photo credit mercurynews.com: The San Jose Earthquakes Danny Hoesen found the back end of the net scoring twice against the visiting Sporting KC at Avaya Stadium on Saturday
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Danny Hoesen provided some early fireworks for The San Jose Earthquakes and they never took their foot off the gas pedal in a dominating 4-1 victory over the Sporting KC on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.
The Quakes have won two out of their last three after starting 0-4 on the season. San Jose improved to 1-2 at home on the season while snapping Sporting KC’s five-game unbeaten streak as the visiting team continued to be winless on the road.
San Jose (2-5) drew first blood early in the first half. Anibal Godoy sent in a long ball from just inside the midfield line over to Danny Hoesen right at the D. The pass split two defenders as Hoesen took ball of the chest shot and won the battle between two KC defenders and finished off the play with a shot into the lower left side of the goal for his second goal of the season in the sixth minute.
Hoesen scored his second of the night six minutes later after taking a chip pass from Jackson Yueill down the left sideline. Hoesen dribbled in, deked out a defender and then out waited Sporting KC’s goalie Tim Melia and shot the ball off the body of Yohan Croizet into the back of the net for his third goal of the season in the 12th minute.
“It’s easy to say after you score two goals, but I always felt free,” said Hoesen. “The coach has always had confidence in me. It depends on how you feel on the day, how much you can run, how much can you do for the team. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.”
The goal was initially ruled offside by the right corner linesman, but after VAR review, the goal counted as the Quakes doubled their lead to 2-0.
Sporting KC (2-2-3) had a golden chance to cut the lead in half in the 26th minute when Krisztian Nemeth was awarded a penalty kick. However, his shot resembled more a field goal attempt as he shot ball very high over the net.
The Quakes dictated the tempo of play in the first 45 minutes as they controlled possession for much of the half generating four scoring chances.
“The goals were important for the confidence of the players,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “I think it was an intelligent game knowing we couldn’t give them any advantage, so our players understood what we wanted. We had patience to control the ball and determine the moment and the place when we should pressure to recover the ball and from there start our counter-attacks. But I think the players did a good job understanding the game plan.”
The second half was a carbon copy of the first. In the 46th minute, Magnus Eriksson led the attack right from the opening kickoff. He found Shea Salinas along the left sideline. Salinas dribbled inside the box, and from 15 yards out, chipped in a shot over Malia into the upper right corner of the goal for his second goal of the season.
Eriksson completed the scoring for San Jose in the 61st minute. Nick Lima led a rush into the box and then tried a give and go with Eriksson, but Eriksson’s return pass was deflected right back to him. With Malia committed to the left side of the goal, the Swedish midfielder chipped the ball back into the lower right corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
“Build on tonight,” said Lima. “Tonight gives us confidence, but we build on it, we go back to the training pitch with not much time but whatever it may be, we continue to work things out communication-wise. That’s a huge part of it and we get a little better for the next game.”
Sporting KC finally got on the board when Florian Jungwith was called for a foul inside the Quakes box which resulted in a penalty kick. This time Felipe Gutierrez cashed in on his opportunity for his second goal of the season.
Daniel Vega made six saves on seven shots to earn the victory.
GAME NOTES: Quakes defenseman Goram Kashia did not play due to a lower leg injury.
Wondo Watch: Chris Wondolowski came in the match as a substitute in the 80th minute but was not able to score. He currently sits one goal behind Landon Donovan for the all-time goals record in MLS history.
Danny Hoesen scored his 19th and 20th of his MLS career. Hoesen’s goals came in the sixth and 12th minutes of the match, the second earliest brace in Quakes history (Dwyane De Rosario — 9/27/03; 11 minutes).
Hoesen’s brace marked his third multi-goal match with the Earthquakes and first since June 13, 2018 (2 goals vs. NE). The last Quakes player to score two or more goals in a single match was Vako vs. FC Dallas on Aug. 29, 2018.
Salinas scored his second goal of the season and 15th of his MLS career. The last time Salinas scored multiple goals in a single season was 2015 (3).
Anibal Godoy tallied his second assist of the season and seventh of his MLS career.
Jackson Yueill tallied his first assist of the season and fifth of his MLS career.
Only the LA Galaxy (9) and Seattle Sounders FC (7) have earned more points than San Jose’s six over their last three matches.
The Earthquakes now hold a 25-26-8 all-time record against Sporting Kansas City.
San Jose is now 17-6-7 all-time against Sporting Kansas City at home.
The Quakes are now 3-2-1 against SKC all-time at Avaya Stadium.
Gianluca Busio was injured in the 25th minute which ended his three game goal streak.
Christian Espinoza was issued a yellow card the second minute into stoppage time into the first half. Godoy received a yellow card at the end of the first half for un-sportsman like conduct and will miss San Jose’s next match.
UP NEXT: The Quakes travel to Seattle to take on the Sounders on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 pm at Century Link Field.