This game was about how the Quakes four-game winning streak team would adjust to the loss of 3 midfielders to international call ups. It was also a chance for the team to prove its ability not to choke playing lower positioned Eastern Conference teams and win the bread and butter games as well as the prime steak contests.
In the end the team that showed up for San Jose came up short. Their passing never really clicked, they gave the ball away too often, applying pressure to themselves in trying to penetrate the Union who sat deep the whole game, and in the end fell 2-1 to Philadelphia.
Cato flew back from his game at Rio Tinto where he played 60 minutes yesterday for Trinidad in their 1-1 tie with Mexico. Tonight he was named to the San Jose starting lineup.
The game started with San Jose moving the ball with confidence, managing several forays into the Union box while holding a good defensive line at the back. But after 15 minutes it was fairly clear that San Jose’s passing was not quite joining the dots, although Garcia’s return to the field was producing some good forward momentum.
Philadelphia set their line deep and the Quakes even when they had the ball but were not going any place much.
In fact by the 25th minute it was clear that the San Jose passing train was off the rails and that the midfield was sorely missing the stabilizing play of Pelosi and Godoy. Just as accurate passing breeds accurate passing, disjointed passes constantly intercepted breeds loose play.
In the 38th minute coming down from a jump for the ball Bernardez clutched his hamstring, fell to the turf and was done for the night. San Jose subbed on Koval for the injured Bernardez. The ref in this game seemed loathe to call many foul which was just as well because pretty much the first thing Koval did, following a poor pass out of defense, was to run back and shove a Union player over in the area.
The disjointed play continued for another 7 minutes plus 2 minutes added on and the half ended 0-0.
The second half started brighter for San Jose and within 2 minutes they had two chances with Amarikwa hitting the post. It looked as if the Quakes had decided to use their wingers more and for a while Cato and Salinas’s forward runs changed the complexion of the game.
The next 10 minutes saw the Quakes go close with strikes on goal from Wondo, Amarikwa, and even Koval. In the 64th minute Fabinho handled the ball in the box, the ref issued him a yellow card, and gave San Jose a penalty. Wondo ran up and slotted in a perfect strike to make it 1-0 to the Quakes.
In the 74th minute a simple enough pass into the box from Gaddis was simply headed into the net by recently subbed Casey to make it 1-1.
The Quakes responded with a few long range shots the closest by Amarikwa but showed little penetration. At the back Casey was all over Koval like a cheap suit.
In the 82nd minute Garcia came off for Thompson in an exchange of youth for experience.
In the 85th minute Jahn came on for Amarikwa and on the next play Casey ran across the box and scored, glancing the ball into the net with the back of his head. 2-1 to the Union.
After 3 minutes of time added on the ref blew time and the Union went home with 3 points.
Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear on how much of a conscious effort it was to use the wings more in the second half?
“Yeah, we just needed to move the ball quicker. They were sitting in pretty tight and there wasn’t a whole lot of space, so to move the ball faster to get it wider quicker, maybe move them around a little better. To play with some urgency, not to rush things, to play with some patience but to maybe move them round a little quicker.”
On the difference between passing accuracy this week compared to last week.
“You don’t want to over analyze and the score is obviously the most important thing. What we talked about at halftime was hey let’s play better. We were trying to force things, we were trying to do too much at times, that led to turnovers. You’d love the guys to be perfect in their passing every week but you know it’s not going to happen. Sometimes it really hurts you and sometimes you get away with it, and tonight we didn’t.”