With Chris Wondolowski not in the starting line-up, the San Jose Earthquakes looked disjointed on offense and fell behind 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls in the first half of Friday night's game at Red Bull Arena. When the Quakes captain entered the game as a second half substitute, momentum shifted to the visitors, but their efforts to overcome the two goal deficit went lacking, and San Jose left the Big Apple without a point.
Matias Perez Garcia was spectacular in midfield, and goalkeeper David Bingham kept the Bulls at bay with an excellent individual effort, but some shaky defensive marking proved the Earthquakes undoing. Marvell Wynne had his most uneven game of the season, and New York scored both of its goals from his side of the box. Innocent -- with his newly approved eponymous jersey -- made his first start of the season as an advanced forward, but he did little to sway the game in the Quakes favor.
San Jose gets a two week break before its next match -- Friday, May 1, at Real Salt Lake -- and will try to regroup from its disappointing cross-country excursion. With 3 wins and 4 losses, good for 9 points and a share of fourth place in the Western Conference, the Earthquakes have three road games in a row to deal with and will need to find points, lest they drift further afield of the top-six playoff qualification spots. Yes, it's early in the season, but points conceded now will be sorely missed come the fall.
San Jose Earthquakes postgame quotes
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the match:
"Well we started off the game poorly. Got punished for giving the ball away in good areas for them, bad areas for us and then they came out with a different attitude. Came out better in the second half. Just couldn't score a goal."
On the Red Bulls:
"I thought they had a good first half. I'll give them credit for that. Obviously we were chasing the game at the very, very end there, but I thought at about 30 minutes if we get a goal there, in the middle of the second half, it could be a different story. Robles made some good saves for them and we missed a couple chances, but, yeah, they're knocking the ball around pretty good."
On the team's halftime adjustments:
"We started moving the ball better and movement off the ball was better and we were connecting passes where in the first half we weren't doing that."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On the Red Bulls:
"Especially in the first half, they do a great job of pressing and pressing high up the field and they took advantage of our two mistakes. We were a little sloppy, especially on the first one. You know you have a turnover on top of the box, you get punished and rightfully so. Second one, great finish, but if you leave a guy back post, you get punished again. Credit to them I thought they played really well."
On how they go forward and what they take from the match:
"Well we can't dig ourselves in a hole. We can't keep putting ourselves 2-0 down at halftime. You know I thought we played a lot better in the second half, but we have to come out with that mentality. I thought at Vancouver last week, we had the right mentality from minute one and when you're able to keep them from a shot on goal I think it shows where our mentality was and I don't think that it was the same tonight."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER DAVID BINGHAM
On the first half:
"I don't think there's any doubt or surprise that the first half wasn't up to our standards. It's hard to come back into the game when you come in at halftime down 2-0."
On what was lacking in the first half:
"We were making rookie mistakes all over the field. All of us were turning the ball over in the middle of the park. We were giving the ball away at the top of our own 18. You can't do that in this league. You do that in this league you're going to get punished and credit to them they didn't squander the chances. They got their chances and they finished them."
On the difference between the Quakes' first half and the second half:
"We were more organized, we had more fight in us, we had them on the ropes the second half, I mean they didn't look comfortable at all in the second half, they didn't get in a rhythm. We probably could have had one or two to hop back in the game, but it's just the way it goes sometimes."
On how they go forward from this game:
"You definitely have to analyze it and go back and we got to fix the first half. We did it against New England, same thing, coming in down 2-0 at halftime and that's unacceptable, that's not up to our standards so we got to fix that. We have a hard three game road trip coming up and once we get that fixed we'll be picking up a lot of points on the road."