Matias Almeyda got his first MLS win, and the San Jose Earthquakes scored more goals in one match than they had all season on Saturday. Was it just a good performance against a team that is struggling or have the Quakes found a way to succeed using Almeyda’s system? Let’s take a look at what happened last week.
Earthquakes Finally Get A Win
The Quakes were the only team in MLS without a point but that all changed when the Portland Timbers came to town. The Quakes offense erupted for three goals, and Daniel Vega earned his first MLS clean sheet including a penalty save against Diego Valeri. Going into this match, I thought Cristian Espinoza had an opportunity to shine against the Timbers defense, and Espinoza delivered by setting up Shea Salinas for the first score then netting one himself in the 34th minute.
Danny Hoesen finally got a start, and he also managed to get himself on the scoresheet a minute before Espinoza when a Magnus Eriksson shot that was blocked by Jeff Attinella rolled under Shea Salinas’ foot and into the path of Hoesen. Florian Jungwirth got his first minutes of the season playing the full match and throwing his body all over the pitch to preserve the clean sheet. This was finally a fun match to watch for a long-suffering fanbase, but the question now becomes: can the Quakes repeat this performance? Or was this result the product of the Timbers traveling so much to start the season and not playing very well?
On the Road Again
Speaking of repeating the performance the Quakes get a shot to prove they are on the upswing when they go down to Texas this Saturday to play Quakes 1.0. The Houston Dynamo present a tougher challenge as they currently sit in 4th place in the west and have yet to lose a match this season. They also have the powerful offensive trio of Alberth Elis, Memo Rodriguez, and Mauro Manotas who can cause problems for a Quakes team that had been shaky on defense before last Saturday’s match. Dynamo homegrown Rodriguez has started the season on fire scoring a goal in each of his teams four games so far. Houston is coming off a bye week so they will be rested; this will be a tough challenge for Almeyda and his team.
MLS Team of the Week
MLS announced their team of the week on Monday and Quakes fans will see some familiar names on the list. Cristian Espinoza made the team for the first time five weeks into his time in MLS while Anibal Godoy was selected to the bench for his effort in keeping the Timbers off the board. Matias Almeyda also made his first appearance as he was chosen as the manager of the week after leading his team to its first victory of the season. Hopefully, this is the start of a trend for Quakes players.
Chris Wondolowski still sits at 144 goals one behind Landon Donovan for most all-time MLS goals. He gets another shot against a familiar team when the Quakes face the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Wondo spent four seasons in Houston moving with the team when they were relocated from San Jose to Houston. He didn’t play too many minutes, but he was a member of the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup-winning squads in case he needed more hardware for his trophy room.