-time vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, including a 6-1-8 record at home.

San Jose has won or drawn in 15 of the past 16 home matches against Vancouver (7W-8D).

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts the Colorado Rapids on Saturday 3/11 at 7:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

Sporting KC take down Earthquakes in 1-0 shutout win

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jamiro Monteiro looks to pass the ball during the match at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday Aug 27, 2022. (San Jose Earthquakes)

by Marko Ukalovic

A familiar result in a place that has been harsh for the San Jose Earthquakes.

Sporting Kansas City scored early in the first half and held on for a 1-0 shutout victory over the ‘Quakes on Saturday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.

San Jose is winless in seven of its last eight matches. Sporting KC has won three out of its last four matches.

Sporting KC (8-15-5-29 points) has points in 12 out of its past 13 (8W, 4D) matches against San Jose, including 14 of the past 17 at Children’s Mercy Park.

In their last four matches, Sporting KC has scored 10 goals in the first half during that stretch.

Dániel Sallói was at the right place at the right time during a clearing attempt by Paul Marie in the 10th minute. Roger Espinoza started the play with a cross into the middle of the box where Marie deflected the ball right onto the foot of Sallói who fired a shot into the right corner for his sixth goal of the season.

San Jose (6-12-9-27 points) had a golden opportunity to get on the board in the fifth minute. Benji Kikanovic sprung Jeremy Ebobisse on a breakaway. Ebobisse’s shot attempt was intended for the far left corner but sailed wide of the net.

“We had an opportunity from Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy [Ebobisse] had an opportunity, a set piece was another one and then we had another from Cade [Cowell] where Jebo [Jeremy Ebobisse] couldn’t get to it. It was an interesting game and I believe we did all we could do to win the game,” interim head coach Alex Covelo said.

Sporting KC took control of the second half as they had the pitch tilted inside the ‘Quakes zone for the majority of the half by creating numerous scoring chances only to have ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski keep the ball out of the net.

The home team thought they had doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Graham Zusi floated in a cross to an unmarked Nicolas Isimat-Mirin who one touched the ball into the back of the net. However, after a VAR review, the play was determined offsides.

San Jose had a chance for the equalizer in the 82nd when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box. However, Ebobisse’s attempt went beyond the net to the left side past an outstretched Sporting KC goalkeeper John Pulskamp.

“At this point in the season, anything besides three points is really frustrating. We obviously know that we only have seven games left now. I think this was a big opportunity tonight but then there’s another one next Sunday against Vancouver,” Marcinkowski said.

Pulskamp was a perfect four for four to earn his first clean sheet of the season. Pulskamp has started the past five matches in place of injured Tim Melia. Marcinkowski made a season high seven saves on eight shots in the losing effort.

Oskar Aegren started at center back for San Jose in place of Nathan who was suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation. It was Aegren’s third appearance for San Jose.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with two corner kicks. Sporting KC had four.

San Jose is now 25-29-10 all-time vs. Sporting KC, including an 8-22-2 record on the road.

The Earthquakes are now 6-8-6 in MLS play under Covelo.

Midfielder Jamiro Monteiro made his 100th MLS appearance (75 w/ PHI, 25 w/ SJ), and played the entire 90 minutes.

Seventeen-year-old rookie midfielder Niko Tsakiris made his fifth career appearance, entering the match as a substitute in the 73rd minute.

Tommy Thompson played in 178th games for San Jose, which ranks fourth all-time in franchise history.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday 9/4 at 6:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

Quakes canceled game with LAFC tonight no new rescheduled date yet; San Jose Earthquakes Fall Victim to Corona Virus

Earthquakes Stadium in San Jose will remain empty today as the match between LAFC and the Quakes had been postponed for Sun Nov 1, 2020 match (photo from

By Barbara Mason

We are all aware of the protocols that sports teams across the country are taking to protect their franchises from this deadly virus.. Despite all of the precautions we have seen Covid 19 cases pop up in every sector from the NFL, MLB right down to colleges across the nation. Now despite great care being taken in Major League Soccer, the San Jose Earthquakes have now experienced the sting of a number of players testing positive.

The match between the Quakes and the Los Angeles Football club that was to take place on Sunday November 1 has been postponed. Earlier this week it was discovered that three of San Jose’s player group had tested positive. The team immediately jumped into action taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all involved team members. The good news for San Jose is that remaining players and staff have all tested negative and continue to test negative. Despite the continued negative tests from the team, Sundays game was postponed in a better safe than sorry scenario.

Now the question remains; can this game be rescheduled before Decision Day which takes place on November 8. The Quakes are not the only team to struggle from the disruption. Another Sunday game has also been cancelled due to outbreak. Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC have also suffered from yet another cancellation. Several players on Minnesota tested positive and because of the lack of match dates available this game will not be rescheduled.

It was confirmed this week that a number of teams will not be able to finish the full 23 game season. Many of those scheduled matches were disrupted due to the Covid-19. Presently qualification for the Audi 2020 MLS Cup playoffs will be determined by a points per game average for those teams unable to finish the full season.

As we continue through what is left of the season the hopes are that most of these games are able to be played before the last day of the regular season known as Decision Day which falls on November 8th. November 20 the playoffs start and conclude with MLS Cup 2020 on December 12.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Will Hurricane stop Monday Night Football in New Orleans?; Titans and Bills game moved up to Tuesday; plus more

The Tennessee Titans have up to at least 20 staff and player personnel who have contracted Covid-19. The game between the Titans and the Buffalo Bills has been moved up to Tue Oct 13th. (photo from CNN photo file)

On Headlines podcast with London:

#1 The New Orleans Saints have been working with the NFL in the event of Hurricane Delta hits Southeastern Louisiana. The Saints say their making contingency plans as they plan to host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football.

#2 The Tennessee Titans who are under investigation from the NFL as to how 20 members of the team ten players and ten personnel staffers contracted Covid 19. The league is looking into Covid-19 protocol violations. The Titans will play the Buffalo Bills on Tue Oct 13th.

#3 The Titans have not practiced or played since Sun Sep 27th and their game scheduled this Tuesday against the Bills could prove to be more than just Covid on their minds not playing or practicing for two weeks how out of practice will the Titans be?

#4 London talk about how suceessful having the NBA and WNBA playing their games in a bubble in Lake Buena Vista Florida has been and how they pulled it off without no major outbreaks or interruptions.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes won another critical game last Wednesday at Earthquakes Stadium against the Vancouver Whitecaps. After going winless in nine games the Quakes now have won three straight games. They play in Portland this Sunday and a win could improve their record to 5-6-5 and are in tenth place in the Western Conference.

London does Headline Sports podcast each week at